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Backhoe clears way for downtown Syracuse's Pike Block project

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.

Developers - and economic development advocates - hope the project will be a big piece of downtown’s revitalization.

"For the city of Syracuse, this corner’s been ‘the right corner,'" says Dave Nutting, president of V.I.P. Structures. It’s kind of Main and Main here in Syracuse."

The buildings on the corner of Salina and Fayette Streets are being converted into apartments and street-level retail space. There will be more that 70 apartments spread throughout the four buildings, says Nutting.

The back of the Bond Building is being removed to make way for a shop-lined alleyway and courtyard that will connect South Salina Street with Armory Square.

The project will hopefully be done in about a year, says V.I.P's Charles Wallace Jr. Planning and prep work has already been going on for about three years.

The Bond Building was built in the late 1800s.