In 2005, Onondaga County, the City of Syracuse and SU wanted to find a way to connect the University with Downtown. That's how the connective corridor was born. It involves a lot of construction, the first phase of which has been completed. As our Iris St. Meran explains, there's still more work to be done, but it is all moving in the right direction.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- For months, travel along East Genesee Street had to be re-routed due to construction for the Connective Corridor. Now things are back to normal with some welcomed additions to the area.
Syracuse University Community Engagement and Economic Development Director Linda Hartsock said, "So it's everything from green infrastructure to a complete streetscape redesign with new streets, granite curbing, brick pavers, landscaping, new lighting."
With phase one complete crews will now focus their attention to the next phases which include the other side of Genesee Street, as well as parts of Montgomery and State Streets. It will have a similar design to the first phase.
The second phase of the project includes West Fayette Street. A new hotel is currently under construction. Hartsock says it's that kind of development that's important as well as partnering with new and current property owners.
"We're doing a real estate inventory of available properties along the corridor. We're also looking at underutilized or vacant properties along the corridor and working with a group of realtors in Downtown to say, 'How do we activate them?” Hartsock added. “How do we move businesses to the corridor, how do we develop new real estate projects."
Hartsock says this is one of the biggest construction projects to take place in the city in at least 30 years.
"No one can remember the last time they've seen so many cranes in the air,” Hartsock said. “So it's a really, exciting time for Syracuse."
Exciting because she's involved in breathing new life to an area that means so much to many people. The entire corridor is slated to be completed by early 2015.
The public can weigh in and ask questions about the connective corridor. There will be two meetings. The first is Wednesday January 23 from 9 to 10 a.m. at the Warehouse on 350 West Fayette Street on the fourth floor. The second will be Thursday, January 31 from 9 to 10 a.m. at the Central New York Philanthropy Center located at 431 East Fayette Street Second Floor.