Empire State Development Announces Support for Transformative Acropolis Center Development in Downtown Syracuse

$800,000 in State Funding Will Assist with Phase one of Transformative Project Further Building on Continuing Momentum Already Underway

April 16, 2019

Investment Supports “CNY Rising”The Region’s Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy

Empire State Development (ESD) today announced the state is investing in the rebirth of the former Jefferson Center on South Salina Street in downtown Syracuse. The mixed-use development known as Acropolis Center will be home to developer Steve Case’s Acropolis Realty Group currently located in Armory Square. Phase one of the two phase project will include the rehabilitation of the property and another nearby and will feature façade work and the conversion of the basement to needed parking for the development. Empire State Development is assisting the project with an $800,000 Capital Grant awarded by the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council. The company plans to invest close to $6 million for phase one of the development.

Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "The Acropolis Center’s refurbishment of a former downtown retailer as a mixed-use destination reflects the strategic and regionally-focused state initiatives and investments that are fueling the Syracuse surge and the revitalization of city centers across Upstate New York.”

During the projects second phase, up to two floors will be added on to the existing structure which will allow for the construction of 28 apartments and will include six affordable housing units. The developers also plan to upgrade the existing retail space on the buildings first floor. Renovation work on phase one is expected to be completed in July of 2020.

Stephen Case, Owner, Acropolis Center said, " We are excited to be a part of the downtown resurgence.  Acropolis Center is a prominent building located right in the heart of downtown and that's why we have decided to invest in this project.  By moving our offices to Acropolis Center, we will now be able to grow our business and bring on new employees who are excited to work downtown."

This latest state investment will further support the transformation underway in downtown Syracuse.  The Central New York Regional Economic Development Council has focused its attention on the rehabilitation of downtown, including the revitalization of the historic Hotel Syracuse, now known as the Marriott Syracuse Downtown. The hotel is part of this region's rich history and serves as an attraction for major events, big business and tourism in the region. Other state supported projects that are changing the face of Downtown Syracuse include:

Ephesus Lighting, Inc. 125 E. Jefferson & Warren Street: Project moved Ephesus Lighting, Inc. from The Tech Garden in Syracuse to its new headquarters in Onondaga Towers, adding 27 new jobs to a workforce of 10.  The project cost $585,203 with an incentive of $150,000 from Empire State Development.

Icon Tower 344 S. Warren Street: Project saw the renovation of the former Excellus Building into a mixed-use facility with 73 apartments, 45,000 square feet of commercial space and 43 on-site parking spaces. The project cost $20 million with an incentive of $2.3 million from Empire State Development.

Merchants Commons 214-220 South Warren Street: Project aided in the redevelopment of the former Merchants Bank and Snow Buildings into a mixed-use facility including 66 apartments and a 65-car garage. The project cost $12,500,000 with an incentive of $837,500 from Empire State Development.

Post Standard Building 101 North Salina Street: Project will redevelop the former Post Standard Building into a mixed-use development. The new facility will house VIP Structures, the Post Standard printing operations, and three new stories with 60-75 rental apartments. The project will cost $38.9 million with an incentive of $1.5 million proposed.

State Tower Building 109 S. Warren Street: URI project that is helping with the redevelopment of the 21-story State Tower Building into a mixed-use facility.  The project will cost $9.9 million with an incentive of $3 million from Empire State Development.

TCGplayer On South Warren Street: The online marketplace and software business, is establishing its new headquarters in downtown Syracuse renovating 44,000 square-feet of space inside of The Galleries of Syracuse building on South Warren Street. The headquarters feature a unique, interactive design that engages the community through a street-level view of its space and pop culture-themed work areas. The company has committed to providing more than 300 new and retained jobs in the region over the next five years.

State Senator Rachel May, “The revitalization of downtown Syracuse is crucial to maintaining the economic engine of Central New York. I am excited to see the renovation and expansion of the former Jefferson Center. I was thrilled to learn that the new mixed-use space includes affordable housing options, a model that I hope is a key part of all future developments. Vibrant and well-planned cities with mixed-use buildings, green spaces, and housing inclusivity are exactly what our community needs. Through thoughtful urban planning and investment, Syracuse will continue its growth into a thriving metropolitan and beacon for Upstate.”

Assemblyman William B. Magnarelli said, “Investing in historic buildings in the heart of downtown is essential to revitalizing our community.  The Acropolis Center, a mixed-use development on South Salina Street, is one of the priority projects the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council included in its investment and economic revitalization plan. Having provided funding for the development of the Pike Block and the continuing renovation of the Landmark Theatre, this project will add to the ongoing revitalization of Downtown. This continues our focus on attracting new businesses, development and tourism.”

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh said, “The Acropolis Center redevelopment of the former Jefferson Center is the latest example of the continued renaissance of Syracuse’s urban core. “Acropolis Development’s continued growth downtown is a testament to its proven track record and community minded development approach.”

Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said, “The repurposing of the former Jefferson Center on South Salina Street in downtown Syracuse is welcome news for Central New York. This exciting project will support the continued momentum and economic development success our community and region are experiencing. By leveraging our unique resources and making strategic investments, Onondaga County and Central New York are positioned to continue growing for generations to come. Thank you to Governor Cuomo for his strong commitment to Central New York."

Central New York Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chairs Randy Wolken, President & CEO of the Manufacturers Association of Central New York (MACNY) and Deborah Stanley, President of the State University of New York at Oswego said, "The regional council is fully committed to the future of Downtown Syracuse. By supporting the renovation of the former Jefferson Center, we are furthering our efforts to reinvigorate the area, creating a welcoming place for millennials, families and others looking to experience all that the area has to offer."

Accelerating CNY Rising
Today's announcement complements “Central NY Rising,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $5.6 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan – capitalizing on global market opportunities, strengthening entrepreneurship and creating an inclusive economy. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Syracuse, Oswego and Auburn as a destination to grow and invest in.Now, the region is accelerating Central NY Rising with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 5,900 new jobs. More information is available here.


Shari Vincent | [email protected]| (585)399-7055 | (800) 260-7313
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