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After recent murder, Syracuse takes action against dirty, dangerous apartment building

Tom Magnarelli
WRVO Public Media
Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh outside City Hall Tuesday

The city of Syracuse is taking action against the owner of what’s being described as a filthy and dangerous apartment building. Skyline Apartments is also the location of the recent murder of a 93-year-old woman.

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh went on an inspection of the building last week and what he saw and heard, he said, will stick with him forever; things no one should be subjected to.

“Human feces, needles, urine throughout the stairwells,” Walsh said. “With multiple elevators regularly inoperable, people had no other choice than to use those stairwells and subject themselves to inhumane conditions.”

Walsh said tenants he spoke with want the property owner held accountable, but don’t want to leave, saying this used to be a nice place to live.

The city is serving Green National, the owner and property manager, a nuisance abatement notice to the common areas and stairwells. Green National is owned by Tim Green, the former Syracuse University and NFL football player, and his son. The notice compels Green to make security upgrades like 24/7 security inside, new locking systems and cameras, or face new fines, receivership and criminal charges.

A petition is being filed in state Supreme Court for all of Green's open code violations. And the city has also designated the common areas as unfit for occupancy, which prompted Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon to withhold all Temporary Assistance rental payments from the owner, until the issues have been resolved.

Walsh said the problems going on at Skyline are not new. It’s become a haven for drugs, weapons and violence over the years.

“There is no more time for second, third, fourth, fifth chances,” Walsh said. “The time for change is now.” 

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.