This is What the Future of Commercial at Tower280 Looks Like

the rochesteriat

the rochesteriat

Everybody's heard the news that Tower280 in downtown is open for business: both on the residential front as well as the commercial side of the equation. The joint venture between Buckingham Properties and Morgan Management has already produced contracted commercial tenants such as Bergmann Associates, and the Italian Eatery, Branca (its second location in Rochester to open soon), and coming along nicely signing on renters to fill the gorgeous upper floor apartments. 

But there's almost 50,000 square feet of commercial space still available on its lower floors - so what should Tower280 executives do to fill the space? 

In an effort NOT to come up with an ill-timed April Fools' joke on the city, we'll state it now: THE FOLLOWING IDEAS ARE JUST OUR OPINION. If you still believe these things are happening after reading this post and disclaimer, then a BIG APRIL FOOLS' ON YOU, YOU DEFINITELY DESERVE IT!

With that said, This is What the Future of Commercial at Tower280 Looks Like:

Trader Joe's 

the rochesteriat

the rochesteriat

Ok, you may be wondering why we're mentioning Trader Joe's when we're such big fans of Hart's Local Grocers? First off, NO ONE can beat the breakfast sandwiches of Hart's, so let's set the record straight. Second, Trader Joe's is THE only GROCER we know of that has the clout, the cult-like following similar to Wegmans, and the national notoriety that would change not only the shopping habits of local urbanites, but would potentially pull suburbanites back into the city for their inexpensive goods. Where else can you buy a bunch of flowers for $3?

Why it's a GREAT idea: ...because everyone KNOWS that good wine only costs $2.49 - granted we'd have to get those pesky wine laws changed here in NYS. 


Cheap, fashion forward European clothing - isn't that what we're all aspiring for? An undisclosed issue doomed the former H&M that shuttered the doors in Greece Ridge and the Eastview Mall locations a few years ago, but apparently it wasn't due to lack of sales. And we're a different city now, right? Any retailer that can sell underwear for a couple of dollars may just pull in a large part of the surrounding metropolitan market for good reason. 

Why it's a GREAT idea: Operating in 61 countries and over 3700 stores, H&M would give downtown an international destination flair that you just can't find in the Malls - um, anymore.


the rochesteriat

the rochesteriat

Yep, I just won't let this one go. While a normal store size for IKEA is over 50,000 square feet, we could be different and make this into the world's smallest IKEA - ever. Also, it's been said that IKEA execs like to base their stores outside of central business districts because the traffic tends to get crazy. But hey, maybe doing just the opposite here would actually create a traffic problem WITHIN our city - something that city officials would love to see at this point. Also, your Swedish furniture will coordinate perfectly with your European wardrobe from another Swedish maker, H&M. 

Why it's a GREAT idea: Who needs those weird instruction manuals anyway? You can learn to put together your $25 Gersby bookcase on YouTube, and this stuff would fill all the modern new loft spaces downtown quite nicely.  

Au Bon Pain

Who even knows how to pronounce this correctly? Well, correct grammar or not, this Boston based retailer would pair nicely with the Boston WinnDevelopment Team over there at the Sibley Building. But we're not talking Sibley Building here - a typical sized store ranges from 2,500 - 3,500 square feet, making a perfect fit as a ground level occupant of Tower280. 

Why it's a GREAT idea: This chain was recently ranked the #1 Healthiest US Chain Restaurant by the restaurant grading website Grellin, and it would provide a central place for the downtown working (and living) crowd to enjoy a good coffee, pastry, sandwich, or nutritious salad during the workday.

So whatd'ya think, did we nail it for downtown's Tower280 spaces? Let us know your thoughts...

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Jason is Co-Founder of the Rochesteriat and believes we could really use an IKEA in downtown Rochester...we'll make the traffic work, right? Join the conversation on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.