January 24, 2013

Gillibrand Presses Feds to Invest in Syracuse Inner Harbor

Calls for Infrastructure Funding as part of Major Inner Harbor Redevelopment Effort

Washington, D.C. – On the heels of winning a state grant to support development efforts at Syracuse’s Inner Harbor, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is today calling for federal investment into the project.

Senator Gillibrand is urging the U.S. Economic Development Agency (EDA) to direct funding to support the construction of a mixed-use community to increase public access to the waterfront, and host a range of residential and commercial uses. The effort follows legislation that Senator Gillibrand introduced in September standing with Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner and local business leaders to revitalize brownfield sites and redevelop promising waterfronts.

“Syracuse’s Inner Harbor is bursting with potential for economic growth,” said Senator Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “With smart investments like this, we can revitalize our communities, attract new businesses and create new jobs, and make our waterfront a place for Central New Yorkers to live, work and raise a family, and help Syracuse thrive.”

“I am pleased to see the support of Senator Gillibrand on this important funding application,” said Syracuse Mayor Stephanie A. Miner. “We are glad to have her as part of the broad coalition of support we have for the Inner Harbor redevelopment. We are working together to be one of the only cities in America building an entirely new neighborhood from the ground up.”

Funding from the EDA that Senator Gillibrand is calling for would help support COR Development’s current plans to create 1.4 million occupied square-feet, which would include a satellite campus for Onondaga Community College, community rowing facility with Syracuse University, and a 100-room hotel and banquet facility that will partner with Onondaga Community College’s Center of Excellence in Hospitality to help prepare the regional workforce for growing needs in the sector.

The facility would also feature 120,000 square-feet of office space, 229,000 square-feet of retail shops and restaurants, 432 affordable apartments, 80 townhomes, a Syracuse University community tennis center, and a 750 car parking garage. In order to complete the redevelopment of the site, an estimated $2.5 million in brownfield remediation still needs to be completed.

It is estimated that the project, financed through a public-private partnership, would have a short-term economic impact of $570 million, and create more than 8,000 temporary jobs. In the long-term, it is estimated that the project could generate up to nearly $260 million in total annual output, and sustain more than 4,300 jobs. Estimates for annual retail sales could be up to approximately $90 million and as much as $140 million annually once the project is fully operational.

Last April, Senator Gillibrand brought EDA officials to Syracuse to tour and meet with project stakeholders on the $350 million Inner Harbor project, beginning a discussion on federal resources that could be helpful with the redevelopment.

In September, Senator Gillibrand introduced the Waterfront Brownfields Revitalization Act to award grants to local government and nonprofits that redevelop abandoned, idled or underused industrial properties on waterfronts.

Senator Gillibrand’s complete letter to the EDA is attached.