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Roads blocked off in downtown Rochester after debris falls from vacant building

Rochester fire and police blocked off two downtown streets on Thursday after debris fell from a vacant building onto the street.

Portions of buckling siding panels on the former Hotel Richford slammed down onto the street early Thursday afternoon. The pieces that fell were part of side paneling that covers an older brick façade, according to News10 NBC.

The building is located on the intersection of Chestnut and Elm streets. Both streets are shut down as crews investigate the collapse and work on repairs.


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The building is owned by Midtown Reborn Development Group, according to city records. The historic structure was built in 1915 and is located at 65-67 Chestnut St.

Hotel Richford has sat vacant since 2000. Past rehabilitation efforts having failed, despite a whopping $2.2 billion having been invested in the building since its closure, according to the New York State Regional Economic Development Councils.

Plans to convert Hotel Richford into an 80-room national brand hotel were announced in 2018 with an anticipated completion date of August 1, 2022. It’s unclear exactly what prevented the project from moving forward.

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