Syracuse, NY – one of many downtown success stories

While yesterday’s entry presented national evidence of the downtown movement, what about local evidence? Syracuse, New York is one of many small cities investing in downtowns as they transition from a manufacturing economy to an information-based one.

Syracuse’s success story simplified:

Step One: Designate a depressed warehouse (ie manufacturing) district, Armory Square as a historic (and very affordable) neighborhood, thus encouraging artists and entrepreneurs to settle there. Sound familiar?

Step Two: Identify key historic buildings for public-private investment, and target them toward the creative class with the help of economists like Richard Florida, who coined the term.

Step Three: Enjoy the results: 2500 residents and counting call downtown Syracuse home. The occupancy rate for downtown apartments is at 99%. Syracuse University moved 600 students to a building in Armory Square. The projected investment in 2006 exceeds $180 million, including 180 market-rate apartments and condos; 550 hotel rooms; 750,000 s.f. of renovated space and 265,000 s.f. of new construction.

More here.

  • Ryan

    As a native of Syracuse, I couldn’t agree with you more, Syracuse really is thriving! As a student in the Environmental Design program at the University at Buffalo. I have a unique perspective in that I know the two different downtowns of both Syracuse and Buffalo pretty well, and let me tell you, Syracuse is amazing compared to Buffalo! It really is a prime example of a thriving city center, and one that alot of cities could learn from.

  • Andrew

    Thank you for the over view of the creation of a vibrant Armory Square in downtown Syracuse. Let us not forget the time and effort that has gone into the area to date, not to mention the time/effort needed to continue the progress. I hope to see the same efforts in other areas of downtown produce the same success, in time connecting the various alcoves of downtown into one interconnected community.

  • RayRay

    whatever! I’m a native of syracuse also and let me tell you…..downtown syracuse has no comparison to where I live now

  • me

    I invite you to take a stroll through downtown. It doesn’t look like that photo.

    They only bring out the chairs for special “festival” days, which bring in flocks of suburbanites for half a day. Those people are sitting in the street – that isn’t an average day downtown.

  • downtown houston did the same thing, the area was dead until developers moved in and started to build apartments and lofts. the whole area is popping now