Webster has nearly all the key ingredients to become a major employment center within the Greater Rochester region. Yet, for the better part of 50-years it has lacked two significant elements critical to the success of modern industrial zones: a vision, and a strategy to communicate the vision.
The historic non-existence of a central or unifying vision for the future of Webster’s industrial zone is the function of several realities:
• Much of the physical plant,was designed and constructed during the 1960’s and 1970’s as a single campus for a single user (Xerox) and thus does not readily lend itself to a highly marketable or adaptive reuse;
• As current majority property owner, Xerox Corporation has no definitive business need to develop a publicized vision for its holdings;
• The community has informally adopted the stance that private enterprise and the marketplace are best suited to determine the future of the Webster’s industrial areas.
Until now, the marketplace had little compelling reason to explore Webster’s industrial potential. To successfully compete with other regional sites, Webster’s public and private partners have begun working together to establish a unified vision on what the future of industry could look like and how it fits into the broader context of the community. As it matures, this vision will be supplemented by a set of guiding principles to help direct and encourage land use decisions, adaptive reuse strategies, and capital investments that create unique environments and a sense of place within the broader region.