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Schumer Focuses on Plan to Save Landmark Buildings

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Rochester: Schumer Focuses on Plan to Save Landmark Buildings
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The push is on to help revitalize historic buildings in downtown Rochester and across the state. Behind this effort is New York's Senior Senator Chuck Schumer, who says it plays a key role in the development of under-utilized buildings.

The Academy Building on South Fitzhugh Street is considered to be one of several gems that can help revitalize downtown Rochester. It sat vacant until local developer George Traikos bought the building in 2007. Work is now being done to turn it into 21 new apartments and space for retail and restaurants.

"We have another four months of work ahead of us. We appreciate all of the support that we continue to get."

Traikos support came from both the federal and state level -- allowing him to save the 140-year-old Academy Building.

"They've collected cobwebs for too long."

Senator Chuck Schumer visited Rochester on Monday, pushing for expansion and extension of federal tax credits that are set to run out at the end of the year. Schumer wants to extend the New Markets Tax Credit and he also announced his support for the CAPP Act that would increase the Historic Tax Credit.

"It's critical that we make sure that the redevelopment of our many historic buildings not only keeps pace with our changing economy, but energizes it for a new generation."

The goal is to breathe new life into structures like these, by encouraging developers to renovate them and make them more attractive to businesses.

"If we get tax credits in this city, we'll make them work. And we'll make them work for this city as we transform it."

Some of the historic structures for redevelopment include the Sibley Building, the Cox building on St. Paul Street, and the Eastman Dental Dispensary on East Main Street.

However, Governor Cuomo has yet to sign legislation that would increase the incentive for rehabilitating landmarks. With time running out, Senator Schumer called on him to act.

"We don't want to have one or two projects, we want to have many more."

"Hopefully, we'll finish this project and hopefully we'll do another one after that!"

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