Empire State Development Announces Equitable Reaffirms its Commitment to Downtown Syracuse

January 12, 2022

Financial Services Firm Will Maintain Landmark Operations in Reinvigorated City Center Citing Economic Momentum

Company’s Commitment is Supported by “CNY Rising” – The Region’s Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy

Equitable Towers Photo Here

Empire State Development (ESD) today announced that Equitable, a leading financial services company that helps Americans achieve financial wellbeing, has reaffirmed its commitment to the City of Syracuse and will maintain its operations in the heart of the city center. Citing the continuing momentum already underway downtown, the company will refurbish space inside of the historic 19-story Tower buildings located on Madison Street in the Salt City which have served as a touchstone to residents and visitors alike for more than 50 years. All told, Equitable has approximately 2,000 employees and financial professionals working throughout New York state.

Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Hope Knight said, “I am incredibly grateful to Equitable for its continued dedication to the city of Syracuse and to the state of New York. Founded in New York City over 160 years ago, this successful company continues to generate high-quality jobs, helping to drive the economy and laying the foundation for even more opportunities.”

Equitable plans to re-imagine its space in the Towers to build-out a flexible, dynamic workplace that reflects the company’s environmental, social and governance standards, building off its recently earned the WELL Health-Safety Certification by the International Well Building Institute (IWBI). The requirements cover areas including cleaning and sanitization procedures, air and water quality management and emergency preparedness programs.by the International WELL Building Institute™.

Additionally, the company will remain focused on supporting its multi-generational workforce, ensuring more flexible work arrangements and equipping its employees with enabling technology that ultimately will allow Equitable to be a more agile and efficient company that will continue to attract the best available talent.

The company is also committed to continuing its philanthropic, community engagement and social impact work in the region. Equitable Foundation provides ongoing support for Syracuse area organizations including: the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology (MOST), the Food Bank of Central New York,  Syracuse Honor Fight, Griffin’s Guardians and with ERIE21, an initiative led by Le Moyne College, and its Lock 2 high school program which aids high school students in timely completion of a high school degree.

Mark Pearson, CEO of Equitable, said, “Equitable has been proud to call Syracuse home since 1967. As a leading employer in the market, we know firsthand Central New Yorkers are resilient, committed and talented – characteristics we value and admire at Equitable. Today’s announcement reaffirms our commitment to the region. We look forward to being an active community partner in the Syracuse revitalization effort and having a lasting social impact for future generations.”

ESD is providing Equitable with up to $9 million in Upstate Revitalization Initiative grant funding in exchange for a commitment by the company to invest in upgrades to its presence in Syracuse and retain jobs in that city and across the state. The total project cost has been estimated to be $65 million. In February of 2021, the company announced that it would relocate its corporate headquarters within New York City to 1345 Avenue of the Americas by 2024, where the company has maintained a presence since its founding in 1859. The company also maintains local branch offices across the state in Binghamton, Buffalo, Clifton Park, Long Island and Syracuse.

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh said, “Equitable’s presence atop the cityscape of Syracuse is a point of pride, and the company’s people are a valued part of our Downtown Syracuse community. I am proud to join Empire State Development in celebrating Equitable’s commitment to remain in the tower buildings that bear its name. I appreciate the company’s continuing investment in Syracuse and am grateful for ESD’s partnership in keeping Equitable’s strong presence in the City. With the upcoming expansion of the Tech Garden at the tower plaza and the growth occurring at tech companies in the Center City Innovation Hub, this is more good news for the Syracuse Surge, our strategy for inclusive growth in the New Economy.”

This latest project further supports the transformation already underway in downtown Syracuse.  The Central New York Regional Economic Development Council has focused its attention on the rehabilitation of downtown. Those efforts include the revitalization of the historic Hotel Syracuse, now known as the Marriott Syracuse Downtown, the expansion of the Tech Garden which is helping forward-thinking entrepreneurs to grow their ideas, the renovation of the former Excellus building into the Icon Tower multi-use facility, the redevelopment of the former Post Standard building, and the establishment of online marketplace and software business TCG Players’ innovative headquarters on South Warren street. Syracuse was also recently named as a round five, $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative winner. The effort serves as a cornerstone of the state's economic development policy, meant to transform downtown neighborhoods into vibrant centers of activity that offer a high quality of life and attract redevelopment, businesses, jobs, and economic and housing diversity.

State Senator Rachel May said, “Syracuse is a great place to live and work, and the revitalization we have seen downtown over the past years is proof of that. I am glad to see Equitable staying here in Syracuse to continue to be a part of this exciting growth, and the state has been able to make an investment to make that possible.”

Assemblyman William B. Magnarelli said, “Equitable continues to be a long-standing pillar in our city “Its commitment to serving Central New York through local programming with our local organizations and educational foundations continues to enhance many in our community.”

County Executive Ryan McMahon said, “Thank you to Equitable for renewing its longstanding commitment to the City of Syracuse and Onondaga County. The company’s towers serve as a welcome to both residents and visitors alike. We are looking forward to our continued partnership with this historic company which has been creating high-quality jobs for the residents of our community for many decades”.

About Equitable

Equitable, a principal franchise of Equitable Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: EQH), has been one of America’s leading financial services providers since 1859. With the mission to help clients secure their financial well-being, Equitable provides advice, protection and retirement strategies to individuals, families and small businesses. Equitable has more than 8,000 employees and Equitable Advisors financial professionals and serves 2.8 million clients across the country. For additional information about Equitable, visit: https://equitable.com/.

Accelerating CNY Rising 

Today's announcement complements “CNY Rising,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The regionally designed plan focuses on capitalizing on global market opportunities, strengthening entrepreneurship and creating an inclusive economy. Now, the region is accelerating CNY Rising with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative. 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.

About Empire State Development 

Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency. The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing the New York State Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of "I LOVE NY," the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, please visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov.

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