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Cor continues progress in Syracuse’s Inner Harbor

A "brewseum," condominiums and increased boating are just some of the new plans being made along Syracuse’s Inner Harbor. Cor Development is in charge of the $350 million project and has already built the Aloft Hotel in 2016 and more recently, the Iron Pier mixed-use building. The company has faced setbacks, but progress continues in the area.

Steve Aiello, Cor’s assistant director of finance and director of public affairs, said the four-story, brick Iron Pier building is meant to blend in with the surrounding neighborhoods. He said many of the one and two-bedroom apartments here are already leased out. 

“We got granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, full membership to the fitness center downstairs,” Aiello said.

Some of these apartments rent for as much as $2,000 a month. Iron Pier was built last year as a part of Cor’s ultimate vision to create a new neighborhood; an extension of downtown Syracuse.

“The occupancy rate downtown is quite high right now," Aiello said. "This is a new build. People like the urban feel. They’re very interested in waterfront living.”

Credit Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media
WRVO Public Media
Cor built the Aloft Hotel in 2016.

It’s been a long road for Cor to get to this point. The company was awarded the contract to develop the Inner Harbor from the city of Syracuse in 2012. The land used to be occupied by oil tanks and junk yards. Construction was delayed after Cor was caught up in legal battles with former Mayor Stephanie Miner’s administration. But Aiello dismissed that past. 

“We’re focused right now on moving forward with the project," Aiello said. "There’s a lot of momentum picking up right now. When you’re developing a new neighborhood, it takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight."

Aiello applied that same logic to the recent federal convictions of two Cor executives, one being his father, Steven Aiello, in corruption scandals unrelated to the Inner Harbor.

And plans are still big for the future. On the first floor of Iron Pier, a restaurant, beauty salon, and the Bullfinch Brewpub are expected to move in. The brewpub is teaming up with the Onondaga Historical Association to create a brewseum, showcasing the history of beer brewing in Syracuse. Designs are being finalized for condominium units along the waterfront and an office building. And this summer, the state Canal Corporation completed dredging of the Inner Harbor so it's navigable for boats.

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.