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Environmental review of Inner Harbor project underway

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.

Ben Walsh, the city's economic development chief, says the city will begin holding a series of meetings and hearings this summer in accordance with the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act, known as SEQR.

"We certainly have studies that show there are environmental issues over there, but environmental issues aren't limited to what's in the ground," said Walsh. "Environmental issues can involve asthetics, impact on surrounding neighborhoods, traffic. There are a lot of elements of the environmental review that need to be considered."

He said those studies are key to allowing the development company to get shovels in the ground before the end of the year.

"SEQR is really the critical next step to proceed with, and once the SEQR process is complete it's going to allow COR [Development Company] to move forward with the construction," said Walsh.

The city picked the COR Development Company last year to redevelop the area that was once home to oil tanks and junk yards. Plans include a hotel, and residential and commercial properties.

COR has already done major site preparation, but there hasn't been much activity in awhile.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.