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New grocery store in struggling Syracuse neighbhorhood expected to get tax agreement

Tom Magnarelli
The site along South Avenue in Syracuse where a new Price Rite might open.

The Syracuse Industrial Development Agency has approved a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes or PILOT deal for a Price Rite grocery store to be built on the city’s southwest side. The area being developed has been described as a “food desert” for decades and the grocery store is meant to give people access to healthy and affordable fresh food.

In a show of the different levels of government coming together, Ben Walsh, the executive director of the Syracuse Industrial Development Agency, said the grocery store is moving forward thanks to help from the state, county and city.

“The goal obviously is to ensure that as many people as possible that live in the surrounding neighborhoods are working on the project,” Walsh said.

Walt Dixie of Jubilee Homes, the developer of the project, said they will meet and exceed 30 percent minority-owned business employment on the new jobs. If everything goes through, 50 construction jobs, 75 part-time jobs and ten full-time jobs would be created.

“I hope that this is just the first step of state, county and city, strategically aligning its resources to set aside businesses to come in these areas and address the poverty,” Dixie said.

The PILOT agreement would freeze the current tax assessment on the property for seven years and then three years after that, the rate would go up to the improved value. It is expected to pass when the Syracuse Common Council votes on the PILOT agreement Monday. Construction on the $5.3 million project is expected to begin in the spring.

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.