Proposal to convert vacant hotel into emergency homeless facility is paused


ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A proposal that would turn a vacant hotel on the edge of the Corn Hill neighborhood into one of the largest emergency homeless facilities in Rochester is on hold.

Currently, 21 rooms in the three-story building at 204 S. Plymouth Ave. provide emergency shelter for people and families. The owner wants to keep the first floor as office space and convert 37 additional rooms on the upper floors into sleeping rooms, according to a special use permit application filed with the Rochester City Planning Commission, or CPC.

The Planning Commission met last week, and neighbors voiced their questions and comments.

Ahead of time, Deborah Onslow filed a letter with the commission expressing her concerns.

“I’m a single person, I live a block away. I’m worried about it. What kind of rules are they going to have? What kind of security are they going to have?” Onslow said in an interview Monday with News10NBC.

According to the application, Monroe County would run the facility and pay for its operations. It goes on to say that the project would not adversely affect the neighborhood.

Pete Frosig lives nearby and said he voiced his concerns about the project to the city Planning Commission.

“The number of bedrooms is significantly larger than what was previously used at that location. The old Mohawk motor inn was designed as a hotel, not a homeless shelter,” Frosig said.

That’s among the reasons why Frosig said he hopes the commission will reject the application at its next meeting, to be held later this month or in August.

“Well, I think the city and the county can make improvements, such as the riverwalk to encourage people to move here, or make other changes which will make people move away,” Frosig said.

The application for the special use permit is on hold. The commission has asked the building owner to provide additional information about the facility’s potential impact on the area.

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