Syracuse Officials Question Future of Vacant Buildings

Oswego, NY – New York State, the city of Syracuse and a private landowner continue to struggle with what to do about a crumbling building along Route 81 in downtown Syracuse.

The threat of the building's collapse forced the state to close Route 81 North in the area.

According to Syracuse City official Paul Driscoll, the building is one of about 60 vacant or under-used commercial buildings in the city.

Driscoll said the city does not know how many of these buildings are in as poor a shape as the building along Route 81.

"These 60 buildings, there's no structural assessment on them and we don't really have a handle per-say on the actual structural integrity of these buildings," said Driscoll.

Driscoll said Syracuse is trying to encourage building owners to take advantage of generous tax breaks to fix up their buildings.

He said the city set aside $1 million this year to tear down buildings that can't be saved.

According to Driscoll, there's never going to be enough money for the city to buy endangered buildings and fix them up.