Detroit Regional Chamber > Media Coverage > Constellation Brands Opens New Headquarters in Rochester, NY

Constellation Brands Opens New Headquarters in Rochester, NY

June 25, 2024

Photo credit: Andrea Deckert

Sandy K. Baruah on WHEC-TVSandy K. Baruah, Detroit Regional Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer, spoke with News10NBC about the new Constellation Brands headquarters in Rochester, NY and its similarities to the revitalization occurring in Detroit. News10NBC compared what happened to the Constellation Brands building to what’s been happening in Detroit, with Ford resurrecting the Michigan Central Train Station into a hub for new technology.  

Read what Baruah had to say about the importance of private investment in the News10NBC article below.

June 24, 2024
Berkeley Brean 

There is serious workplace envy inside the new Constellation Brands headquarters in downtown Rochester.

The building is located across Broad Street from the Blue Cross Arena. The most spectacular part of the building is the rooftop, which serves as a workspace for Constellation employees and offers one of the great downtown views.

Every inch of this historic riverfront building was redone after the company’s lease ended on their building in Victor and they decided to move to the city. They built it to draw employees back to work where those face-to-face meetings can spark new ideas. The hope is that this building also sparks new things downtown.

“More people walking the streets, going to activities after work, stopping at a local bar. Suddenly it all starts clicking again,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said. “That’s why this project matters so much at this time.”

“I think it’s important that we as a company recognize our roots here and that it is a bright future we expect for both our company and for the Rochester area,” said Bill Newlands, President and CEO of Constellation Brands.

The state gave $9 million in tax credits and incentives, while Constellation invested $50 million.

“We are welcoming the first Fortune 500 company in downtown Rochester in decades. In decades,” said Mayor Malik Evans.

Are the workers coming back to the new office? The company says yes, and having been inside the building, it’s easy to see why. On any given day, there will be 300 employees working at the new headquarters.

News10NBC Chief Investigative Reporter Berkeley Brean compared what happened to the Constellation Brands building to what’s been happening in Detroit. That city is on an incredible turnaround, and the key ingredient was private money.

“One of the things we’ve said all along and it’s certainly been the case during my tenure is we want to be active participants in the communities where we live and work,” Newlands said.

“So when you take a building like this like they’ve done in Detroit, re-invest it in the downtown core, it becomes a magnet for others,” Hochul said.

In the last 15 years, Detroit came out of bankruptcy and changed. For example, Ford just resurrected the Michigan Central Train Station into a hub for new technology.

The comparison can be apples to oranges. Detroit is a major league city with teams in all four major sports. It hosted the NFL Draft. And it has two legendary American companies – Ford and GM.

But Brean told the head of the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce what happened in Rochester.

“Listen, private investment is absolutely key. In fact, you can do what you want with philanthropy or government spending but until private investment is really able to step up and make a big difference the rest of it is frankly for not,” said Sandy Baruah, CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber. “The trick is with a company the size of Constellation, can that be used to leverage other private investment? Will other companies come?”

Constellation is here. They put $50 million into this place. Who’s next?

The mayor’s office said he told Constellation employees about all the events that happened downtown before the move from Victor. The stuff they can enjoy. He did not talk about safety and parking. The company dealt with that. Although, RPD in the area helps employees cross the street at the start and end of the workday.