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  • Madea Holman

Connect the Corridors: Our Plan to Transform the Southwest Community (via

Updated: Jul 1

“Connecting the Corridors” stands as a beacon of hope, a testament to the transformative power of unified action through housing, economic and workforce development.– Jubilee Homes

Since 1986, Jubilee Homes of Syracuse, Inc. has been a catalyst for change. 38 years ago, Time of Jubilee was formed to reduce crime and blight while providing accessible housing alternatives for low to moderate income families.  Led by Executive Director, Walt Dixie, the organization has built and/or renovated over 90 homes within their service area. “Jubilee” began as a housing initiative and has grown into a series of community-based networks of neighborhood and business development organizers.

A proposal from Jubilee Homes of Syracuse, Inc. called, Connecting the Corridors includes detail such as, Connecting the Corridors Project Goals and Structure. The report was released in April of 2024 in support of their proposal. “Jubilee”, conducted a Connecting the Corridors bus tour. Participants included 80 community members, elected officials and potential stakeholders. The inclusion of government and private investors is crucial to the success of the proposal.  

I was given a tour of the Southwest neighborhood by Walt Dixie who emphasized the growth of the organization over the years. As we made our way south on South Avenue, Dixie unveiled his vision.

Once vacant commercial properties have been redeveloped with new tenants. Along the route you can see freshly being painted houses, renovations and new construction. Dixie’s plan simply fills in the gaps, resuscitating another city business district.

The proposal is ambitious with multiple projects running simultaneously made possible by strategic partners working within the Southwest and Westside neighborhoods. Dixie emphasized community involvement in this proposal, According to Dixie, “We took members of the community on a bus tour of the area, which was well received.”

According to their proposal, “At its core, ‘Connecting the Corridors’ is about building communities — nurturing vibrant, interconnected neighborhoods where residents feel a sense of belonging and pride. By fostering a culture of collaboration and inclusivity, we are fostering a new era of possibility and promise for Syracuse and beyond.”

Key impacts of the Connecting the Corridors initiative include:

• $88.9 Million in Public & Private Investment

• Approximately 65,125 square feet of renovated or new commercial and living space.

• Approximately 100,800 square feet of affordable housing units

• Creative place-making initiatives

• Adaptive reuse of 3 vacant buildings

• Creation of approximately 98 new, permanent, full-time equivalent jobs across various industries including dining, workforce development, continuing education, finance, retail, commercial real estate, hospitality, and property management

• Generation of approximately 820 temporary direct and indirect construction jobs

• Development of 70 affordable single-family homes

• Creation of 92 rental units

• Establishment of 16 two-family homes

Recently, the city of Syracuse announced that Tipperary Hill and Salt Springs areas will be the recipients of various programs designed to prevent these once robust parts of our city from falling into blight.  Those living in the Southwest and West parts of the city have worked together using relationships in an effort to present a comprehensive plan designed to complete work that began 38 years ago.  

Unlike designated areas such as Salt Springs and Tipperary Hill, Census Tracts within the Southwest and Westside of our city are named as some of the poorest in the nation and endure some of the worst living conditions.

There were programs that were successful on the Near Westside. For example, The Near Westside Initiative partially funded by Syracuse University. According to their website, NWSI has successfully put 225,000 square feet of abandoned building stock back into productive use as commercial spaces, residential units, and shared community facilities. However, with the program being defunded. Progress intended for this challenged neighborhood appears to be frozen in time.

The proposal is ambitious, building on successful anchors within the neighborhood. According to their plan all they require is funding. With limited resources it’s a difficult task allocating funds for improvement in every neighborhood in Syracuse.

What we do know is Time of Jubilee has played an integral part in the development of the Southwest and Westside of Syracuse.

Few remember that period in 1986 when you could see block after block of vacant land made possible by the removal of dozens of blighted properties. Since that time, the barren places have filled in, banking, restaurants and other amenities has slowly filled the many voids.  

While it’s important to protect neighborhoods which may be sliding towards blight. It’s even more important to support efforts made by a neighborhood that’s been working at this for 38 years. Perhaps by supporting these initiatives in the South Ave. area, we can help those communities where these conditions are multi-generational. Poverty in this area has great grandchildren. After 38 years, perhaps it’s time to finish the job of improving the South Avenue Business corridor, Jubilee and partners have already built the houses.


Connecting the Corridors Information Links

Connecting the Corridors-Housing Rehabilitation/Construction Demolition

Connecting the Corridors Project Locations-Proposed and actual project locations

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