New tenant for Pike Block
A major new tenant has signed up for a project designed to revive a key Syracuse neighborhood. YNN's Bill Carey says that project, and others, have people talking about a new future for downtown Syracuse.
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- It was a project that lingered on the planning board for years before finally being launched. The overhaul of four buildings along West Fayette and South Salina streets. They call it the Pike Block, a mix of commercial, retail and apartment space. And now the project has signed a major tenant: CenterState CEO, the local business group, which is planning to sell its current headquarters down the street.
“There is probably no redevelopment in downtown that signifies better the renaissance and the resurgence in development activity in downtown than taking these four vacant buildings and turning them into a showpiece for what you can do with this kind of architecture,” CenterState CEO President Robert Simpson said.
More good news for the developer. The apartments being built in all four buildings are already being leased.
“As soon as we're getting them done, we'll have people moving in June 1st to the first of our apartments, just as we work our way through the buildings,” said David Nutting, VIP Structures CEO.
Apartments like these have steadily drawn new residents, most of them young people. But more and more, they're drawing attention from older people and that, developers say, could be a game changer.
Nutting said, “They're 50, 60-somethings that are saying, do I really need to have this house out in the suburbs? Do I really need a yard anymore? And that's really the determining factor. Or could I live downtown and walk to work, or I can walk to restaurants. And I can kind of live here full time. If that trend happens, and I think it's going to happen pretty soon, then all of a sudden, this goes from being young professionals to elders who've decided this is the lifestyle they've chosen.”
For years various developers have talked about a potential rebirth of downtown Syracuse. Now, they say, with all of the projects underway, that rebirth is within sight.
Simpson said, “The redevelopment of these four buildings, the Landmark Theater, the buildings across the street. There's a huge amount of energy and momentum in downtown right now.”
“I think there's this critical mass that's really happening here,” Nutting said.
Building new hopes for a new era.
The developments for Pike Block come just a day after the announcement of new efforts to spur renovation of the long dormant Hotel Syracuse. Onondaga County says it hopes to have a potential buyer for the property lined up soon.