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May 8, 2021 - 3:15pm

Consultant: Zoning change needed before Cary Hall can be taken down to make room for Healthy Living Campus

posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, city council, Healthy Living Campus, GLOW YMCA, UMMC.

Before Cary Hall at 211 E. Main St. can come tumbling down, the land that it sits on needs to be rezoned, according to the consultant representing the GLOW YMCA and United Memorial Medical Center in their efforts to construct a new Healthy Living Campus in Downtown Batavia.

David Ciurzynski of Ciurzynski Consulting LLC, of Attica, has petitioned City Council to change the zoning of that parcel from P-2 (Planned Development) to C-3 (Commercial) in order to have all of the land involved in the state Downtown Revitalization Initiative project under the same zoning designation.

P-2 refers to the current office medical building that is on the site originally occupied by the Cary Mansion, which was demolished in 1964 after nearly 150 years as a historical landmark.

“We have to take three or four parcels and combine them into one for the new building,” Ciurzynski said today. “It’s a commonplace process in projects such as this.”

The matter is on the agenda of Monday night’s City Council Special Conference and Business meetings.

A $30 million venture, the building will provide integrated services of the YMCA and UMMC, which is part of the Rochester Regional Health system. Construction is scheduled to start this fall and is expected to last into 2023.

The two-story facility will be situated on a stretch of land between the current YMCA and Wiard Street, covering 211 and 213 E. Main St. The parcel at 213 E. Main St., which once was the site of the Batavia Elks Home, is zoned C-3.

In his letter to City Council, Ciurzynski wrote that 211 E. Main St. “was likely kept as P-2 given the use of the building at the time of the zoning map changes.”

“The property was most recently used as a medical office building storage (it is empty now) and will be demolished to make room for the new GLOW YMCA/UMMC Healthy Living Campus upon approval of this rezone request," he wrote. "Upon completion of the new campus, the existing YMCA will be demolished.”

City Manager Rachael Tabelski, in a memo dated April 29 to City Council, advised that Council has the authority to refer matters such as these to the City Planning & Development Committee for review and recommendation. Thus, Council will consider a resolution drafted to make that happen.

Some history of 211 E. Main St., per a story on The Batavian, from 2012.

  • The Cary Mansion was sold to St. Jerome Hospital in 1959 and it was taken down with about 30 days' notice five years later per orders of the hospital’s board of directors;
  • The hospital began building a nursing school on the back of the property and then with very little notice decided to tear down the mansion to expand the nursing school, which was called the Catherine McAuley School of Practical Nursing. The program ran from 1963 to 1981.
  • In 2012, a marker commemorating the mansion site was erected. The inscription reads: 1817-1964. A gift to his wife by Trumbull Cary, merchant, bank founder, NYS senator and first Batavia treasurer. The marker was paid for by the William C. Pomeroy Foundation.
  • The building is now called Cary Hall and is owned by UMMC.

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