Gut rehabilitation transforms formerly vacant historic buildings into 16 new apartments and two new restaurants
Syracuse, NY, May 24, 2019 – Mayor Ben Walsh, The Community Preservation Corporation (CPC), development partners Steve Case and Ryan and Leigh Ann Benz, along with Empire State Development (ESD) held a ribbon cutting to celebrate the opening of The Whitney Lofts, located at 321-323 South Salina Street in Syracuse, New York. The $4.2 million gut rehabilitation of the formerly vacant buildings features 16 new apartments, and is home to three new restaurants; Oh My Darling, Clementine and a 1920’s speakeasy, The Fitz.
Originally constructed in 1856, the two neighboring buildings are located in the heart of Downtown Syracuse in the South Salina Street Downtown Historic District, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2009. Each building has unique historical significance to Downtown Syracuse, including previously serving as a local office outfitter, the Park-Brannock Building where the Brannock foot measuring device was first invented and manufactured, and later the Whitney Department Store. In the 1960s, the original brick exterior with large windows of 321 South Salina Street was covered with cement.
Last year, with support from U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer, the National Park Service approved access to historic tax credits to help fund the restoration of the building’s 1930s façade.
“The rehab of 321-323 South Salina Street is another shot in the arm to downtown Syracuse’s resurgence and I was proud to work side-by-side with CPC to ensure that no bureaucratic red-tape stood in the way of its completion,” said U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer. “Every time I visit downtown, it’s clear why so many people are choosing to live, work and visit the city’s core. I will continue to work with local officials to keep that momentum going for years to come.”
“It’s projects like this, which provide places for people to live and work, that are driving population growth and investment throughout our city,” said Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh. “Thank you to our federal and state partners, the Community Preservation Corporation, Acropolis Realty Group, and the rest of the team that worked together to make this project happen.”
The newly renovated twelve one-bedroom and four two-bedroom apartments include high ceilings, natural hardwood kitchen cabinetry, granite countertops, contemporary stainless-steel appliances, ceramic tile bathrooms with tiled walk-in showers, and hardwood flooring. The developers hired Juniper & Ivy Design to maintain the building’s original charm and character, while bringing it into the 21st century.
“As Syracuse Based Developers, restoring our Downtown Corridor is of paramount importance both to us, and we believe, to our shared Central New York future,” said development partner Ryan Benz. “We are tremendously excited at the robust energy Downtown and thank all of our partners for their work and passion into completing the Whitney Lofts project.”
“At CPC, we’re committed to working with the City and local stakeholders in their efforts to help bring people and economic opportunity back to downtown Syracuse. Projects like the Whitney Lofts take our historic industrial buildings and transforms them into housing and commercial space that brings new life and new stability to this growing community,” said Andrew D’Agostino, Vice President, Mortgage Officer at CPC. “My thanks to Mayor Walsh, to the partners of 321 South Salina Street LLC, Senator Schumer, ESD, and to Comptroller DiNapoli and the Common Retirement Fund for their commitment to funding housing projects that makes a difference in our neighborhoods.”
“Our state pension fund is supporting this project because it will help revitalize Downtown Syracuse while providing a solid investment return for our members,” said State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, trustee of the New York State Common Retirement Fund. “We are pleased to once again partner with the Community Preservation Corporation on a shared mission to develop an important housing project.”
ESD President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “By breathing new life into these old and underutilized buildings we are continuing to create a downtown that is attractive to all generations of New Yorkers and generate new opportunities for long-term growth.”
“The completion of the Whitney Lofts is another example of how Historic Credits have been stimulating private investment, creating local jobs, and transforming downtowns into places where New Yorkers want to live, work, and play,” said Erik Kulleseid, acting Commissioner for the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. “The developers have completed the herculean task of reinstating one of historic façades that had been missing for a generation. We are extremely grateful to the project team for their commitment to enrich this important historic streetscape and setting the stage for future developments along South Salina Street.”
CNYREDC Co Chairs Deborah F. Stanley, President of SUNY Oswego and Randy Wolken President of the Manufacturers Association of Central New York said, “This is a transformational project that will provide a catalyst for business development, enhance the city as a destination, and act as an engine for future growth for the entire region.”
“We are excited to welcome 16 new apartments to our Downtown Syracuse residential landscape, and we are equally as thrilled to have three new, unique establishments to add to Downtown’s high-quality cuisine offerings,” said Merike Treier, executive director of the Downtown Committee of Syracuse. “The Whitney Lofts project embodies the resurgence currently happening on South Salina Street. Downtown’s ‘Main Street’ has a long history of being a people-attractor. The revitalization of these buildings showcases Salina Street as a thriving ‘new’ neighborhood from both a residential and retail perspective.”
Downtown Syracuse, home to more than 1,500 business and professional organizations with more than 29,000 employees, has experienced a revitalization through the conversion and adaptive reuse of several vacant buildings. Situated in the heart of the Central Business District, near courthouses, City Hall, the County Library, Armory Square, hotels, restaurants, and retail and office space, 321-323 South Salina Street will serve as a catalyst for continued investment and growth in an area of Syracuse that is experiencing a high demand for quality housing.
Downtown Syracuse has experienced a 77% growth in its residential population in the last ten years. Currently, nearly 4,000 people live in Downtown Syracuse and the occupancy rate holds steady at 99%.
CPC provided a $3.6 million construction loan, and a SONYMA-insured $3.5 million permanent loan through their partnership with the New York State Common Retirement Fund. The project also received a $100,000 grant from National Grid through their Brownfield program.
The commercial tenant will create 20 new full-time, permanent jobs and in exchange, Empire State Development is supporting this project with a Round VII Regional Economic Development Council capital grant totaling $320,000. New York State & Federal Historic Tax Credits contributed $1.7 million to the project.
About the Community Preservation Corporation (CPC)
Established in 1974, CPC is a nonprofit affordable housing and community revitalization finance company that believes housing is central to transforming underserved neighborhoods into thriving and vibrant communities. The company provides a full suite of capital products through its construction lending, permanent lending, and equity investing platforms. Since inception, CPC has leveraged approximately $10.5 billion in private and public investment to finance more than 193,000 units of multifamily housing. CPC’s work with its partners has helped revitalize countless neighborhoods and provided quality housing for families, senior citizens, and individuals with disabilities. Visit CPC at communityp.com, and on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
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