The latest Downtown Living Tour showed people are still intrigued by apartment life in Syracuse. This weekend’s was the 12th annual event put on by the Downtown Committee, and showcased 9 places that could be your next residence. WAER’s Chris Bolt went along for the tour.
The idea of moving into the city of Syracuse continues to gain momentum, as evidenced by more than 1700 people who wanted a first-hand look at some of the apartments now, or soon to be, available downtown. Some of the featured properties have some history in our town.
“The oak Knitting Mill was originally built in 1900. It was a kitting mill where they mad women’s underwear, believe it or not. At one time there was 150 employees in the building and as the business moved out of Syracuse, over the years it became a warehouse and other uses," said developer Joe Gehm. "My partner, Tim Lynn and I bought the building and completed a certified historic redevelopment project.”
Gehm says there are 38 units in the Oak Knitting Mill … more than three-quarters of them already leased. The units in the building just north of Franklin Square Park, show exposed old brick, along with new appliances, flooring and other modern finishes. Gehm feels like his project fits in with evolution and growth of downtown.
“It’s going to be an interesting next five years for Franklin Square and really Syracuse as a whole. I think one of the big things on the docket is (Interstate) 81. A lot of talk is focused on downtown and SU about I-81 but the DOT wants to do something around the Franklin Square area. If that is avoided and (with) the continued growth of the Inner Harbor, I really think this area is going to be the place to be. It’s more of a neighborhood and less of the downtown feel.”
The developers of the Iron Pier Apartments also see their project, on the West Side of the inner Harbor, as part of positive change.
“This is the way to have the connection between Franklin Square, Destiny, and the North Side that’s not been there before," said Vince Claps or COR Development. "From our perspective you start to create the density and were kind of capitalizing on what has happened over 30-40 years, to create this (area) as what it is.”
Claps, COR's Leasing Vice President, says the building, new construction you might have seen a few blocks south of Destiny, is finally helping start Inner Harbor growth. It will include 112 apartments as well as restaurants, other retail, and an open-space market for small vendors. Claps got a look at who his residents might be.
“After today, It reaffirmed some of my thoughts is that I think our tenants will be on both ends of the spectrum. You’ll have the young professionals and you’ll have the polder professionals that may be empty nesters, as well as the true empty-nesters, or retirees that are looking for less maintenance.”
Some people on the tour told me they were actively checking out apartments with every intention to lease one. While others were just interested in the notion … and checking out the various new or redevelopment projects.
THE DOWNTOWN COMMITTEE'S RUNDOWN FOR 2018 DOWNTOWN LIVING TOUR
- State Tower
- Lofts at 239
- Iron Pier Apartments
- Oak Knitting Mill
- Tallman Block
- The Empire
- 435 S. Warren St.
The Downtown Committee says 1792 people too part in this year's tour.