High Point Business & Residential Community
High Point in Victor, NY, is the epitome of a classic mixed-use project, as it includes retail shops and restaurants, office buildings, and residential townhomes on some 106 hilltop acres neighboring Eastview Mall.
BME Associates began working on the High Point project with developer Fred Rainaldi in 2000, years before the first shovel would ever hit the ground. And the challenges were plentiful, from solving many zoning and difficult design issues to preserving a historic cobblestone building on the property. The latter situation, however, would be transformed from a challenge to an opportunity.
Obtaining Needed Rezoning
James Cretekos, P.E.
When the concept for High Point was first introduced, the project encountered decidedly mixed reactions from the Victor Town Board and Planning Board, as well as organized anti-development groups from the general community. It was immediately clear to the developer and to us that we had to change some minds to achieve the necessary rezoning and approvals to move forward — and we realized this would not be done overnight.
The developer took a highly proactive approach, launching a series of communication tactics, from neighborhood meetings to Q-and-A sessions at the local farmers’ market, in order to address concerns and to emphasize the value of the project to the entire Victor community. We supported the public communications efforts, worked with the Town Boards, and successfully identified mitigation measures to address the environmental concerns that included disturbance to woodlots, steep slopes, wetlands, and protected streams.
“Our client needed to rezone a parcel that allowed for a low-density residential use to a mixed-use zoning district that would permit 370,000 square feet of office space, 20,000 square feet of multi-tenant retail space, and 79 residential townhomes.”
In working together with the developer and his architect, we designed a plan for the existing cobblestone building site using an underground stormwater management system to hide this historically incompatible design element. We then designed period light fixtures, landscaping and a beautiful historically accurate loose-laid terraced fieldstone wall. The cobblestone house was repurposed to become an attractive Starbucks Coffee Shop that ultimately met the requirements of its National Landmark protection status.
Overall, it took five years to complete the approvals for the project, which now stands as a point of pride and destination for the Victor community as a highly successful mixed use development. Today, the project continues to evolve and develop to provide new services and other desirable improvements for the community.
Solving the Need for Water
Construction Services Manager
The success of the High Point development obviously depends upon a significant and reliable supply of public water to serve the site. The Monroe County Water Authority (MCWA) has an abundant supply of high quality water and a well-earned reputation for reliability. However, the nearest point of connection for High Point was over 3,500 feet away in a different municipality that, at the time, did not serve the Town of Victor.
“Providing water to the site called for a special design and construction solution.”
The route of the water main along Turk Hill Road was a challenge because of the narrow right-of-way and numerous environmentally sensitive constraints, including significant changes in terrain. Long story short, we met with the MCWA staff numerous times to present several options to serve the site with as little environmental impact as possible. The selected option included directional drilling, which resulted in very little site disturbance and avoided open trench excavation. It is our understanding that this was the first time that the MCWA permitted directional drilling to serve multiple-use customers that was a unique solution to a special circumstance.