Syracuse will build 2,500 new housing units in two years: Mayor

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New York Construction Report staff writer

Syracuse will build 2,500 units of new housing in two years, Mayor Ben Walsh aid in his State of the City address last week.

“Syracuse is growing in ways that are generating energy, confidence and hope for the future. Growing in ways that are creating opportunity for those who have previously been left behind. Growing in ways that a vibrant and successful region must have at its center,” Walsh said. “City government didn’t do this alone. The people of this community contributed to our progress.”

Alongside his ambitious housing promise, the mayor unveiled proposals for Syracuse’s first high-rise apartment building and lifestyle planned community in decades.

Speaking from the newly revitalized City Center in downtown Syracuse, Walsh introduced a new “housing promise,” a pledge to have an additional 2,500 units of housing completed or underway in Syracuse before he leaves office in 2025.

He also updated major large affordable and mixed income housing projects including the East Adams Neighborhood Transformation on the south side, Eastwood Heights in Eastwood, the old Syracuse Developmental Center site on the west side, and the former Maria Regina campus on the north side.

Two new proposals were unveiled for large scale housing projects that the Community Grid project and ReZone Syracuse, the city’s new zoning code, are helping make possible:

High Rise Apartment Building – Preparing for the removal of the Interstate 81 viaduct on Almond Street, a Syracuse developer with a track record of success in the East Genesee Street corridor is proposing to build a 14-story high-rise apartment building on Almond Street at the corner of East Fayette Street. The project would add 300 mixed income housing units with commercial space on the first floor.

Lifestyle Planned Community – In anticipation of Micron’s investment in the region, a new developer to Syracuse is proposing to build a lifestyle planned community at the dormant and overgrown former Lafayette Country Club at the southeast end of the city. The first phase of the project, 270 units of single-family homes and duplex style townhomes, would be built in the city.

To address the city’s continuing housing needs, the Mayor also reported on the findings of the Syracuse Housing Study, a comprehensive review of Syracuse’s neighborhoods and housing stock completed in 2023. He also reported the second phase of the project, the Syracuse Housing Strategy, is underway. The next public meetings for community input will take place in April.

“Most critical is the scourge of poverty that afflicts too many children, families and individuals in our city,” Walsh said. “Virtually all our efforts are strategically aligned to create opportunity and lift people up.”

Syracuse is about to begin planning and design for a new Westside Trail traveling through Lipe Art Park, over the railroad bridges at Geddes Street, and up to Tipp Hill. Early plans include greenway treatments to the Near Westside neighborhood and to the West Street crosswalk that connects to the Creekwalk.

Also, a community grid vision plan to be released next month examines how the city can enhance the street network today and how city neighborhoods can evolve in the future. Walsh said the “north star” of the vision plan is people and puts the highest priority on pedestrians, bicycles, affordable housing, safe intersections and sidewalks.

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