Inner Harbor

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

The latest projects slated for Syracuse’s Inner Harbor focus on education.  Gov. Andrew Cuomo joined county and city officials Tuesday to announce a state grant for the new SUNY Water Research and Educational Center.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

The Starwood group is now building two hotels in Syracuse’s Inner Harbor. Word of the second hotel came at the groundbreaking of the first.

With developers and dignitaries on hand for the groundbreaking of an Aloft Hotel in Syracuse’s Inner Harbor, Jeremy Cooper of Starwood Hotels made an announcement.

"In addition to this groundbreaking, another Starwood Hotel is being built right here in the Inner Harbor. The Element Syracuse Inner Harbor Hotel is expected to open in 2018," said Cooper.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

An upscale hotel chain has signed on as the first tenant in the redevelopment of Syracuse's Inner Harbor.

Starwood Hotels and Resorts announced Thursday that will build an $18 million, 130 room "Aloft" hotel at the former barge canal, as part of a larger redevelopment of the now rarely used site.

In all, COR Development is working on a $350 million overhaul of the site. It plans more commercial and residential space.

As Casey Crabill begins her new job as Onondaga Community College president this week, one of the first things she will consider is whether to establish a satellite campus in Syracuse's Inner Harbor.

Crabill says she'll discuss the idea with the board of directors noting that there are pros and cons to off-site campuses. A campus is included in drawings of the Inner Harbor project, but developers and OCC wanted to wait until Crabill came aboard before making a decision.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Syracuse City Hall is taking the next step in the development of the Inner Harbor. The Syracuse Industrial Development Agency has started the environmental review portion of the project, that would bring residential and commercial traffic to Syracuse's Inner Harbor.

scottwdw / via Flickr

Some of the money collected through the tax break agreement between the Destiny USA mega-mall and Syracuse will be used to try and win federal funding for Inner Harbor improvements. The Syracuse Industrial Development Agency (SIDA) has approved the use of $500,000 from Destiny payments to be part of a match for a federal grant the city is applying for.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Senator Charles Schumer is hoping some federal dollars will help keep the Inner Harbor development project in Syracuse moving ahead.  He's personally requesting that the federal Economic Development Administration approve a $2 million grant for the project.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand did one of her bill-promoting swings through upstate New York on Friday. This one was for money to help cities redevelopment their once industrial waterfronts. The Democratic senator stopped in Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse to promote the Waterfront Brownfields Redevelopment Act.

Destiny USA

There's an old promotional video the developer behind the Destiny USA megamall released several years ago. It includes images of glass-enclosed golf courses, huge hotels and helicopter tours of upstate taking off from Syracuse's Inner Harbor.

Despite ending by promising "grand opening, summer 2004," you won't see any of that on the shores of Onondaga Lake today.

All you'll see is an even bigger mall - despite developer Robert Congel winning a 30-year property tax break worth about $600 million as an incentive from the city to build the Disney Land-like attraction.

scottwdw / via Flickr

For COR Development President Steve Aiello, Monday's vote by the Syracuse Common Council was a long time coming.

Aiello's firm was selected earlier this year to redevelop the city's Inner Harbor. Then it was granted a memorandum of understanding from the council in February.

But it wasn't until yesterday that the council officially voted in favor of Aiello's $350 million proposal.

QPK Design / via COR Development

(CORRECTION June 18th, 2 p.m.: The original version of this story incorrectly stated the estimated cost of environmental cleanup. That amount is roughly $12 million.)

The topic was the redevelopment of Syracuse's Inner Harbor, but it didn't take long for a councilor to bring up the elephant in the chamber: the failed expansion of Destiny USA.

But Steven Aiello, president of COR Development, didn't have much choice on the timing of his meeting with the Syracuse Common Council.

It was just last week that grand plans by the developer of Destiny USA were finally laid to rest.

Aiello isn't looking to build a mall, but councilors couldn't help but raise concerns. The proposed project is just down the road from what was once going to be Syracuse's Disney World.

Dougtone / via Flickr

New York’s Canal Corporation was 0 for 3 in its efforts to find someone interested in redeveloping Syracuse’s Inner Harbor.

Their last request for proposals, a few years back, garnered zero submissions.

But now, the City of Syracuse is in charge, after stepping up and asking to be put in charge of the project. And today the city made public its ambitious new plan to redevelop the harbor.