If it seems there's a lot of development going on in downtown Syracuse, there is: Nearly $1.5 billion worth. As our Kat De Maria tells us, city leaders and experts sang the praises of the many projects as the annual meeting of the city's Downtown Committee Thursday.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Construction. It's becoming a more and more common sight in downtown Syracuse.
"You can see, we have so many construction projects going on in residential development, in commercial development, in actual infrastructure development, it's almost tough to get from one side of downtown to another, which I ask people to bear with us as we do that. But it's all good news that's happening," said Mayor Stephanie Miner.
Thursday, at their annual meeting, members of the Downtown Committee put a figure on it: $265 million. And that's not including projects like Forman Park and the WCNY building in other parts of Syracuse that bring investment citywide up to $1.4 billion.
"We've had a rough couple of years. Our economy seems to be rebounding and we are really being able to take advantage of it because of the leadership in this community," Miner said.
It may look like a sidewalk here and a facade there. But an expert with a national community advocacy organization says it's all building toward something big.
"I think if you expect all this to magically transform everything tomorrow, it's not going to happen. But it is laying the groundwork to take advantage of the long term trends," said Bill Fulton, vice president of SmartGrowth America.
The downtown projects all hinge on one another and the one that's going to be done first is the new Centro Transfer Hub, which is expected to open next month.
"Moving the bus terminal to the southern point of downtown is incredibly important for development almost ground zero of downtown, Fayette and Salina Street," Miner said.
That's where the Pike Block Project is under construction and blocks away from Merchants Commons in one direction and the Inns at Armory Square in the other. Fulton says revitalized city centers are the key to prosperity in the future. And he says Syracuse is poised to take advantage of the national trend of people rediscovering their downtowns as places to visit, work and live.
"It's a good sign that you have the resurgence of the arts and entertainment in the downtown along with more housing along with the adjacency to the major research university," Fulton said.
Soon, the construction will be done and Syracuse will have a whole lot more.