December 21, 2022
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Announces Transformational Projects for Syracuse's Southwest Gateway as Part of $10 Million Downtown Revitalization Initiative

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Governor Hochul Announces Transformational Projects for Syracuse's Southwest Gateway as Part of $10 Million Downtown Revitalization Initiative
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Twelve Strategic Downtown Revitalization Projects Enhance Walkability and Connectivity between the Southwest Gateway and Downtown Syracuse, Expand Business and Housing Opportunities Through Redevelopment and Infill Development and Improve Community Services

Project Renderings Available Here

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced 12 transformational projects in Syracuse's Southwest Gateway as part of the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative award. This funding will improve the community's walkability, restore historic buildings, and create housing and business opportunities.

"As an alumna of Syracuse University, I know how much the community of Syracuse has come together to create a resurgence in the city and region," Governor Hochul said. "These projects will improve the South Gateway District to make it a more walkable and vibrant area and expand business and entertainment opportunities — opening a new chapter of opportunity and prosperity for Syracuse and Central New York."

The City of Syracuse's Southwest Gateway is a diverse community that contains historically under-invested residential neighborhoods, commercial corridors centered around historic former mansions, and the famous Salt City Market, which offers food from a wide variety of cultures from around the world. The area includes many vacant parcels and unoccupied buildings, which have seen a recent increase in investment and provide opportunities for further redevelopment through the DRI. Syracuse's revitalization focuses on improving the pedestrian experience, bringing vacant and dilapidated buildings back to life for housing, and commercial uses and improving community services.

The investments are part of the Governor's ongoing efforts to revitalize the upstate economy and create more opportunities within Central New York. The DRI is led by the New York Department of State, which provides technical assistance as each participating community develops a Strategic Investment Plan identifying specific projects with a unique vision for the revitalization of the downtown area.

The specific projects to be funded through the DRI support several goals contained in the community's Strategic Investment Plan, such as — enhancing walkability and connectivity between the Southwest Gateway and Downtown Syracuse; expanding business and housing opportunities through redevelopment and infill development; and improving community services. The $9.7 million State investment in these projects through the DRI will leverage additional public and private sector investments as the revitalization process proceeds and builds momentum.

The projects include:

Enhance Walkability and Connectivity Between the Southwest Gateway and Downtown

Beautifying the South Avenue Streetscape - DRI Award: $1,378,000

Create a more dynamic and functional streetscape on South Avenue by repairing damaged sidewalk panels, adding street furniture and ornamental lighting and creating bike lanes.

Redesigning and Reconstructing the Salina & Onondaga Intersection - DRI Award: $1,001,000

Improve two intersections on West Onondaga Street, incorporating safer crossings for pedestrians, bicycle lanes and curb bump-outs.

Activating West Onondaga Street's Railroad Bridge - DRI Award: $599,000

Create a new public gathering space under an active railroad bridge. The space will include lighting, seating, plantings and murals.

Expand Business and Housing Opportunities through Redevelopment and Infill Development

Revitalizing & Repurposing Three Historic Abandoned Buildings - DRI Award: $1,217,000

Restore three vacant historic buildings at the corner of West Onondaga Street and South Avenue, the two anchor avenues of the Southwest Gateway. Trinity Church, Gillette House and the Parish House will be rehabilitated and converted for use as a brewery, office space and housing.

Constructing the Trinity South Avenue Mixed Use Development - DRI Award: $1,000,000

Construct a mixed-income residential project containing approximately 62 rental housing units and retail or community facility space.

Creating a Façade Improvement Fund - DRI Award: $600,000

Create a grant fund for local business owners to restore their building façades, beautify ground-level interior commercial spaces, and retrofit building entrances.

Restoring Whedon House - DRI Award: $530,000

Renovate a vacant historic mansion. The final restoration will include residential apartments, commercial space, and public space.

Constructing the Jubilee Workforce Center - DRI Award: $500,000

Create a mixed-use building that will include a workforce training center on the first floor and workforce apartments on the second and third floors.

Installing Business Corridor Broadband - DRI Award: $460,000

Install fiber backhaul infrastructure and wireless equipment to enhance internet connectivity along the West Onondaga Street and South Avenue business corridors.

Redeveloping the Former B&B Lounge - DRI Award: $300,000

Restore a former bar and restaurant into a lounge space for a restaurant with housing units above the restaurant.

Improve Community Services

Redesigning the Southwest Community Center - DRI Award: $1,115,000

Provide interior and exterior enhancements to the Southwest Community Center, including a new façade, public restroom upgrades and gym improvements.

Constructing the Rescue Mission's Campus - DRI Award: $1,000,000

Construct a new facility for the Rescue Mission on a vacant parcel on West Onondaga Street. The new building will include a warehouse on the first floor with commercial/retail space and office space on the second floor.

New York Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez said, "Recent investments to redevelop underused properties in Syracuse's Southwest Gateway are creating the momentum needed to transform this growing downtown community into an urban, walkable part of the City of Syracuse. With this Downtown Revitalization Initiative Award, the Southwest Gateway will be seamlessly connected with Downtown Syracuse, and vacant historical buildings will be restored and repurposed to create more housing opportunities while including vital broadband and workforce training services to support all community residents. Congratulations to the entire Syracuse Southwest Gateway community on their projects."

Empire State Development President, CEO, and Commissioner Hope Knight said, "These 12 DRI projects include transforming some former jewels in Syracuse's city center and giving them a new and strategic shine that will make downtown even brighter. From transforming a vacant mansion into residential and commercial space to enhancing internet connectivity and workforce training opportunities, we're seeing the value of investing in vibrant downtowns. "

New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "The Downtown Revitalization Initiative is successful because it brings the community together to define and design pivotal projects and developments that will drive change and bring new energy to New York's downtowns. These 12 projects, aimed at improving every aspect of life in Syracuse's Southwest Gateway, will make changes that strengthen the neighborhood's connection with downtown, improve walkability, and finance essential renovations and new construction."

New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton said, "The Downtown Revitalization Initiative is not just a critical part of New York's economic development program, but a clear demonstration of Governor Hochul's commitment to revitalize the upstate economy and create more opportunities in cities like Syracuse. We know this program works because it's not a top-down approach; we're tapping the local communities, that know what their best assets are, to come to the state with their plan, and then we help them turn those plans into reality. Congratulations to Syracuse's Southwest Gateway community, and thank you Governor Hochul for your leadership on behalf of Upstate New York."

State Senator Rachel May said, "The City of Syracuse has seen steady growth and strategic investments over the last several years. It is terrific news that this will continue with a $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative Award for several projects. This investment is crucial to maintaining Syracuse as the economic engine of Central New York. Along with building the community grid, these projects will help revitalize our urban core and spur further growth in Syracuse's surge. Thank you to Governor Hochul for your support and continued effort to improve the region."

Assemblymember Pamela J. Hunter said, "The Downtown Revitalization Initiative funding of these ambitious and transformational projects will create new business opportunities as well as improved social services for our communities. I commend Governor Hochul for prioritizing this continued investment in our region. These investments will contribute to economic recovery from the pandemic for Central New York as we continue to work as a global hub for some of the most competitive emerging industries."

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh said, "The Downtown Revitalization Initiative will catalyze the redevelopment of underutilized and vacant properties, improve public infrastructure, and increase affordable housing in the Southwest Gateway neighborhood. Following a year of public meetings and community engagement, careful planning and collaboration between City staff, our consulting team, and members of the Common Council, I am excited these transformative projects are now ready to move forward. I thank Governor Hochul and our many partners for this historic investment and their unwavering commitment to the ongoing renaissance of Syracuse's urban core."

Downtown Revitalization Initiative

New York State's DRI, a cornerstone of its economic development program, transforms downtown neighborhoods into vibrant centers that offer a high quality of life and are magnets for redevelopment, business, job creation, and economic and housing diversity. Led by the Department of State with assistance from Empire State Development, Homes and Community Renewal and NYSERDA, the DRI represents an unprecedented and innovative "plan-then-act" strategy that couples strategic planning with immediate implementation and results in compact, walkable downtowns that are a key ingredient to helping New York State rebuild its economy from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as to achieving the State's bold climate goals by promoting the use of public transit and reducing dependence on private vehicles.  More information on the DRI is available here.

Contact the Governor’s Press Office

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