One of the Greater Rochester region’s best attributes is the quality of its health care system. Over the past decade, our region has led the way in making primary health care more accessible to those who need it. This equates to more quality care, and less costly, overall, to our system as we seek to reduce non-necessary trips to the hospital.
I am proud to say that Irondequoit is now host to one of the largest and most innovative primary health care facilities in the state, with the recent opening of Rochester Regional Health Riedman Health Center. This is a transformational resource that I believe will significantly improve our community’s health care.
The redevelopment of the former Tops Market on East Ridge Road certainly has not been a secret. It is one of the most visible development projects in recent years, and has helped reimagine a vacant, increasingly blighted supermarket into a “one-stop shop” for quality care. This 75,000-square-foot project continues to prove that adaptive reuse of vacant properties in possible in the suburbs, as well.
Removing barriers to quality health care continues to be part of the conversation of how to create an effective system. Many of the services that once required a trip to Rochester General Hospital, which may have involved paying for parking, a long walk from the bus stop and the general anxiety of navigating through the facility, are now consolidated into a welcoming, outpatient facility featuring a full spectrum of care.
Taken as a whole, this is one the largest investments in our community in over a decade. It will continue to see our town, once widely known as a “bedroom community” not seen as an employment base, transformed into a place where people come to work, and hopefully spend their dollars at our many wonderful small businesses.
Some have questioned if we should applaud redevelopment that may result in an owner that is tax-exempt. For those who have attempted to quantify a reduction in property tax base, I have countered that it is impossible to measure the value of having excellent health care in our community. I believe this facility will, furthermore, have a positive impact on our economy as it will continue to increase the number of people spending time in our community.
A resident recently remarked to me that she was frustrated by a perceived increase of traffic on Ridge Road East. I invited her to see this a positive development. As our commercial corridor continues to see millions of dollars of investment, I welcome the energy it brings and hope the momentum continues.