SU bookstore project will meet deadline to keep tax break

Dec 17, 2013

The developer behind a new bookstore and fitness center for Syracuse University will meet its construction deadline and get to keep tax breaks from the city.

Tom Valenti of the Cameron Group says they’ll break ground this week on the facility, which will be located just off of SU’s campus. They had until Friday to do so or lose the 30-year property tax break it won from the city in August 2012.

Valenti says making changes requested by the university took longer than expected.

"That’s the real estate development business," he said after Tuesday's Syracuse Industrial Development Agency (SIDA) meeting where he delivered the news. "Whatever you think takes a month takes six months, whatever you think takes six months takes a year. It’s just the nature of the game."

The developer will build the complex and then rent it out to Syracuse University. Last summer It successfully convinced the city after years of negotiations it needed the 30-year tax break in order to make the project financially viable. Some economic development officials and elected leaders scoffed at giving such a lengthy deal into an economically strong part of the city.

Syracuse’s economic development agency had warned the developer last month its time was running out. It had already bent the one-year deadline for beginning work. The agency again expressed its frustration with the project delay. Cameron Group won't get "another bite of the apple" SIDA chairman Bill Ryan told Valenti.