Neighborhood of Play: A new world-class neighborhood for a cohesive downtown community in Rochester, NY

Family-owned New York real estate development company Konar Properties is working with the Strong National Museum of Play and Indus Hospitality Group to create the Neighborhood of Play.




Rochester, NY

Family-owned New York real estate development company Konar Properties is working with the Strong National Museum of Play and Indus Hospitality Group to create the Neighborhood of Play — a new, world-class neighborhood tasked with creating a cohesive downtown community in Rochester, NY — with their housing development VIDA Apartments & Townhomes. This Konar property offers 200+ units of market-rent and affordable housing to the modern neighborhood, bringing the new World Video Game Hall of Fame, a national brand hotel, new restaurant & retail space, and more. 

Tasked with constructing and managing the five buildings of VIDA Apartments & Townhomes in a way that would appeal to incoming residents, Konar’s leadership called on their long-standing partner in property management solutions West Fire Systems, Inc, whose 30+ years in Building Systems has produced numerous successful partnerships with Konar. West Fire seeks to provide clients the best products, technical and design support, and customer service in the industry with system recommendations like AMAG Technology.

“The Neighborhood of Play development was a unique opportunity to completely transform part of downtown Rochester. As potential residents began considering their move, we put our trust in West Fire to recommend a security system that would make our tenants feel safe and comfortable, but also free to embrace the vibrant, modern lifestyle they were seeking.”

— Timothy B. Schmid, Director of Residential Properties, Konar Properties


The Challenge

West Fire was presented with a three-fold challenge to implementing VIDA’s unified building management system. 

Residential: With millennials being Konar’s target demographic, the company constructed housing that would appeal to all lifestyles — from young families to working professionals — while offering a tech-forward building security system residents would find modern, unobtrusive and a selling point for the high-end units. 

Access and Control: To prevent non-residents from the newly popular downtown area accessing VIDA’s buildings, the chosen system needed to allow for a regular flow of people for authorized entry/exit to residences, elevators, and amenities like fitness centers, rooftop decks, and more. To do so in a cost-effective manner, Konar wanted to minimize the number of different systems required while customizing control hubs throughout the five buildings.

Parking: An integrated system was needed to streamline facility access for residential users without requiring multiple fobs, codes, and other entry methods. 


West Fire Systems, Inc. and Konar agreed that AMAG’s Symmetry solution was the ideal solution for these challenges, offering versatile integration possibilities and tech-forward results that would impress VIDA residents.

Residential:  Appealing strongly to incoming tenants, Symmetry Blue Readers became a selling point of the project by allowing residents to access the building with their choice of phone or fob with a Bluetooth reader entry system. Many have commented on how impressed they are with the flexible method of entry during leasing tours. Residents can also now simply set a date for when they will be moving in or out, and management can wirelessly disable or enable their Bluetooth access as needed. To kick off installation, 32 initial readers have been incorporated, and Konar has plans to have over 120 readers total when implementation is complete. 

Access and Control: Solving the challenge of resident access and building management, West Fire implemented Symmetry Access Control, which offers an all-encompassing view of the property’s security program to give management a clear view of all building activity while allowing only authorized residents to come and go. Control panels were added to each building based on the number of doors as an easily customizable way to equip areas with exactly what they need. Symmetry EN1DBC+ single door controllers and Symmetry Blue Readers were brought in for buildings with just single exits, while the main building used Symmetry M2150 Control Panels and EN-2DBC’s door controllers to manage several doors. The mixture of controllers provides a flexible system design with cost savings. All systems between the buildings are also wirelessly connected and controlled via the Symmetry Access Control system, proving cost-effective.



Parking: To create one cohesive security system, the parking garage was connected back to residents’ Blue Reader authorization and allows entrance using a corresponding button that lifts the access gate. In addition to the garage, the fire system, monitored by a third party, has also been connected to Symmetry for an added layer of security. 

 “The unique flexibility offered by Symmetry ultimately allowed us to customize the security of each building to our client’s needs, creating a streamlined and effective solution. The performance of the Symmetry system has been excellent, and Konar is extremely happy with the choices we made for their property.”  

- Chuck Schramm, Sales & Engineer, West Fire Systems, Inc.

Looking Forward

The implemented Symmetry system has been popular with management and residents, so much so that Konar decided to replace an existing system in one of their other properties with Symmetry. West Fire Systems continues to offer security solutions for the expanding VIDA properties, where they will see the project to the finish line and work with AMAG to add Symmetry to the remaining three buildings.

Konar Properties continues alongside the other partners within Neighborhood of Play to make downtown Rochester the ideal place to play, live, work, dine, shop, learn, and build connections. West Fire has succeeded with AMAG in making Konar’s VIDA Apartments & Townhomes the perfect fit for the innovative area’s housing solutions — taking a security system need, which can often be seen as burdensome for users, and creating instead a sleek, innovative building management system that impresses tenants while still providing an essential service for the community.

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