downtown Syracuse


Mon July 14, 2014
Regional Coverage

Schumer says Whole Foods considering downtown Syracuse location

Less than two weeks ago, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) vowed to help attract a grocery store to Syracuse’s Armory Square neighborhood. Monday, he announced that the trendy organic grocer Whole Foods has returned his call.

“They are interested in Armory Square. And they are going to visit -- myself, the mayor and representatives of Whole Foods -- in the fall,” said the senator.

Schumer says one thing that has grabbed Whole Foods attention is that the only other store in upstate New York, in Albany, has exceeded its sales projections.

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Thu July 3, 2014

City seizes Hotel Syracuse through eminent domain

Ryan Delaney WRVO

The City of Syracuse has used legal channels to take control of the Hotel Syracuse after several efforts to redevelop the historic downtown lodging site have failed.

Syracuse and its economic development arm, the Syracuse Industrial Development Agency, transferred title of the property to the site's developer, Ed Riley.

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Thu July 3, 2014

Schumer puts out the call for a downtown Syracuse supermarket

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., hold up a symbolic checklist for downtown Syracuse's needs.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

As the number of people living downtown continues to grow, so does the need for a grocery store in the neighborhood. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., says he can help lure one to the central business district.

Schumer says the heads of major chains will listen to him. He's reaching out to a number of chains, like Tops and Whole Foods, to try to convince them to locate downtown.

Many officials and residents say that as the neighborhood become more residential, a place to buy groceries is needed.

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Thu June 19, 2014
Regional Coverage

Downtown Syracuse's boom is led by residential development

A view of South Salina Street in downtown Syracuse.
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.

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Tue May 6, 2014

'Busting at the seams,' Syracuse Co-op eyes downtown expansion

Jeremy DeChario, general manager of the Syracuse Real Food Co-op, at the market.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Downtown Syracuse could gain a grocery store in the near future, thanks to a market from a different part of town.

The Syracuse Real Food Co-op has been a fixture of the University area neighborhood for four decades. And business has been good.

"We do way higher, like four-times, the industry standard for sales-per-square feet. We are literally busting at the seams," said Syracuse Real Food Co-Op General Manager Jeremy DeChario.

Their small space makes growing any more nearly impossible, he said, but the grocery store has set its sights on downtown.

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Fri May 2, 2014

New Syracuse sports stadium is still possible

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner's stadium task force discusses the prospect of a new stadium.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

The sports stadium expert advising Syracuse University in the recent debate over building a new stadium on Syracuse’s east side, says the future of a stadium for Syracuse sports is still under discussion. The urgency of the plan now is nowhere near what it was earlier this year, when a potential pot of state money could have become available.

Irwin Raij, of Foley and Lardner, the law firm SU hired as a consultant, says the stadium study conducted late last year was worth it for a couple of reasons.

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Wed April 30, 2014
Regional Coverage

Where an Interstate 81 tunnel through Syracuse could go

An artist rendering of what Almond St. in downtown Syracuse could look like with Interstate 81 tunneled below it.
N.Y. Department of Transportation

A tunnel to replace Interstate 81's current elevated path through downtown Syracuse could take four possible routes through the city.

The New York Department of Transportation revealed tunnel options ahead of a meeting to explain all 16 possible variations of a new Interstate 81 in Syracuse. 

Interstate 81 runs from the Canadian border in the north to the Pennsylvania border in the south. The 50-year-old highway carries thousands of cars each day through Syracuse.

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Wed November 20, 2013
Regional Coverage

Sacred places symposium draws attention to churches impact on Syracuse

The Preservation Association of Central New York held the Sacred Places Symposium this past Saturday at St Paul's Episcopal Cathedral in downtown Syracuse.
Tom Magnarelli WRVO

Churches play a vital role in any community. A symposium was held on Saturday to raise awareness of the role church buildings play in downtown Syracuse, since both occupied and vacant properties impact the neighborhoods.

The Mission Restaurant in downtown Syracuse was built in the 1840s and used to be the Syracuse Wesleyan Methodist Church, which was part of the Underground Railroad. The Hotel Skyler on the Syracuse University campus was a synagogue before it was renovated with green energy and environmental design standards.

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Thu November 14, 2013
Regional Coverage

Scoping sessions highlight I-81's possible future

Visitors discuss possible options for I-81's future.
Tom Magnarelli WRVO

For five years, central New Yorkers have been talking about what should be done with an interstate viaduct that is reaching the end of its lifespan. The discussion is now formal, with the New York State Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration holding the first scoping session in Syracuse, meant to gather community input on the issue.

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Wed August 14, 2013
Politics and Government

Schumer calls for safer railcars to transport oil, ethanol

Senator Schumer was in Syracuse to discuss DOT-111 railcars. L to R: Commissioner of Emergency Management for Onondaga County, Kevin Wisely. Chairman of the Onondaga County legislature, Ryan McMahon. Senator Charles Schumer. Mayor Stephanie Miner.
Tom Magnarelli/WRVO

Sen. Charles Schumer is calling on the Department of Transportation to retrofit or phase out a specific type of railway car that carries crude oil and ethanol. The DOT-111 is the same kind of tank car as those that derailed and exploded in July in a small town in Quebec, killing 47 people and destroying 40 buildings.

Schumer spoke in front of a rail bridge near Armory Square in downtown Syracuse on Tuesday, where he says around 200 cars of oil and 100 cars of ethanol pass by everyday due to an increase in domestic energy production in the U.S.

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Fri August 9, 2013
Regional Coverage

Red Cross chapter moves into new Syracuse offices

The Red Cross of Central New York moved into a former auto dealer in downtown Syracuse this week.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

The large windows that now face out onto the 300 block of West Genesee Street in the early 1900's used to display expensive roadsters made by the Chalmers Motor Car Company in Syracuse. They now are part of the new offices of the Red Cross of Central New York.

That sense of history attracted the charity to the location when they needed a more practical office space than the former one at Herald Place.

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Mon June 10, 2013
Regional Coverage

Lawmakers block vote on Connective Corridor maintenance

The Syracuse Common Council tabled a vote on instituting a fee for Connective Corridor maintenance.
Connective Corridor

Concerns over tax increases for businesses along the Connective Corridor in Syracuse have derailed plans to keep the new infrastructure maintained.

When it was time to vote on creating a new Special Assessment District for the businesses on the eastern end of the Connective Corridor, Councilor Lance Denno tabled the resolution, essentially blocking a vote at today's meeting. He says some businesses would see their city tax bill double if this new district is created.

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Fri June 7, 2013

Deal announced to keep The Sound Garden in Syracuse

The Sound Garden, a new and used music shop, as been a staple of downtown Syracuse for several years.
elh70 via Flickr

It looks like The Sound Garden, a popular new and used music and videogame store in downtown Syracuse, will be staying put after all.

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner Friday afternoon announced a deal has been reached on proposed legislation that would exempt games, videos and music from the provisions of the city's new secondhand dealer law.

Those provisions had forced the owner of the store to make plans to close down the Armory Square fixture. The Sound Garden has a second location in Baltimore, Md.

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Fri May 17, 2013
Regional Coverage

Mayor Miner wants Hotel Syracuse redeveloped - one way or another

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner says the city isn't giving up on the latest proposal to renovate the Hotel Syracuse. A plan for the city to take over the tax delinquent property stalled last week when, Financitech, which holds the mortgage on the hotel, paid back taxes at the last minute.

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Tue May 14, 2013

Popular Syracuse ice cream shop sets up permanent shop downtown

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner gets the first licks of "Downtown Turnaround," an original oreo-coffe flavored ice cream concoction created by the new Gannon's Isle store downtown.
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.

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Wed March 20, 2013
Regional Coverage

A new plan to bring back the Hotel Syracuse

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) speaks in front of the Hotel Syracuse.
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Sen. Charles Schumer is bringing his influence to the latest plan to revive the Hotel Syracuse.  The Democrat senator believes a federal tax credit program would help draw investors that would be willing to spend the millions it would take to restore the Warren Street historic landmark.

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Tue March 5, 2013
Regional Coverage

Syracuse will seize troubled, vacant landmark property

A postcard image of the Mizpah Tower in downtown Syracuse.
Credit Boston Public Library / via Flickr

Syracuse will formally commence the foreclosure process on a long vacant downtown church, aiming to turn the historic building into another part of a downtown residential boom.

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Wed February 27, 2013
Regional Coverage

Potential buyer wants to turn Mizpah Tower into luxury apartments

CORRECTION March 4: Current Mizpah Tower owner Syracuse Bangkok, LLC. is $115,646.31 delinquent on taxes, according to the Onondaga County property tax database.

A potential new owner of the long-vacant Mizpah Tower in downtown Syracuse is hoping to satisfy a certain kind of rental market. 

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Wed January 23, 2013
Regional Coverage

Syracuse's effort to connect The Hill to downtown continues

The first phase of the Connective Corridor was completed in 2012 and includes a bike lane.
Credit Courtesy Connective Corridor

Red modern-looking street lamps, bright green bike lanes and smoothly paved roadways now stretch from Syracuse University to the edge of the city's downtown.

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Mon January 7, 2013
Regional Coverage

Syracuse's Mizpah Tower may have a new buyer

The Mizpah Tower, seen here in a postcard image, has a new suitor.
Credit Boston Public Library / via Flickr

A long-closed historic downtown Syracuse building may have a new buyer, as someone has triggered the foreclosure process on the Mizpah Tower.

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Fri October 5, 2012

Following the people, more stores call downtown Syracuse home

Downtown Syracuse has seen 24 new business open since October 2011, up from 13 the year before and nine the year before that.
aidypoos Flickr

Empty storefronts used to be a common site in downtown Syracuse, but now more are being leased out thanks in part to a growing demand from people to live in the city's urban center.

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Mon August 27, 2012
Regional Coverage

New CENTRO Transfer Center ready to open

On September 4, the face of downtown Syracuse will change, as the long awaited CENTRO Transfer Center will open.

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Tue July 24, 2012
NPR Cities: Urban Life In The 21st Century

A City Faces Its 'Berlin Wall': An Interstate Highway

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 12:25 pm

A sign for Interstate 81 sits under an overpass in Syracuse, N.Y. City officials and residents are debating what to do about an aging stretch of the highway that cuts through the city.
Zack Seward for NPR

Interstate 81 runs through the heart of Syracuse, N.Y., where a 1.4-mile-long elevated stretch of the highway is known locally as "the viaduct." Like many road projects built in the middle of the last century, I-81 is bumping up against the end of its life span. While officials say it's still safe to drive on, the highway is crumbling in parts.

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Tue July 10, 2012
Regional Coverage

Backhoe clears way for downtown Syracuse's Pike Block project

A backhoe demolishes the back of the Bond Building in downtown Syracuse for part of the Pike Block project.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

With the shove of a backhoe, work on a large downtown Syracuse renovation project took a step forward.

Construction crews yesterday began demolition work on part of the Bond Building on South Salina Street. The Bond Building is one of four being renovated by V.I.P. Structures for a project now being called the Pike Block, which encompasses the southwest corner of South Salina and Fayette Streets.

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Thu June 28, 2012
Regional Coverage

More improvement predicted for downtown Syracuse

A view from inside the Pike Block project on South Salina Street in Syracuse. The Downtown Committee highlighted it as one of several projects underway downtown.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Downtown Syracuse is benefiting from an increase in investments and an uptick in young people wanting to live in urban settings, according to the Downtown Committee.

The Downtown Committee, a booster organization for the city's urban core, held its annual meeting Thursday to highlight several recent and about-to-begin projects in the city.

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Tue May 22, 2012
Regional Coverage

Seniors are hopeful for a new downtown center

Some seniors are optimistic that a new senior center will rise in downtown Syracuse to replace the Ida Benderson Center that closed last fall due to budget cuts.

They're taking time to thank those who have helped them so far. Specifically, by serenading Syracuse common councilors.

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