Neighborhood and Business Development Report

City of Syracuse Department of Neighborhood and Business Development

Issue 1 August-September 2015

 Click here for the Spanish version

Photo credit: Charles Wainwright

A note from the Commissioner: Transitions    

Dear Friends,

The colors of the changing leaves and the crispness in the air is a sure sign of summer transitioning into fall.   And while each year contains these annual rites of passage, 2015 has been a year of transition for the Syracuse Neighborhood and Business Development (NBD) Department.   The hallmark of this was the release of a new Five- Year Consolidated Plan that spells out the challenges and proposed solutions to Syracuse’s housing and community development needs.  This document will live on the City’s website for an extended period of time to allow the community to see the documented needs and strategies identified to address these needs.  

Also on our website is our Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER 40) released in July that lists specifically where your federal block grant dollars were spent over the previous year and the rationale behind these expenditures.  

This Fall NBD will be releasing  a new RFP and will solicit proposals for next year's block grant funding (for 2016-2017)  and next month's report will have a link to this application. 

This report also represents a new beginning of increased communication with our partners to address the needs articulated in the Five-Year Plan.  These partners include other City departments, housing organizations, neighborhood groups and individuals.  And it will start appearing on a more regular basis with the goal of keeping you informed and up to date on the projects and activities that NBD is working on. 
Some of the projects highlighted in this issue are:

Please feel free to contact us if you have any suggestions or ideas on what you would like to see in future newsletters.

Paul Driscoll 
Commissioner of Neighborhood and Business Development
 MWBE - The minority and women business enterprise certification program through the City of Syracuse has set contractual goals of achieving  9% of contracts and subcontracts for minority owned businesses  and 6% for Women owned Businesses. These are the MWBE directory statistics as of August 2015:
  • 151 MWBE companies (and growing) of which:
    • 76 are minority owned
    • 67 are women owned
    • 8 are both minority and women owned

MWBE Featured Companies

These are two businesses that do frequent work with the City. Please read about them and support our MWBE companies. For more information contact Lamont Mitchell
Eli Smith, started his first company So Gone Trash Removal in 2011 and after receiving requests for jobs in the construction field he decided to limit any liability by starting a new company and running all scopes of work through it. He named it E. Smith Contractors, LLC. There were many challenges in the beginning including a limited cash flow and attracting a strong talent pool, but once he established a line of credit, and got his company bonded he was able to attract talent and let his employees know that as a new company their input would be valuable on all aspects including the day to day operations. One of the most recent projects that E. Smith Contractors LLC completed was on the City's newest park, Sankofa Park, finished in July 2015. Sankofa is a word in the Akan language of Ghana  meaning "reach back and get it". When asked what motivates him to  run his business Eli Smith says it’s his family and the  hope of passing his business on to his kids and grandkids. He says "I want to leave them with something so that they can say to their children  grandpa started this".  
 A view of Sankofa Park on South Salina St.
Karen Bellows owner of Bellows Construction Specialties, LLC grew up listening and learning about the construction business from her father and grandfather. Her father was president of the General Construction company B.F. Yenny and her grandfather was a partner in Dur-O-Wal. She also worked for several years in construction project management before starting her own company in 2005. Her most recent projects for the City have been in restoring the Nottingham high school pool and building the stadium entrance at Henninger high school. One of the most rewarding opportunities was the work she did on the Holden Observatory on the SU campus. Karen says that she has great employees and follows the philosophy that if you take care of your business it will take care of you. 
Working on the roof of the Holden observatory. This is the second oldest building on the Syracuse University campus

Salina Crossing is a 14.9 million dollar redevelopment project consisting of 12 properties, 10 buildings (4 rehab and 6 new construction) and 49 units scattered throughout the North and South sides of the city of Syracuse. This project will make a major impact on the quality of life for the neighbors living in these areas by creating 49 affordable housing units (including units for ADA and hearing/vision impairment). The City of Syracuse through NBD is contributing $800,000 through the use of HOME funds. Please contact Dian Sherwood for more information.
Top Left - The photo above shows the site of the future Otisca Commons at 900-906 North McBride Street. This 4,695 sf mixed-use building will feature 20 1-BR apartment units, and office space for St. Joe's Hospital for non-medical purposes. Top Right - This building located at 823 N. Townsend  is a substantial rehab and will have 9 units (8 2-BR and 1 1-BR). Bottom Right - This chart shows  Salina Crossing location and specifications for all properties.  Bottom Left - This is a photo of 114 Hawley Ave, which will be rehabbed into a  2 family home with 2 and 3 bedroom units.  
Under Construction 
Top - The Huntley at 409 Stolp Ave. has a new roof and construction is well underway on this historic building in the Strathmore area which will have 40 units (1,2, and 3 BR) with the City contributing 280,000 in Home funds and a projected finish in 2016. Right - The Clinton Plaza at 550 Clinton Street will undergo an extensive interior and exterior rehab and current residents will be relocated temporarily within the building to rehabbed vacant units while construction is underway. Left - The Harbor Street Lofts at 700 Emerson is the site of the former Edco Sales building and will soon provide much needed senior citizen living space on the West End. 
 Joslyn Court IV: These pictures show the successful rehab of 4445 S. Salina St. the former site of (L) Cedar Haus apartments (2011) that is now (R) Joslyn Court  (2015). 
Click here to see this map which shows the location of all of the properties listed in this newsletter: 
1) 900-906  N. McBride St.  - Salina Crossings
 2) 616 N. McBride St. -  Salina Crossings
 3) 608 N. Townsend St. -  Salina Crossings
4) 823 N. Townsend St. -  Salina Crossings
5) 114 Hawley Ave. - Salina Crossings
6) 129 McLennan Ave. -  Salina Crossings
7) 135 McLennan Ave. Salina Crossings
8) 137-139 McLennan Ave Salina Crossings
9) 1916 S. Salina Salina Crossing
10) 2223 S. Salina St. 
Salina Crossings
11) 4445 S. Salina St. Joslyn Court
12) 409 Stolp  Ave  - The Huntley
13) 550 Clinton St.  - Clinton Plaza
14) 700 Emerson Ave. - Harbor Street Lofts
15) Sankofa Park - S. Salina Street

Ending the Epidemic 

The Ending the Epidemic (ETE) Regional Discussion was held on August 3, 2015, Syracuse is developing a taskforce to create a mini-ETE Blueprint plan focusing on our community’s own gaps and needs. Our challenge is to reduce annual new infections and the rate at which persons diagnosed with HIV progress to AIDS, which aligns with the following NYS ETE stated goals:
  1. Identify persons with HIV who remain undiagnosed and link them to healthcare;
  2. Link and retain persons diagnosed with HIV healthcare and get them on anti-HIV therapy to maximize HIV virus suppression so they remain healthy and prevent further transmission;
  3. Facilitate access to Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and non-occupational post-exposure prophylaxis (nPEP) for high-risk persons to keep them HIV-negative.
 The first ETE Taskforce meeting led by NBD will be held on Tuesday September 29th at 3:00 pm at City Hall Commons.  Please contact Sue McMahon if you would like more information.
The Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness is a call to action – announced by First Lady Michelle Obama for mayors across the United States to make a commitment to ending Veteran homelessness in their cities by the end of 2015. Our Mayor Stephanie Miner has taken on the challenge to reach functional zero by the end of the year. The cross-discipline committee has implemented a 4-point strategy and has been working  tirelessly to achieve the goal of functional zero by the end of 2015. If you would like more information please contact Sue McMahon .
You are invited to the 3rd Syracuse Neighborhood Action Conference at Nottingham high school on November 7th from 9am-3pm. There will be many interesting workshops to choose from on strengthening our communities. You can register at this link or at the door. Please join us in making Syracuse stronger.
Contact Mary Margaret O'Hara for questions on newsletter content 
Mailing address: 
201 E. Washington Street Suite 600 Syracuse, NY 13202
Telephone: 315-448-8100
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