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The Upstate Economy

Syracuse receives a $10 million revitalization grant

WRVO News (file photo)

The city of Syracuse is one of the most recent recipients of New York state’s latest economic investment fund known as the Downtown Revitalization Initiative. Through this, the city will receive a $10 million grant which can go toward a number of development projects.

“This is economic development, investing in real estate, there's placemaking opportunities where you can do infrastructure, public art, and there's certainly a walkability and kind of neighborhood quality of life feel,” said Eric Ennis, the city’s Deputy Commissioner of Business Development.

He said the city plans to invest these funds in building up the southwest corridor of the city, most well-known for the Marriott Hotel Syracuse and the Salt City Market. Ennis also wants to work on creating more walkability from that area to other sectors of the city.

“There's a lot of auto-centric or car-centric areas where walkability is very challenging,” said Ennis. “We really want to focus hard on better linking those neighborhoods.”

He also said they want to build up the area around West Onondaga Street and South Avenue.

“We also believe that there's a lot of opportunity for new business investment, job growth, and then even hopefully, placemaking opportunities, like public art,” he said.

Merike Treier, the executive director of the Downtown Committee of Syracuse, said that this development won’t happen overnight, but these funds allow them the ability to start the planning process

“So the [Downtown Revitalization Initiative] dollars allow the planning resources to be put in place to develop a community cohesive vision for what that whole area can be,” said Treier.

She said it’s really a one- to two-year planning process, but that she expects a lot to happen in that time.

“What the [Downtown Revitalization Fund] funding allows us to do is to take an even closer planning lens at this neighborhood and identify the opportunities to have that growth continue strategically to the benefit of the neighborhood,” she said.

Syracuse isn’t the only city in central New York to receive these funds. Previous recipients include Oswego, Auburn, Fulton, and most recently Oneida.