This mid-sized, Upstate New York metropolis has had to reinvent itself a couple of times. As a stop on the old Erie Canal, it became one of America’s first boom towns, and the biggest flour producer in the nation. Later, it became an important center of optical innovation with Eastman Kodak, Bausch and Lomb, and Xerox all locating there.
Today, many smaller businesses have picked up the slack from layoffs at the old corporations, according to Sandy Parker, CEO of Rochester’s Business Alliance. It’s also a center for higher education, with the University of Rochester — the town’s biggest employer — and the Rochester Institute of Technology in the area.
Propping up the city’s housing market is a large supply of good, affordable homes. The median home price is just $125,000, while the median family income here is more than $64,000.
Prices were so low even during the housing market boom that the bust has had little impact. Parker said foreclosures have not been a problem. Indeed, RealtyTrac, the marketer of foreclosed properties, reports the metro area ranks 196th among 206 housing markets for foreclosure filings.
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