Filling In: 93 Marsh Street

Filling In: 93 Marsh Street

This article was scraped from Rochester Subway. This is a blog about Rochester history and urbanism has not been published since 2017. The current owners are now publishing link spam which made me want to preserve this history.. The original article was published February 20, 2014 and can be found here.

Matthew Denker ponders the possibilities at his new property at 93 Marsh Street. [IMAGE: Google Streetview]

     The following is a guest post submitted by       Matthew Denker      .
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Imagine you are the new owner of a giant, underutilized parking lot*. What would you do with it? Would you leave it as is? Tear out the pavement and start a community garden? What if there was an apartment building next to it. Would you tear it down and build a skyscraper? These are all excellent ideas. We here at filling in solicited input from a variety of fellow contributors, and it's clear that we all have different ideas about what to do...

*Disclaimer - I am a new part owner of a giant, underutilized parking lot. This one, in fact.

In no particular order, I'll lay out my top three most likely ideas:

1. Better Utilized Parking

Idea 1: Better Utilized Parking [IMAGE: Google Maps]

   One of the first ideas is to better utilize the parking. This idea is furthest along (HEY! The lot is already there.), but also one of the least likely to happen. Ignoring any zoning issues, the pavement is roughly 120' x 60'. A little bit of research will show that a parking spot is about 8' across and 18' deep. Anyway, a little smidge here, a little tuck there, the whole thing becomes 30 spaces. SWEET! But wait, 6 need to remain for the apartments. Another 3 need to remain flex, and about 2 will stay taken up by the dumpster. We're down to 19 spaces. Spots at UofR (the assumed parking payers) vary, but go for between $22 and $47 a month. Don't worry, there won't be a pro forma for all three options, but we're betting we can charge $20 a month per spot. Great! Give me the $380 and let's call it a day. Not so fast! First, we need to budget for 5% vacancy (in this case 2 spots). Now we're at $350 a month. Then our management would want 10%. Now we're at $315 a month. Then our insurance wants almost $200 a month for liability. All of a sudden we're down to $115 a month, and that's before we paint the lines every year, advertise, or do the legwork with the city to set the whole thing up. Yikes.

2. Build Another Apartment "House"

Idea 2: Build Another Apartment 'House' [PHOTO: Mathew Denker]

   Aha! Better you should build another apartment house next door. We at     93 Marsh Street, LLC

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are actually pretty partial to this idea. We've been struggling mightily to find evidence of a house formerly on this lot, but quite honestly, it'd been tough going. This is almost the exact spot that occupies that nebulous area between pages on the plat maps from 1935. Suffice to say, the house at 93 Marsh wasn't even on the 1935 plat maps, let alone anything on this lot. Color us surprised. Anyway, we are confident a similar house broken into apartments would work nicely here, although the piece of land is rather large, and we've considered the idea of jamming a pocket neighborhood style development in here instead of just another house. This could take the form of the front/back multi-family style housing we've previously discussed at Filling In.

3. Tear It Down and Build

Idea 3: Tear It Down and Build [IMAGE:]

   Ah yes, at long last, it comes to this. Ignoring any expenses associated with emptying out our apartment building and tearing it down, what could we do here? Well, we need 1,000 sqft of property for each 1 or 2 bedroom apartment. The lot is 16,875 square feet, so let's imagine we build some mix of 16 one and two bedroom apartments. If we build something that's three floors or so, we're looking at floor plates of 5,500 square feet or so (assuming we actually build 1,000 square foot apartments). This translates to a building about 90x60. Set towards the street, it gives us ample space for driveway around and parking behind the building (we'll need 16 spaces). All in all, this could go very well. Based on the school across the street, something about 2.5 stories and by     Cary Tamarkin

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could fit in perfectly.

Moving forward, I hope to do something with the land, although I'd be stretching the truth if I said it would be "pretty soon."

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About Matthew Denker:

Matthew Denker is a Project Director by day and a fantasy real estate tycoon by night. He has a deep interest in Rochester, NY, as well as the subjects of new urbanism, walkability, mass transit, and land use. Going forward he hopes to combine all of those things to make Rochester a city competitive not only with other small, successful cities, such as Portland and Minneapolis, but even better by leveraging its easy access to the world-class cities of Toronto and New York.

Chris Gemignani

Chris Gemignani

Rochester, NY, USA