East Avenue- Home to the George Eastman Estate and Many of Rochester’s Cultural Treasures

East Avenue is home to the City’s best collection of large 19th and early 20th century homes,  historic churches, and museums. This is the neighborhood where George Eastman constructed his mansion and estate in the early 1900s. It also is located just east of Downtown and has several nice urban biz districts (i.e. Park Avenue, East Avenue & Union, and University & Atlantic Ave.). The district also hosts a vibrant food and beverage scene, quality retail amenities, and a diverse array of often moderately priced housing options.

But there are also several areas that the East Avenue neighborhood does not excel at from an urban perspective. Its urban density of around 8,000 people per square mile creating many dead spots, its public transit service is wanting, there are several very autocentric stretches along University Avenue, and it has a very low percentage of family households. An ambitious densification plan and urban form overlay along University Avenue could go a long way towards improving the urbanity of this neighborhood.

Click here to view my East Avenue album on Flick

URBAN STREGNTHS:

* Quality sidewalk infrastructure, but plenty of intersections without ADA compliant ramps.
* Excellent access to dwtn.
* Excellent economic diversity.
* Even for a higher end district medium rent is quite affordable hovering around $1,000. A moderate amount of dedicated afford. units here.
* Very diverse array of for sale price points. Several condo buildings selling 1 bedroom units in the 100Ks. 2-beds sell for anywhere btwn 150K-400K depending on size and condition. 3& 4-beds 200K-500K. The large historic mansions sell btwn 500K-800K.
* Rentals are a bit limited but moderately priced. 1-beds lease around 1K, 2-beds in the low-mid $1,000s, 3 beds in the 2Ks.
* Decent # of schools ranked moderately well. Several large specialty high schools here.
* Excellent Tree canopy.
* Very good cultural amenities in East Ave including many restaurants, bars, & cafes. Also several theaters & live music venues, a handful of art galleries, and a concentration of the best museums in Rochester.
* Retail amenities include 2 supermarkets, a couple drug stores, a mix of chain and local retail. Chain retail is mostly along auto centric biz district and local retail in more urban biz districts. There are also several gyms, a rock claiming wall, and home good stores.
* Very safe district.
* Gorgeous historic architecture.

URBAN WEAKNESSES:

* Transit is only so . Rather disappointing for a neighborhood adjacent to Dwtn.
* A couple north-south dedicated bike lanes but not bike share yet. Apparently this will come soon.
* This is a very young and childless district. Very few families reside here. Racial diversity isn’t’ much better as around 80-85% of all households are white.
* The expansive Cobb’s Hill sits on the SE border of district. This an excellent park with lots of amenities but virtually no other parks exist within East Avenue. For most residents this isn’t walkable.
* Mix of quality urban form and auto centric form in the biz districts.
* Most in fill is auto centric buildings. But new MF apartments replacing the inner belt along Union (district’s western edge), and these are of some urban quality.
* Vibrancy along Park Avenue and East & Union but rest of neighborhood is pretty dead.

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