New York State has committed $50 million for the ROC the Riverway initiative to transform the Genesee River and reestablish as the centerpiece of downtown Rochester. Nearly 30 projects have been identified by the city of Rochester and area community groups to reimagine the river into a waterfront destination.

To accelerate the rapid revitalization of the waterfront, the state will establish a ROC the River advisory board comprised of local stakeholders and chaired by Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chairs Anne Kress and Bob Duffy to engage the community and prioritize project recommendation to the State.

The state investment will leverage public dollars to encourage private investment, boost the economy and create jobs. Potential projects include reimagining Charles Carroll Park Plaza to maximize views of the river, breathing new life into Genesee Gateway Park, transforming the Rochester Riverside Convention Center as a premier public venue and revitalizing the Broad Street aqueduct to serve as a downtown destination, Cuomo’s said.

This initiative will support the city’s newly updated Local Waterfront Revitalization Program plan and will be developed in partnership with the city and stakeholders across the Genesee River to attract millennials, enhance recreational opportunities and drive growth along the waterfront.

Overall, the “ROC the Riverway initiative will:

  • Re-establish the Genesee River as the “centerpiece” of Downtown Rochester capitalizing on the natural assets of the region;
  • Leverage public and private dollars to encourage investment, boost the economy and create jobs;
  • Create recreational programming throughout the riverway; and
  • Generate a four season, 24-hour waterfront with world-class public spaces and amenities serving to attract more visitors to downtown destinations.