SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Two months after seizing Syracuse Developmental Center, the City of Syracuse is looking to hire a realtor or developer to pitch property to new tenants.

On the same day the city announced it’s request for proposal from real estate firms, NewsChannel 9 was allowed inside the newly-installed gates of the property, which became a breeding ground for illegal activity.

Before the city took over the property, people had dumped trash in the parking lot, sewer grates and roof pieces has been stolen for scrap metal and there was evidence people were using the vacant building as shelter.

What looks like decades of deterioration only happened in 10 years. In 2010, the State sold the property to a private company, which became delinquent on its taxes.

Two months ago, those back-taxes allowed Mayor Ben Walsh’s administration to take over the property.

Mayor Walsh tells NewsChannel 9, “The city did take on some risk in taking control of this property. We felt it was important enough, from both a public safety standpoint but also in order to reserve our ability to get it back into productive use. We felt it was a risk work taking. “

The Codes Enforcement Department of the City of Syracuse has cleaned up the trash in the parking lot, cut back some brush, removed trees that allowed people into upper floors of the building and boarded up the first floor windows.

Additional security features include a gate added to the main driveway to discourage people from driving in, water was reconnected to the fire hydrants, security cameras are rolling and lights will be turned back on in the parking lot.

Now that the property is safe, the focus will shift to hiring a commercial real estate brokerage firm to help the city assess what the best next steps are to get the property back on the tax rolls.

Mayor Walsh says, “We don’t want to limit ourselves. That’s the idea of engaging a professional broker. We want to cast a wide net. We want to see what all of the potential uses are, so we have our choice at the end of the day. We don’t want to just to give it to the person that comes along.”

The Director of Business Development tells NewsChannel 9 that the requests for proposals from real estate firms will be due in mid-November, one will be selected by the end of the year, and next year, the property will be pitched to tenants or future owners for possible redevelopment.

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