There are big expansion plans in the works for The Marketplace Mall, but they don't include the addition of any big-box store or other retailers.
Instead, the University of Rochester, the town of Henrietta and Wilmorite have announced plans for a new tenant —UR Medicine's Orthopedics and Physical Performance Center.
The 330,000-square-foot facility would include a new ambulatory surgery center, which would occupy the vacant Sears building, according to URMC Board Chair Tom Richards. Plans also call for a new multi-story tower above the surgery center that would house everything a patient may need for a bone, spine or joint condition.
"The demographics of our region are we're getting older," Richards said. "And orthopedic care is connected substantially to age."
University of Rochester Medical Center CEO Mark Taubman said the center would be the biggest offsite building project in the university's history.
"This will be a state-of-the-art facility, offering an unprecedented range of outpatient orthopedic services in one convenient location," he said.
Henrietta Supervisor Steve Schultz acknowledged that bringing a sustainable retailer into the mall would have helped the town, but he said the tax base for the rest of the mall will more than make up for what comes off the tax rolls for the medical center.
"As you look at our changing demographics, orthopedic care is going to be a big need in the future, so to have a thousand people, visitors a day while they're open, that's going to be a big boost to the mall, right, and the surrounding area," he said.
The $240 million project still needs approval from the town of Henrietta, the University of Rochester Board of Trustees, and the state Department of Health.
Officials say the project would create 200 construction jobs and should be completed by 2023.
Alex Crichton is WXXI's All Things Considered host and producer.