SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Revitalizing neighborhoods continues to be a priority for state and local leaders, but it’s been top of mind for the community advocates tasked with carrying out that responsibility for years.
That’s why Governor Kathy Hochul announced a $10 million Downtown Revitalization award for the city of Syracuse.
The funding will be used for 12 transformational projects in the city’s Southwest Gateway district, a diverse community made up of historically under-invested residential neighborhoods, commercial corridors and historic former mansions and buildings.
Jubilee Homes of Syracuse is one of the beneficiaries of the funding. The nonprofit has received $500,000 from the state to help enhance and preserve the community.
“This is great work in this neighborhood, but we’ve been working on this for years, so this just didn’t happen yesterday. We’ve been around since 1987. Our first goal was always building affordable homes, and we transitioned from building affordable homes to working on workforce training and opportunities for jobs.”
WALTER DIXIE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, JUBILEE HOMES OF SYRACUSE
To build upon the foundation already set, Jubilee Homes will use the half-a-million in funding to create a workforce training center and a place for the workers to live.
“It is time for the private sector, the public sector to come lean in together and start to rebuild these corridors,” Dixie explained.
An abandoned building on West Onondaga Street is where the workforce center will be. However, the funding isn’t only going to build a strong workforce, but it will restore historic buildings, create more housing and make the city of Syracuse more walkable for neighbors.
It’s really being intentional with giving an incentive for small businesses to start up in our community, stabilize existing businesses and really make the investment. We can make the investment in the Amphitheater, in the Buffalo Bills stadium, but we really have to be more intentional to really build back the communities because that’s how you deal with crime, that’s how you deal with opportunities of employment. We’re excited about all of this. WALTER DIXIE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, JUBILEE HOMES OF SYRACUSE
Other nonprofit agencies receiving the NYS Downtown Revitalization funding include the Rescue Mission and Southwest Community Center. Money will also be used to repurpose several historic buildings throughout the city of Syracuse.
YOU CAN READ ABOUT ALL OF THE PROJECTS BELOW:
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.
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. 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. GOVERNOR KATHY HOCHUL, (D) NEW YORK