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Winn's Pitch for MCC at Sibley

Winn's Pitch for MCC at Sibley

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Published by rachbarnhart
Document given to lawmakers
Document given to lawmakers

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Published by: rachbarnhart on Jan 31, 2013
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WinnCompanies Proposal for a Downtown Center City Campus at Sibley:Saving Taxpayer Money, Meeting MCC’s Needs & Reviving Downtown
January 30, 2013Dear Rochester leader,We are writing to provide you with important information to consider as part of the ongoing process toselect the highest quality, safest and also most economically efficient permanent home for MonroeCommunity College's (MCC) Downtown Campus.Following the December 11 County Resolution approving funding for an improved, permanent downtownMCC campus, we were encouraged to see the County’s commitment to exploring multiple options thatwould offer a fantastic, downtown learning environment for future generations of students in an efficientdevelopment approach that would minimize the financial burden to taxpayers. Toward that end, weworked diligently during the past month to create a revised development proposal that delivers on bothgoals for the County, the college and the Rochester community.As you know, the WinnCompanies submitted a proposal last year based on the bid specificationsprovided by MCC. Those specifications were tailored for a building like the Kodak building, an officebuilding without academic characteristics or an existing campus infrastructure. The MCC specificationsrequired the college’s existing campus spaces in the Sibley Building be demolished and rebuilt, which isfar from the most efficient development method in terms of finance or design. Even under theseconstraints, our final net development cost to the County and SUNY came in at $67 million with theinclusion of tax credits, which is $8 million less than the $75 million Kodak site development cost. Thisproposal included a five-year, lease-to-own structure, which we later learned was not ideal for MCCleadership. We believed at that time that we offered the best proposal for the students and the taxpayers of Monroe County, but, unfortunately, we were not given the opportunity to present our plan to the CollegeBoard and other interested parties prior to a vote.Since then, the WinnCompanies has delivered on its promise and invested in the City of Rochester andMonroe County by purchasing the Sibley Building and beginning a smart, efficient development processthat will greatly benefit the local community and contribute to the revitalization of this great city. Webelieve our investment is already noticeable at the building in terms of cleanliness, safety and appearance.We are now submitting the following new proposal designed to fulfill the County’s publicly stated desireto examine multiple fiscally responsible options for the MCC campus.We want to be crystal clear as to costs and structure of a Sibley Campus under this revised proposal. It
does not
contemplate tax credits and, therefore, can result in the immediate sale to MCC of any portion of the Sibley Building that college leaders believe they need.Based on our analysis, the WinnCompanies can deliver the MCC campus at Sibley for $18 million lessthan the Kodak proposal. Our new approach efficiently improves existing spaces within the currentcampus while expanding with new construction in vacant areas of the building.For the price of $57 million, the Sibley Building can meet or exceed every single criteria of Kodak andthe College Board's site selection criteria, including:
A greater amount of built-out square footage (275,539 square feet);
A dedicated MCC entrance and lobby and separated utilities;
All new heating and cooling systems;
WinnCompanies Proposal for a Downtown Center City Campus at Sibley:Saving Taxpayer Money, Meeting MCC’s Needs & Reviving Downtown
Benefits to TaxpayersCost to Build –
The renovated and expanded campus at Sibley without tax credits would cost$57 million. This represents a savings of $18 million for the taxpayers of MonroeCounty (more than $9 million) and SUNY ($9 million) as compared with the proposed$75 million Kodak site. These cost savings stem from the revised plan for renovation, asopposed to demolition and rebuild, of certain aspects of the existing campus, coupledwith significant expansion and newly built amenities, including a cafeteria, auditoriumspaces, and large gathering spaces for students to meet and socialize.
Cost Certainty
– Any cost overruns at the Sibley site would be borne by WinnDevelopment, a40-year-old, well-capitalized, nationally renowned historic renovation company. Anycost overruns at the Kodak site will be borne by Monroe County taxpayers. DiMarcoConstructors have priced out the Winn plan in detail based on extensive site visits anddesign review.
Cost to Operate –
At Sibley,
MCC would only have to own the 275,539 square feet that thecollege has called for in its own specifications. Taxpayers would not be asked to financethe operation of the approximately 300,000 square feet of unneeded vacant space thatwould remain at the 561,951-square-foot Kodak site.
- In the 1 million square foot Sibley Building, there is plenty of expansion spaceavailable for future growth by MCC (100,000 square feet or more), as well as leasablespace to local business and community partners of the college. Any unused portion of the Kodak site will burden Monroe County with ongoing insurance, repair, security andheating costs. Potential expansion space at Sibley carries no upfront cost for taxpayers.
Ease of Acquisition
– Unlike the Kodak site, Monroe County taxpayers will not need to pay forlengthy due diligence, bankruptcy attorneys, or pre-development at the Sibley Building.WinnDevelopment already has completed due diligence, so there will be no surprises. Inaddition, since WinnDevelopment holds the current four-and-a-half-year lease,development of a new campus could begin as soon as MCC wishes.
Benefits to the CollegeOwnership
– No tax credits are used in our plan, allowing MCC to own the campus space itwants immediately. This is a major change in our Sibley proposal, which the CollegeBoard and County may not have been aware of until now.
The MCC campus would bea legally separated condominium, with separate utilities, entrances and elevators.

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