Public market, new apartments planned for vacant lot in downtown Syracuse

May 9, 2018

A public market and food hall is being planned in downtown Syracuse by the Allyn Family Foundation, which was associated with the medical device manufacturer Welch Allyn.  The new building is supposed to fit into the foundation's mission of community development.

Meg O’Connell, the executive director of the foundation, said the idea of a downtown public market has been floating around for years, but it has been difficult to get one organization to take the lead. 

“It came to a tipping point where the board of the Allyn Foundation said, we could do this," O'Connell said. "We could leverage the funds that we have and we could bring all the partners in together and create this great new entity in downtown Syracuse.”  

O’Connell said the food hall is not the traditional concept you would find in a mall.

“It could be Pakistani food, it could be a bagel place, anything that is a start-up for an entrepreneur," O'Connell said. "We would then partner with them to provide the space for them to launch their idea.”

The food hall would also include a commercial kitchen that could be rented out.

The new building would be located on a vacant lot on the corner of W. Onondaga St. and South Salina St.

"You've seen so much great vibrancy going downtown," O'Connell said. "But this corner, that is really the nexus for where you enter the southeast side of the city, as well as the southwest side of the city, is just kind of crying out for some development. There are clearly challenges with that site, but we felt really that that was part of our commitment to downtown to do it specifically on that site."

The building would also include new offices and 40 units of affordable, mixed income housing. The Allyn Family Foundation is partnering with CenterState CEO to create a new organization, Syracuse Urban Partnership, to own the building and run operations. The project costs more than $20 million and construction could begin next year.