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Grants will help revitalize parts of Syracuse

South Salina Street and Erie Boulevard will receive Brownfield Opportunity Area grants from the state to redevelop contaminated sites, and attract more jobs and businesses to the area.
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - Parts of Syracuse are plagued with run-down properties that have become an eyesore for neighbors, some even hazardous to their health.

But two areas in the city are getting some much-needed funding to help revitalize their communities. South Salina Street and Erie Boulevard will receive Brownfield Opportunity Area grants from the state to redevelop contaminated sites, and attract more jobs and businesses to the area.

South Salina Street will be getting over $300,000 in funding.

And Erie Boulevard between Beech Street and the Dewitt town line will also be getting $250,000.

The money won't focus on a specific property, instead it's meant to expand and redevelop entire neighborhoods.

Mark Mondo owns an auto shop on South Salina Street and he's lived here his whole life.

"Started working when I was 8. I'm 57 now, still here," says Mark Mondo, business owner on South Salina Street.

"You have good times and bad times, the South Side is turning around," says Mondo.

But Mondo says the area could use a pick-me-up.

"To revitalize this corridor would be beautiful. We'd have a lot more businesses moving in," says Mondo.

Syracuse is among several Central New York areas receiving state funds to revitalize. A Rome senior planner says these sites are meant to become community assets.

"The study areas include residential areas, commercial, industrial areas. It really sets the stage for attracting and ultimately securing new development in under-utilized areas," says Matt Andrews, city of Rome senior planner.

But will these funds really make a difference?

"To create jobs and stuff, it wouldn't be sufficient enough. They're just throwing cheese to a mouse, not a permanent fix," says John Mondo, Tully resident.

"You gotta have people move in. You gotta have business that wants to move down to the South Side. You gotta have tax breaks for people," says Mondo.

Still, others say big or small, any type of funding is a step in the right direction.

"More attractive, makes people want to come to the main stretch of downtown, that means more visitors," says Patrick Liseno, Syracuse resident.

The office of Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner released this statement: "The City of Syracuse is continuously seeking new strategies to spur economic development throughout our neighborhoods. The Brownfield Opportunity Area grants will give us an additional funding stream to pursue innovative projects which allow us the chance to address environmental concerns, improve neighborhood infrastructure, and create jobs for Syracusans." 


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