downtown revitalization

Rome Capitol Theatre Facebook

The city of Rome will receive $10 million from the state for new downtown economic development projects. The city was one of the winners of the second round of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative. 

Cuomo announced Rome’s prize like an award ceremony.

“I’m going to open the envelope and find out, because they don’t tell me what the actual answer is," Cuomo said. "Congratulations Rome, you have won first place, which is $10 million.”

Payne Horning / WRVO News

New York state has announced what projects it will fund as part of the $10 million prize Oswego won last year in the state's Downtown Revitalization Competition.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Progress is mixed on some redevelopment projects in downtown Syracuse. The Redhouse Arts Center is moving forward with construction in the old Sibley’s department store as part of a larger restoration of the building.

Workers are closing off a wall with cinder block tiles in what will be the Redhouse’s new 350-seat main stage theater in what used to be the Sibley’s warehouse. A concrete ceiling was cut out to raise the room’s height to 25 feet so rigging equipment can drop in set pieces.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Watertown leaders are pressing forward with their goal to transform the city's downtown area despite losing out on Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) competition last year. Plattsburgh ultimately captured the $10 million grant in the North Country region. But Watertown officials say that's not stalling the city's momentum.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Oswego officials are putting the final touches on their plan to transform the city's downtown with a $10 million state grant. It includes a mix of commercial, residential and aesthetic additions that city officials think will make downtown Oswego a destination place for residents and tourists.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow is leading an effort to update the city's zoning code. He says the current system is antiquated and redundant. So Barlow is asking the council to spend $105,000 for a Syracuse-based law firm to rewrite the code, making it more business friendly.

Oswego Common Council President Eric VanBuren says this overhaul has been on his to do list for awhile and now is the perfect time to get it done.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

A $12 million renovation is underway at the Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Syracuse. The cathedral has many maintenance problems similar to what other older churches face in the city.

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

Oswego Common Council President Shawn Walker calls 2016 the most productive year for the city he's seen in his nine years on the council. The city's leaders tackled several issues in the past year that had previously been kicked down the road.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Upstate Medical University moved 340 employees to a new location in downtown Syracuse bringing their downtown workforce to about 400. Businesses are also moving downtown as part of a revitalization of the district.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Oswego residents had their first chance to provide input on the city's downtown revitalization project last week. Dozens of residents and community leaders came out to the city's first public meeting last week to help shape the direction of the project.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

In addition to cutting more than a dozen jobs from Oswego's fire and police services at its Monday meeting, the city's common council also eliminated the entire planning and zoning department. 

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The city of Oswego has won the state's Downtown Revitalization Initiative award for the central New York region. The competition gives $10 million to 10 communities throughout New York.

In Oswego Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo congratulated Oswego's leaders for developing what he called a smart plan that can help a city and region scarred by the loss of manufacturing.

Jason Smith / WRVO News (file photo)

The Oswego Common Council approved a plan Monday from Mayor Billy Barlow to offer free wireless internet service in the city's downtown by a vote of 5-2. Several citizens spoke in favor of free WiFi ahead of the meeting, but some councilors were concerned about the price of the project and how soon it came up for a vote.

The costs for the first year would run $42,500 thousand dollars and nearly $30,000 each year thereafter. Barlow said the price is justified, calling free WiFi an essential amenity to modernize the city.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

City officials and area leaders in Oswego are putting together an application for Gov. Andrew Cuomo's downtown revitalization initiative competition that will award $10 million to 10 New York communities.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Onondaga County’s Central Library, located in downtown Syracuse, has been undergoing an $8 million renovation as part of an effort to update and modernize the library for the 21st century, while taking advantage of downtown’s revitalization.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The Downtown Committee of Syracuse is celebrating its 40th birthday. The group that was created in 1975 is watching over a neighborhood that’s dramatically changed.

The race for mayor in Watertown heats up

Jun 16, 2015
Julia Botero / WRVO News

The race for mayor in Watertown is heating up. Three candidates have thrown their hat in the ring to run against incumbent Jeff Graham in November's election. 

Stephen Jennings, Joseph  Butler and Mayor Jeffrey Graham work together on a weekly basis. Both Jennings and Butler are city council members.  Both believe the city needs a new leader at the top.

“There is no vision to me. That is my great frustration and I feel that the things I envision are not going to be enacted in this current council. I think we need a change,” Jennings said.

Julia Botero / WRVO

If you drive into downtown Watertown now, the first thing you won't see is Mercy Hospital.

“It look like a bomb went off. Ground zero," says Watertown resident Sean Johnson. He was walking by the debris that used to be Mercy Hospital. Developers plan to turn the site into a mixed use building with apartments on top and retail and commercial space below.

“That's great. Reuse the property to something like that. It will help Watertown get back on track and get business downtown," said Johnson.

 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Downtown Syracuse is in the midst of a multi-million dollar development boom. Much of this development is fueled by people who want to live downtown.

There are signs of construction all along the 300 block of South Salina Street in Syracuse. Downtown Committee executive director Merike Treier says today’s downtown has changed a lot in the last decade.

Work begins on Watertown's Woolworth building

Dec 5, 2013
Joanna Richards

Work has begun to revive a long-vacant eyesore at the center of downtown Watertown.

Work begins soon to bring Watertown landmark back to life

Nov 19, 2013
Joanna Richards

The state of Watertown's historic Woolworth building tells you a lot about the health of the city. And for years, the message hasn't been good. But the vacant eyesore is on track to re-emerge as evidence of the downtown's steady improvement.   

If you put a nose to the building's front window, you can see the story of decline. A big vault door surrounded by moldy clothing shows how a grand bank lobby gave way to a junk shop. And even that business is long gone. Water drips from the ceiling, pooling onto a mess of old merchandise on the floor.

Gino Geruntino/WRVO

The steady loss of manufacturing jobs in upstate cities has caused a similar decline in their downtown areas. But cities like Syracuse are hoping to change that perception through art revitalization projects aimed at promoting the city's center while beautifying neighborhoods.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

An ice cream icon in Syracuse has become the latest business to join in the revitalization of downtown Syracuse. Gannon's Isle has opened up a permanent store in the Dey's building, on the corner of South Salina and Jefferson Streets.