NYS Senator Jeremy Cooney & City Leaders Announce Plans for New Downtown Banners

(ROCHESTER, NY) - Senator Jeremy Cooney (D-Rochester) and Mayor James Smith announced a downtown revitalization and beautification initiative to install new neighborhood banners across the center city. Sen. Cooney secured a $50,000 grant from the State of New York to be used by the City of Rochester towards the project that will celebrate the history of downtown neighborhoods and these growing residential communities.

Downtown neighborhoods have banners that act as ‘welcome’ signs throughout the city, however, many are in need of updates and some of our most historic communities are unrepresented. This grant will fund the city beautification project, which is focused on strengthening neighborhood identities and attracting business and tourism to downtown Rochester. 

Senator Cooney is the chair of the Senate Upstate Cities Committee, dedicated to small and mid-sized cities outside of NYC. As part of his committee chairmanship, he has prioritized investing in the revitalization of city centers across upstate, including his hometown of Rochester. 

Senator Cooney represents all of downtown Rochester as part of the 56th Senate District.

Senator Jeremy Cooney: 

Revitalizing Rochester’s downtown neighborhoods has been a priority during our first year in state office. We understand these efforts do not stop at the borders of our center city and that we need to celebrate the many unique and diverse neighborhoods that make Rochester great. I am pleased to secure this funding and look forward to seeing new banners displayed in the East End, Washington Square Park, St. Paul’s Quarter, and many other small urban neighborhoods so we can celebrate the collective energy of our growing downtown. As someone who proudly lives and works in downtown, this is a much needed initial step in creating a more visible placemaking our downtown.” 

Mayor James Smith:

“Downtown Rochester continues to grow and thrive! From Inner Loop East to Parcel 5 to Roc the Riverway, we have a tremendous record of success during my time at City Hall. And, none of these achievements would have been possible without our partners in State government. Now, we are going to let everyone know that we are open for business, thanks to this grant from Senator Cooney! I can’t wait to see these new banners up throughout our Center City!”

Mayor-Elect Malik Evans:

We are grateful for the opportunity to celebrate our downtown neighborhoods. Revitalizing our downtown is a must and will be a priority of my administration. Thank you to New York State and you to the neighbors that make up downtown.

Heidi Zimmer-Meyer, President, Rochester Downtown Development Corporation:

“Every one of downtown’s 13 neighborhoods has its own character, mix of residents, lifestyles, and architectural vernacular.  Each has its own blend of uses – housing, offices, restaurants, nightlife, culture, arts, and sports venues.  Some are more dense with vertical neighborhoods that make us feel like a bigger city.  Banners are such a powerful placemaking way to express these wonderful differences, and to highlight a neighborhood’s unique personality.”

Suzanne Mayer, Co-Founder, Hinge Neighbors Inc.

“Downtown Rochester is a vibrant place to live and this project will help our community celebrate what makes each neighborhood special. We are thrilled to see Senator Cooney invest in creating spaces that enhance the city we call home. I look forward to our collective work to encourage growth in our downtown.

Stefanie Schwingle, Washington Square Community Association: 

“We (the Washington Square Community Association) would like to express our excitement and that these new banners will help give identities to each downtown neighborhood. It is so important to celebrate each neighborhood’s unique character, and we thank Senator Cooney, New York State, and the Mayor’s office for this investment in Rochester.”

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