Greentopia gets ready for launch of EcoDistrict in Rochester

Aug 25, 2017
Originally published on August 25, 2017 9:00 am

Efforts are moving ahead to create an EcoDistrict in the High Falls area.

That’s an area that would be dedicated to sustainability and it would be the first one in New York State.  The local non-profit group Greentopia is behind it, and co-founder Michael Philipson says the plans are ambitious, but they are worth the time and effort.

“What if we all work together to go toward zero waste in five years or zero net energy in 10 or 15 years. Those are the kinds of projects that we would work on as a group in the EcoDistrict, along with residents, businesses, higher ed, and the city and other partners.”

Among the organizations and companies represented at a meeting this week about the eco-district is Eastman Kodak. Dolores Kruchten is president of the Eastman Business Park. She says Kodak is excited to be part of this revitalization effort, and they have also been doing work on the Kodak Tower building.

“We’re also doing some remodeling on the inside and the outside, so you can see the outside that we’ve been working on right at the loop but we’re also doing some remodeling on the inside and so as we bring new tenants in and look at what their needs are we’ll upgrade the space accordingly to that fits for them,” she told WXXI News.

Since Kodak’s restructuring, the headquarters building has had fewer Kodak people, so the company has marketing the tower as a location that other companies could lease, perhaps for their own headquarters.

Phillipson notes that a number of longtime companies in the area, including Kodak and the Genesee Brewery, are enthusiastic about this concept.

“It’s the idea of, wow, look at all these legacy companies really creating now, a futuristic neighborhood and a futuristic area and helping move Rochester into the future from really legacy companies, it’s a really exciting concept.”

He notes that MCC’s new downtown campus, next to the Kodak HQ, is a big part of the EcoDistrict. That renovated building includes ‘green roofs’ to help produce more environmentally friendly energy as well as act as  teaching tool for some classes.

Greentopia will launch the EcoDistrict effort October 7th as part of Rochester’s River Romance events.