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The Upstate Economy

Syracuse's south side gets one step closer to redevelopment of grocery store

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


The Syracuse Common Council voted unanimously in favor of the redevelopment of a grocery store on the city's south side. The vote comes after years of community organizers trying to entice the supermarket chain Price Rite, to open a new store on the property.

The nonprofit, Jubilee Homes, won approval from the Common Council to sponsor the development of Price Rite on  properties along South Avenue. Jubilee Homes, which redevelops housing on Syracuse's south and west sides, purchased the commercial building on South Avenue back in 2009, which was a former grocery store that closed down in 1970.


Walt Dixie, the executive director of Jubilee Homes, has been negotiating for years to get Price Rite to come in and has secured funding from the state, Onondaga County and the city to develop the property.


“Things have already been moving on the process as well as getting this project going, so we are excited," Dixie said. "I'm not ready to jump up and down real yet, until we sign that lease.”


The city of Syracuse is still completing the process of seizing 18 lots adjacent to the commercial building. That needs to happen before the Syracuse zoning office starts looking at the plans.


Paul Driscoll, the commissioner for the city's Department of Neighborhood and Business Development said three buildings will be demolished and a new addition of 10,000 square feet will be added to the existing building. Driscoll said the transfer of seized properties should happen within the next two weeks.


Credit Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News
Rich Puchalski.

Rich Puchalski is the executive director of the nonprofit Syracuse United Neighbors on the city's south and west sides and spoke at the Syracuse Common Council meeting.


“This is what we need on South Avenue and also the potential of over about a hundred jobs," Puchalski said. "We need this, drastically.”


Puchalski says local governments need to help more with developments in the city's struggling neighborhoods.


“Hopefully this is a turnaround, something that we can look forward to," Puchalski said. "Not those corner stores where we turn in complaints about cocaine that can be purchased over the counter.”