Plans Surface for Chapman House

A gracious mansion on Walnut in downtown Rochester may get another shot at life.

On February 6, the Rochester Planning Commission will take public comment on a developer’s plan to turn the Chapman House into a restaurant and retail space. Bentley Property Holdings LLC has submitted an application for special-project and site-plan approval. The development requires approval as a special project because a partial waiver of the parking requirement is requested.

The Italian Renaissance Revival house at 311 Walnut was built in 1911 by William Clark Chapman, an executive at Western Knitting Mills. Chapman also served as president of the Rochester Savings Bank and was president of the village of Rochester from 1893 to 1895. The 5,060-square-foot house most recently served as an interior design business.

The proposal calls for 1,590 square feet of retail space on the north end of the first floor. A waiting area would center the floor, and a restaurant would occupy the south side of the first floor and the entire second floor. The third floor would serve as office space; the back yard would provide garden dining and a gathering space. A pergola, garden wall and storage building are proposed.

The meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. at Rochester City Hall.

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