HTR will occupy entire sixth floor, home of the former Sibley’s Tea Room

High Tech Rochester has officially closed on the purchase of its soon-to-be-new headquarters space in the historic Sibley Square in downtown Rochester.

HTR, currently headquartered in Henrietta, is expected to occupy the entire sixth floor space of the former Sibley’s department store, home of its once-popular tea room, by the end of the year. The move will coincide well with the organization’s 30th anniversary year; HTR was founded in October 1987.

“It’s been an incredible three decades for High Tech Rochester, and we’re excited to move into our new space, which will be the key to driving us forward for the next 30 years,” said HTR President and CEO Jim Senall.

“We are thrilled to welcome HTR in a move that will restore vibrancy to one of Rochester’s most iconic landmark buildings,” said Gilbert Winn, Chief Executive Officer at WinnCompanies. “HTR will not only breathe new life into Sibley Square, but will become the anchor of the new Downtown Innovation Zone, reinvigorating all of Main Street Rochester.”

In addition to serving as HTR’s new headquarters, the sixth floor will be home to dozens of high-growth potential tech startups.  The goal is to help launch 100 companies from this location within the first five years of operations, as well as for this location to serve a coordinating function to better integrate entrepreneurial services and programs from across the entire nine-county Finger Lakes Region.

Renovations on the HTR space are expected to start this summer, once a general contractor has been selected. Plans include a mix of private offices and co-working space, a 100-seat auditorium, a prototype lab, wet labs, multiple conference rooms, a kitchen/café, and other gathering spaces. Plans also call for an outdoor rooftop events area, which will be especially appealing to young start-up companies and their founders.

“All of the studies tell us that it’s critically important for HTR to be downtown to attract the types of entrepreneurs that we’re looking to support,” Senall said. “They want to live and work in the heart of the city, where they can walk and talk and be part of something bigger. Add in the fact that Sibley Square is a historic landmark, and that’s a huge bonus.”

WinnDevelopment, owner of Sibley Square, is in the midst of redeveloping the 1 million square feet building to a mixed-use property located in the heart of downtown Rochester. The $200 million project broke ground last year with an announcement of 96 luxury market-rate units on the 9th and 10th floors, retail on the Main Street level, office space in the mid-rise and active senior living apartment units on floors 11 and 12.

Federal New Market Tax Credits helped make this latest construction phase possible, thanks in large part to U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer.

A grand opening event for the new HTR headquarters is expected to take place later this year or in early 2018.

About High Tech Rochester

High Tech Rochester (HTR) is a non-profit whose mission is to help tech entrepreneurs launch successful companies, and to help established businesses increase revenues and profits.  HTR offers a suite of services that include: technology commercialization for very early stage opportunities; business incubation for high-potential startups; and growth consulting services for established companies.  Learn more at: www.htr.org.

About Sibley Square

WinnDevelopment is reshaping Downtown Rochester with a multi-year project to transform Sibley Square into a vibrant, mixed-use urban center, featuring the best apartment homes in Rochester, Class-A office space, green living, elegant landscaping, premier security systems and centralized transportation. From its opening in 1868 as the city’s first department store to its role in the downtown’s current renaissance, Sibley Square at the intersection of East Avenue and East Main Street has long been an iconic landmark, earning its spot on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. Learn more at www.thesibleybuilding.com.