Empire State Development Announces Completion Of The Dietz Lantern Factory Project In Onondaga County

Mixed-Use Project Brings New Life to Former Factory Which Sat Vacant for a Quarter of a Century

Investment Complements “Central NY Rising” – The Region’s Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy

Empire State Development (ESD) today announced the completion of the rehabilitation of the historic R.E. Dietz lantern factory building in Syracuse. The renovation transformed the empty manufacturing facility into 92 market-rate apartments and 37,500 square-feet of commercial space. The completed project, located directly across from Leavenworth Park, will serve as an anchor development for the community, connecting the Lakefront with the Syracuse central business district. The project complements the CNY Rising economic development plan which supports ongoing revitalization efforts in the downtown Syracuse area.

Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “The rehabilitation of the historic R.E. Dietz building is a great addition to the ongoing renaissance taking place in downtown Syracuse. The momentum is due in large part to Governor Cuomo’s unwavering support of Upstate, which is leading to concrete investments that are transforming the region’s economic future.”

The market-rate loft apartments include natural hardwood kitchen cabinetry, granite countertops, contemporary stainless steel appliances, ceramic tile bathrooms with tiled walk-in showers, original bricks and beam ceiling among other amenities, including an outdoor courtyard for residents to enjoy.  Sixty-five percent of the available apartments have already been leased.

Matthew Paulus, President of Paulus Development and partner of the development team said, “The historic rehabilitation of the former R.E. Dietz Lantern Factory provides a neighborhood and building with a strong past an even brighter future in the Syracuse community. The development of this anchor asset could not have been accomplished without the support and collaboration with Empire State Development.”

Empire State Development supported the project through a $900,000 Central New York Rising Upstate Revitalization Grant. Additional financing for the project came through the Community Preservation Corporation (CPC). CPC and its lending partners Pathfinder Bank and NBT Bank provided a $19.2 million construction loan. CPC also provided a SONYMA-insured $16.2 million permanent loan funded through its agreement with the New York State Common Retirement Fund. Additionally, the project will receive State and Federal historic tax credits through NYS Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and National Park Service. In addition, $517,000 was provided through a Save the Rain grant from Onondaga County.

Rafael E. Cestero, President and CEO of Community Preservation Corporation said, “We are excited to join our partners Bradford & Euclid and Matthew Paulus today in celebrating the opening of the R.E. Dietz building, and we welcome this transformative project into the Park Avenue community. The new housing and retail space will help anchor the revitalization of this growing community, and act as a catalyst for future investment in the area.”

Robert E. Dietz founded the lantern company Dietz, Brother and Company in Brooklyn in 1840. After a fire destroyed the R.E. Dietz factory in New York City in June 1897, the company purchased its only competition at the time, the Steam Gauge and Lantern Company of Syracuse, eventually moving the company’s manufacturing center to the city. In 1971, Dietz stopped making lanterns in Syracuse, moving all production to Hong Kong. The company closed its doors for good in 1992.

Central New York Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chairs Robert Simpson, president of CenterState CEO & Upstate Dr. Danielle Laraque-Arena  said, “Revitalizing urban cores is a key goal of our region’s strategic plan, and as part of those efforts, the CNYREDC is committed to supporting projects that rehabilitate neglected, historic buildings in the region. The Dietz project brings new life to a structure that stood vacant for 25 years, creating a link between the picturesque lakefront area and downtown Syracuse, while building on investments to advance growth in underserved neighborhoods that benefit of the whole community.”

State Senator David Valesky said, “Restoration of buildings like the R.E. Dietz lantern factory revitalizes neighborhoods and attracts new residents while preserving historic landmark structures. I’m pleased to see how Empire State Development and the CNYREDC’s economic development projects continue to transform downtown Syracuse.”

State Assemblyman William Magnarelli said, “I congratulate everyone involved for taking an abandoned industrial site and turning it into a cornerstone for further investment on the west end of Syracuse.  The revitalization of the former Dietz Lantern Factory building is another positive step for the City that will complement ongoing development and growth in Downtown Syracuse and the Inner Harbor.  These investments are bringing people and businesses back to the City.  Again, it is great to see results from our State investments in Syracuse.”

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney said, “The ongoing investment in Syracuse is paying off as new housing and economic opportunities continue to be developed. This project marks another milestone in the revitalization efforts which are working to attract those who are looking to live, work and play in Syracuse. Thank you to Governor Cuomo, Empire State Development and the Paulus Development Team for their continued attention to and investment in Onondaga County.

For additional information on the Dietz project, click here.

Accelerating Central NY 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 nearly $3 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.​

###