Long-time advocates of Syracuse’s south side are clearly welcoming the news about plans to finally open a full service supermarket in the impoverished neighborhood. PriceRite will begin construction this spring on a 35,000 foot store at the corner of South and Bellevue avenues.
Executive director of Syracuse United Neighbors (SUN) Rich Puchalski says the project is overdue.
"This is a long time coming. There is nothing down here and someone has got to take a stab at this"
And PriceRite is, now that the numerous approvals and funding mechanisms have fallen into place. The final piece came together on Tuesday when the Syracuse Industrial Development Agency approved tax exemptions for the store. Jubilee homes has been leading the effort for more than six years. Executive director Walt Dixie says a market study showed the neighborhood can support a supermarket.
" We knew the purchasing power was here. As you know in today's world, supermarkets and big boxes don't build in neighborhoods, all of it is boulevard and plaza driven today. I think that PriceRite was a nice fit.
Both Walt Dixie and Rich Puchalski with SUN hope the supermarket is just the spark the area needs after decades of neglect and decline.
"We would hope that this would be a catalyst for some other development. If this is successful then we can see other storefronts pop up along South Ave. and South Salina Street."
Jubilee Homes' Walt Dixie:
"We need to focus on more of these type of deals in neighborhoods, to help create opportunities as we are spending disproportionately more money downtown and the university area. We are not taking that away from them, but I believe that it is good that some of our taxpayers dollars are going to those that really need it."
Construction should begin this spring and the store could open by fall. PriceRite opened its first store on Erie Boulevard and Teall Ave. in 2012.