Village gate press release:

Stern Properties Announces Renovations to Village Gate Square

- Revitalizing Rochester’s Unique Mixed-Use Community, Bringing a Total of 200 New Jobs-


ROCHESTER, NY - (February 5, 2013) ─ Stern Properties announces its plans to renovate Village Gate Square due for completion in May 2013. With a long history in Rochester, Village Gate Square is a mixed-use community featuring locally owned restaurants & cafés, “boutique” businesses, art galleries, theatres, loft-style apartments, modern chic offices and an outdoor courtyard. It is located in the heart of Rochester’s Neighborhood of the Arts (NOTA) and ARTWalk Rochester. Gary Stern, founder of Stern Properties and owner, developer of Village Gate Square, converted the property in 1981, a $10,500,000 rehabilitation project, turning it into a mixed-use development. The Village Gate was formerly home to Stecher –Truang Litographic Company, one of the world’s largest lithographic plants.


Stern Properties is working energetically to make this walking neighborhood a destination once again by taking advantage of resources that were already in place and pumping vitality back into the mixed-use community. Commercial businesses and eateries will be on the ground floor, which opens to an outdoor courtyard. The upper floors house chic modern offices, art galleries, theatres and loft-style apartments. 


“We are applying the measures necessary to sustain the existing integrity of the old factory complex while preserving its cultural character,” said Kathy Capierseho, Leasing Manager at Stern Properties. “The Village Gate Square was designed as a pedestrian-only precinct for arts, culture and entertainment, offering locally and independently owned businesses. It will continue to exist as such.”


Approximately 150 jobs were created at The Village Gate Square in 2012 as a result of Stern Properties’ plans to renovate the mixed-use space, including the employment of City residents. Stern Properties projectsanother 50 new jobs will be created in 2013.

Interior improvements to the mixed-use space include: 

A full renovation to the 20,000 square foot retail space and 50,000 square foot residential and commercial space

Removing the drop ceilings and sanding woodwork to the existing beams from the turn of the century building 

Removing carpeting building-wide and grinding down the floors to the original cement, restoring the industrial feel

New storefront, restaurant and office space façade (glass and aluminum) 

A new 25’ x 10’ exhibit space will be created to display commissioned local artwork 

The second floor atrium will become a venue for corporate events, weddings and privateparties that can accommodate up to 250 guests for a sit-down meal.  

Exterior improvements include: 

A sculpture of Rochester's ARTWalk, called "Needle and Spindle," located at the front of 274 N. Goodman St.  It is the work of California artist, Cliff Garten, and represents the areas textile factories from decades ago.

Improvements to the Courtyard including expanded outdoor seating for the eateries, heat lamps, and improved lighting and landscaping.

The Village Gate Square front ‘gate’ is now semi-closed in protection of the (pedestrian only) “walking neighborhood.’


Village Gate Square is thriving once again. Stern Properties has recruited popular eateries that serve as the anchors of Village Gate Square. The seven restaurants include: California Rollin’, Dark Horse Cafe, Espada Brazilian Steak House, Gate House Cafe, Lento, Salena’s, and Vibe Lounge. Recently added businesses include The Black Radish Studio (opened in 2012), Nitty Gritty Hair & Waxing Parlor (opened on Jan 4th), Get Caked (to open in February), and Rochester’s Brainery (scheduled to open on March 1st).Wosa Natural Products, Yankee Clipper House of Cards, Mythic Treasures, and Huddleston & Boyle Photography expanded into larger spaces, while others businesses remaining put in their existingspace. Huddleston & Boyle Photography’s business flourished since moving into the Village Gate six months ago creating the need to relocated into a space three times the size of their original space. Amongst the newly recruited and existing businesses many are woman-owned.  


There is a remaining 5,000 square feet of commercial space available for lease in the Village Gate which can be broken down into multiple spaces or left as is. The owner, Gary Stern, is looking to recruit businesses that compliment “one stop shopping and living under one roof” categories. He is particularly interested in recruiting a clothing store and a food market, but certainly is not limited to these categories. Currently, the loft apartments are at full capacity with a wait-list. 

Among the inspired changes taking place at Village Gate Square, several communityrelated events are underway: the premiere of NOTA Fest in the fall, Nami Walks in support for people affected by mental illness, and RocCity Design lectures and events. Village Gate Square will also host shows and art festivals such as ‘First Fridays’ and ‘Second Saturdays,’ the ‘Toy & Collectibles Show,’ ‘May Day Crafts’ and ‘Evenings at The Gate’ with entertainment in the Courtyard featuring local talent. 

“There simply is no other mixed-use community in Rochester that combines history, art, culture, entertainment and a modern lifestyle, and in the heart of the “Neighborhood of the Arts,” added Capierseho. "The overall renovations will have a significant impact on what we can now offerpatrons and residents of Village Gate Square.” 
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