Governor Andrew Cuomo says it's a sign the project is finally moving forward. That project is the plan to give a facelift to Syracuse's Inner Harbor. YNN's Bill Carey says Cuomo admits that movement is a long time coming.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- "Step one is to have a good idea. Step two is to do it. The Inner Harbor was a really good idea. And it's been a really good idea for a really long time. Where we had trouble is on the doing it," said Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Andrew Cuomo spoke the reality that has confronted administration after administration of Syracuse city government. They believe that development in the Inner Harbor could spark residential and commercial activity in a neglected part of the city. But putting the plan together has taken time. Now, COR Development has a deal to spend millions to transform the area.
"All told, there will be more than $350 million in investment taking place on these 28 acres, turning it into a residential center, educational and commercial and mixed use district. A brand new neighborhood right here in the City of Syracuse," said Robert Simpson, CNY Regional Economic Development Chairman.
While COR has done preliminary work at the site, the governor was here to unveil the first commitment by a new company to be part of the project. Starwood Hotels says it's in and will build at the Inner Harbor.
"It's an Aloft by W Hotels. It will be a 130 key hotel. About $18 million to cost. About 75,000 square feet of this $350 million dollar project," said John Salvatore of Starwood Hotels.
The state is helping to push the overall project, pumping in close to $5 million dollars in regional economic development funding, along with incentives it will offer to the hotel chain. Important investments, according to the Governor.
The Cuomo argument is that success in this project in the Inner Harbor will help feed economic development throughout the Syracuse region.
Cuomo said, "Because you are either growing and developing or you are shrinking and being left behind."
It's a pattern Cuomo hopes to use statewide to bring back a stagnant Upstate economy.
"The best schools in the nation. The best health care institutions in the nation. The best geography. The best history. The best workforce. Whatever you want, we have right here in Upstate New York. We just have to recognize it, get to work and make the future happen. Make the future happen," Cuomo said.
COR Development has yet to set a time for the start of construction at the Inner Harbor. The complete build-out of the project could take five to 10 years.