Constellation Brands to Establish Headquarters in Downtown Rochester

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that Constellation Brands, a leading beverage alcohol company, will relocate its headquarters, currently based in Victor, Ontario County to the historic Aqueduct Building located along the Genesee River in downtown Rochester. The Fortune 500® company will invest approximately $50 million to renovate five buildings on the Aqueduct campus located between East Main and Broad streets, across from Blue Cross Arena at the Community War Memorial. Purchased in March of 2020, the property developers plan to invest an additional $30 million at the 170,000 square-foot riverfront campus. The transformative project will also involve the construction of a 120-space parking structure, and qualified historic restoration of the Aqueduct buildings’ windows and other architectural features. Constellation Brands expects to create more than 80 new local jobs as part of the project in addition to the more than 340 jobs that will move to the Aqueduct location, while roughly 200 employees will continue to be based out of the Canandaigua office. The company expects to be operational at the historic waterfront facility In the Spring of 2024.

“Constellation Brands’ exciting decision to expand its regional operations and establish its new headquarters in downtown Rochester will help to further advance our efforts to create new, good-paying jobs and a thriving city center,” Governor Kathy Hochul said. “Downtown Rochester’s Innovation Zone is already home to some of the most talent-rich companies in the world. This transformative project at the historic Aqueduct Building will also help to maximize our $50 million ROC The Riverway efforts, which are reimagining and transforming the waterfront along the beautiful Genesee River, helping Rochester to thrive for generations to come.”

Founded more than 75 years ago in the city of Canandaigua, Ontario County Constellation Brands, with close to 9,000 employees worldwide,  is one of the fastest-growing large CPG companies in the U.S. at retail, and a leading international producer and marketer of iconic beer, wine, and spirits brands such as Corona Extra and Modelo Especial beer brands, and high-quality premium wine and spirits brands, including the Robert Mondavi brand family, Kim Crawford, The Prisoner brand family, SVEDKA Vodka, Casa Noble Tequila, and High West Whiskey. The company also maintains an interest in the emerging cannabis industry.

“We believe the Aqueduct campus is a great headquarter location for our growing company providing our employees a modern work environment that will continue to foster collaboration within the company and the community,” Bill Newlands, President and chief executive officer, Constellation Brands said. “We look forward to contributing to the economic development and job creation of the Rochester area for years to come.”

 “We have been a proud member of the Rochester community and surrounding area for more than 75 years and are excited to continue our commitment in supporting Rochester’s urban revitalization efforts,” Rob Sands, executive chair of Constellation’s Board of Directors said.

The state and city will expedite the Aqueduct Reimagined project adjacent to the new headquarters campus to align with Constellation Brands’ renovation plans and anticipated move in date. The Aqueduct Reimagined project is the centerpiece of the “ROC The Riverway” initiative and will remove the vehicular bridge deck on Broad Street, which was added in 1927, exposing the original aqueduct framework that was constructed in 1836 at its original elevation, dramatically opening up the views of the river and potential trail connections in the downtown river corridor. Work is expected to begin in mid-to-late 2022 and will start with utility upgrades that most directly impact the Aqueduct campus.

New York State is providing up to $9 million to facilitate the crucial initial infrastructure upgrades required on the Aqueduct campus. The City of Rochester will receive a $5 million Upstate Revitalization Initiative grant for the public infrastructure improvements to begin the initial construction phase of the Aqueduct Reimagined project. Empire State Development is also providing up to $4 million to Constellation Brands through the Excelsior Jobs Tax Credit program in exchange for job creation commitments. Monroe County, Rochester Gas & Electric, The Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce and Greater Rochester Enterprise are also assisting with the transformative project.

The aqueduct transformation will further catalyze the momentum already underway in downtown Rochester thanks to the “ROC the Riverway” initiative. The 13 selected phase one projects, funded by a $50 million Finger Lakes Forward Upstate Revitalization Initiative grant, aim to revolutionize the area surrounding the Genesee River and unlock the potential of Rochester’s waterfront. To date, all targeted projects are either in the design phase, under construction, or have been completed. These projects include the incredibly successful community ROC City Skate Park, which was built under the I-490 Fredrick Douglass-Susan B, Anthony Bridge. Constellation Brands new headquarters will also be located within Rochester’s Downtown Innovation Zone, which is now home to almost 200 innovative, high-tech companies.

Empire State Development Chief Operating Officer and Executive Deputy Commissioner Kevin Younis said, “Rochester’s Downtown Innovation Zone is the perfect home for Constellation Brands new headquarters. It is already home to some of the worlds’ most talent rich companies. The Aqueduct Reimaged project will further catalyze the rebirth of the city’s center, already rebounding thanks to the “ROC The Riverway” initiative, which is fueling economic momentum for the entire Finger Lakes region.”

Senator Chuck Schumer said, “Constellation Brands is popping the cork on a new era in downtown Rochester’s development with its decision to add jobs and expand in the City of Rochester.  The historic Aqueduct campus that once overlooked the spot that gave rise to the Flour City – the intersection of the historic Erie Canal at the Genesee River – is now at the heart of downtown’s Innovation Zone and will once again be a growth driver thanks to Constellation Brand’s investment.  I applaud Constellation, Governor Hochul, and everyone who contributed to bring this development to fruition.”

Senator Kristin Gillibrand said, “Constellation Brands is a global leader in the beverage industry and I am proud to welcome the company to City of Rochester.This relocation will revitalize the city center by investing millions into the local economy, creating more than 80 new jobs and shifting 340 more to this location. I will continue fighting for investments that draw world-class corporations to New York and help Rochester continue to grow and thrive.”

Congressman Joe Morelle said, “Today marks an exciting step forward in our work to revitalize Rochester’s downtown corridor and strengthen our regional economy. Not only will this project bring new jobs to our community, but as part of the ROC the Riverway initiative, it will also breathe new life into the area around our historic waterfront area. I am grateful to Governor Hochul for her dedication to creating economic opportunity and I thank Constellation for their continued commitment to investing in the future of the Rochester community.”

Senator Jeremy Cooney said, “This is monumental! The relocation of Constellation Brands to downtown Rochester is symbolic of renewed energy along our urban Genesee Riverway. We thank Governor Hochul and Constellation Brands for believing in our center city and for helping to create a more vibrant place to work.”

Assemblymember Harry Bronson, Chair, Assembly Committee on Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce and Industry said, “The Rochester downtown district has chalked up a big win today. The revitalization of downtown is gaining momentum thanks to Governor Hochul, our local economic development team and government partners. We all have watched Constellation Brands grow at a rapid pace over the years into the CPG powerhouse it has become. More jobs, more investment and more commitment equal more opportunity for the people of Rochester. Having a global business leader establish its world headquarters in the historic Aqueduct Building helps elevate our great city as a thriving economic engine in New York State.”

Assemblymember Demond Meeks said, “I am pleased to welcome Constellation Brands, a well-regarded and prominent business, to downtown Rochester. Our city has been in dire need of revitalization and meaningful investments. I am grateful for the economic opportunity this presents by providing good-paying jobs for members of our community. This is an opportunity for those seeking a career closer to home.” 

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said, “By moving their global headquarters to Rochester, Constellation Brands recognizes the benefits of doing business in Monroe County and the opportunities we offer to innovate, grow and recruit new talent. This $82 million investment reinforces our position as a hub for cutting-edge leadership in food and beverage manufacturing. I’m proud to welcome Constellation to the Aqueduct Building and look forward to the continued transformation of our city center through the ROC the Riverway initiative. I thank Gov. Hochul, Empire State Development and the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council for their support of the Downtown Innovation Zone. I also thank Rob Sands and the entire Constellation team, including Bill Newlands, Garth Hankinson, Tom Kane and Jim Bourdeau for choosing Rochester as their company’s new home.”

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren said, “Today is a turning point in our city’s history. Constellation Brands bringing their headquarters downtown and the re-watering of the Broad St. Aqueduct make it clear that we are creating an exciting new future for Rochester. It will be an era of growth that we can all believe in and take part in. I am grateful to Governor Hochul, the Sands family and all of the Constellation team who made today possible. Welcome home!”

Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Committee Co-Chairs, Bob Duffy, President and CEO of Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, and SUNY Geneseo President Denise Battles said, “”The Regional Council remains committed to assisting with the continued revitalization of the city center. Constellation Brands’ decision to support that vision will help in our dedicated work to establish a reimagined foundation for Rochester, helping to guide it into an even more prosperous future. Through this move, this successful, historic company is reinforcing that the council’s targeted, strategic community investments are indeed fueling the regional economy.”

Carl A. Taylor, President and CEO of NYSEG and RG&E said, “RG&E is proud to play a role in the revitalization of downtown Rochester and the redevelopment along the Genesee River. One of the many ways we care for our community is by providing a variety of assistance through our economic development programs. We have been a strategic partner of ROC the Riverway since its inception and are excited to have Constellation Brands join the downtown scene. We look forward to collaborating with them throughout the project.” 

Matt Hurlbutt, President and CEO, Greater Rochester Enterprise said, “Constellation Brands’ commitment to create jobs and expand its operations in the city of Rochester, NY, reinforces our region’s exceptional talent, especially in the ability to run an outstanding beverage manufacturing company. In addition, Constellation Brands will serve as a magnet to attract talent and other companies to the heart of the Rochester Downtown Innovation Zone.”

ROC2025 President and CEO, Joseph Stefko said, “Constellation Brands’ exciting announcement is yet another transformational step forward for Downtown Rochester. The redevelopment of the landmark Aqueduct Campus into Constellation’s corporate headquarters builds on a host of existing downtown projects, most notably ROC the Riverway, and will serve as a catalyst for even more vitality in our region’s hub. The economic impact of this project, both in terms of the new jobs it will create and the place making it will contribute to on the waterfront, will be significant and long-lasting. I am grateful to Constellation for their vision and longstanding commitment to our region, and to all the partners that have made this a reality.”

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