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County court to decide future of Green National apartments

A brick ten-story building with trees outside.
Chris Bolt
The Skyline Apartment complex on James Street.

An Onondaga County Court Judge could decide this week on the future of large apartment complexes in Syracuse operated by Green National. 

Several hundred tenants at properties like Skyline, Vincent and others have been dealing with uninhabitable conditions for years, from rodents and trash to lack of security, hot water and heat. They are hoping relief might finally be in sight, whether it’s under a receiver or a new owner.

Sharon Sherman is Executive Director of the Greater Syracuse Tenants Network. She said they are not sure what the firm called Clear Investment Group has in store if they ultimately purchase and then renovate the apartments.

“We want to know what the long term plans of clear investment are, and whether they're going to displace the remaining tenants," Sherman said. "And whether it's the basis for the judge to say, 'Well, no, you know, we're going to receiver and too bad on the banks and too bad on the Greens,' because they could go bankrupt if there was a receiver appointed.”

This is because rent money would flow to a building repair and maintenance fund, and not owners or investors. The tenants network is not part of the lawsuit filed by the city against Green National.

Sherman said Clear Investment, or any buyer, would have to correct all of the code violations issued by the city.

“Let's say that clear takes over on April 1, and by April 30, the city's back re-citing the basics," Sherman said. "She cannot, the city can go back and ask for a receiver, again, if the new management company doesn't perform rapidly, to get a handle on the issues.”

Clear Investment Group is under contract to purchase three properties, including Skyline and two others on James Street. A receiver has already been appointed to take over Vincent Apartments in the Outer Comstock neighborhood.

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at