Connective Corridor


Key Projects & Highlights

Syracuse University, in partnership with the City of Syracuse, secured $42.5 million in external funding for the Connective Corridor – the largest public works project in Syracuse in more than 30 years.

The project includes:

$37.6 million in Connective Corridor infrastructure improvements through

  • $20 million NYS funds (ESD and DASNY)
  • $10 million federal TIGER grant
  • $2 million Onondaga County green infrastructure funds
  • $1 million National Grid
  • Other local public and private sector matching sources

$4.9 in federal funds for Connective Corridor buses and smart transportation technologies

In addition, SU provided extensive in-kind matching support through multi-disciplinary initiatives coordinated through the Office of Community Engagement and Economic Development. More than 400 faculty and students are engaged in Connective Corridor civic engagement projects.

This infusion of external funding catalyzed nearly $200 million in additional new investments in major downtown projects through the Connective Corridor and Central Business District.

Connective Corridor Initiatives

Connective Corridor Buses

  • Joint project between Centro and Syracuse University, supported by $4.9 million in federal funds to purchase buses, BusTime digital technologies and service linking the University and downtown venues, including The Warehouse, Armory Square District and Near Westside, central business districts and neighborhoods undergoing extensive revitalization
  • Free linkages to more than 30 arts, cultural and educational venues
  • Custom designed buses with graphic “wrap” treatments designed by Syracuse University students
  • “In Motion” series features poetry and literature readings, drama, music, and mobile art galleries on Connective Corridor buses; visual and performance art included promising local artists and Syracuse University faculty and students showcasing their talents
  • “USE” iPhone app developed by Syracuse University iSchool and College of Visual and Performing arts faculty and graduate students to help make bus access more convenient

Connective Corridor Façade Improvement Grant Program

  • $625,000 façade grant awards to more than 40 downtown businesses for improvements that will include:  new awnings and canopies, outdoor bistro tables, chairs and umbrellas, lighting displays and banners, custom benches, bike racks, window treatments, façade painting, murals, public art, planters and landscaping, decorative fences, art-grade pavers, window and door replacements, and other architectural enhancements
  • “Kit of Parts” designed by nationally commissioned landscape and urban design firms (Olin and Pentagram), working in conjunction with the SU School of Architecture’s UPSTATE design/real estate center

Connective Corridor Public Art

  • Commissioned works by the Connective Corridor’s Public Artist in Residence include large public art installations along the corridor
  • Works also include stereoscopes with curated images installed in historic parks along the corridor
  • Syracuse University industrial design students created Armory Square gateway signage

University Avenue Gateway

  • Multi-modal $4.6 million streetscape project, with granite curbing, pavers, green infrastructure, lighting, landscaping, bike lanes, public art and other urban design elements to create a “signature” strip for the Connective Corridor, and a showcase project for the City
  • New “gateway” to the University that also serves as a visual connector to downtown, linking University Hill with downtown art, cultural, historic, convention center, and central business district
  • Collaboration between Syracuse University, the City of Syracuse, regional engineering firms and local contractors, creating additional economic impact; Project expected to be completed  July 2012
  • University Avenue to become two-way in late summer 2012

Hotel Skyler

  • $7 million private sector investment catalyzed by the Connective Corridor, and one several projects in the University Hill  by the Woodbine Group
  • One of three LEED Platinum hotels in the country
  • One of ten LEED Platinum hotels in the world
  • Only LEED Platinum hotel that is adaptive reuse of a historic structure (1921 former Temple)
  • Syracuse now has three LEED Platinum buildings in the Corridor district:  Hotel Skyler, SyracuseCoE, and King and King headquarters at the entrance to the Near Westside

Copper Beach Commons

  • Woodbine Group is also investing along the Corridor to transform a former National Guard Armory into impressive student housing, with all-inclusive amenities
  • The $18 million, 180,000 sq. ft. project will create 133 apartments – accommodating more than 400 students
  • Project is an anchor Connective Corridor project, catalyzed by the scale of SU’s investment along the Corridor and downtown
  • Estimated project completion is August 2012

Central New York Biotechnology Research Center

  • A partnership between SUNY ESF and Upstate Medical Center to help launch biotech and biomedical for-profit companies
  • $40 million+ project, with planned opening by year end 2012
  • Part of Loguen’s Crossing, a larger 14-acre redevelopment parcel
  • The incubator and the larger project setting were awarded $5.6 million NYS REDC grant.  ($2 million to incubator and $3.6 million to redevelop adjacent site into residential and commercial area).
  • Part of strategic plan co-chaired by Chancellor Cantor which won NYS “best plan” award, securing $103 million in state funding for regional projects; “Revitalize our Region’s Urban Cores” was a priority goal

Syracuse Center of Excellence

  • The SyracuseCoE is a $41 million“living laboratory” for environmental/energy systems
  • New projects include the development of the “lab wing” as a proof of concept center for technology commercialization projects related to advanced biofuels, solar, LED lighting, battery and energy storage technologies, energy efficient / smart building systems
  • $8.7 mllion expansion now underway, supported and funded through a $3 million NYS REDC grant and other sources
  • The SyracuseCoE is also developing a smart transportation testbed that will be a portal to the Connective Corridor
  • The SyracuseCoE is a strong Connective Corridor / NWSI partner

The Plaza at Syracuse Stage

  • A Corridor showcase project is a new interactive plaza at Syracuse Stage, integrating innovative advanced technologies
  • Developed through $300,000 in ESD/DASNY funds
  • Design work led by SU’s School of Architecture’s UPSTATE design center, supported by SU engineering faculty and SenSyr, a local tech company
  • Features sensor activated musical pavers (designed by SU physics professor and musician), motion activated LED light screens that double as an outdoor stage enclosure, locally crafted wood benches that create venue seating, and other whimsical interactive features
  • Also the “setting” for an Urban Video Project by SU’s Light Work program, featuring national prominent artist Jenny Holzer
  • Project completed, with grand opening in fall 2012 to celebrate Syracuse Stage’s 40th anniversary

Forman Park

  • $1.8 million Corridor showcase project that redeveloped historic 1839 park through external funding sources
  • Designer is internationally renowned Philadelphia-based OLIN Partnership, working with local contractors
  • Owned by the City of Syracuse, the park is the “front door” for the East Genesee Street Regents Association
  • Project includes fountain, benches, sidewalks, expansive landscaping and signage, along with “historic” stereoscopes commissioned as part of the Connective Corridor’s public art programming

East Genesee Street Corridor improvements

  • $4.1 million to be invested along East Genesee Street to Forman Park streetscape improvements, projected through November 2102
  • Will continue the connection to downtown, with bike lanes, new green infrastructure, granite curbing, pavers and other unique aesthetic treatments
  • Project designed, constructed and managed locally

Phase Two & Three Projects

CNY Philanthropy Center

  • Central New York Community Foundation (CNYCF) redeveloped the 18,000 sq. ft. former University Club of Syracuse (circa 1917) overlooking historic Fayette Park (City of Syracuse Park) ; LEED Silver by U.S. GBC
  • Completed in 2010, the building now houses the Central New York Community Foundation, two other foundations and two NGO’s
  • Tasteful historic preservation, combined with modern amenities
  • A hub for collaboration between the Community Foundation, private foundations and nonprofit organizations, as well as business and community leaders; an anchor on the Connective Corridor
  • CNYCF is key partner with Syracuse University on the Say Yes to Education initiative

Civic Strip

  • Special focus area for the Connective Corridor is a concentrated area spanning State and Montgomery Streets, which is the City’s cultural and museum district; this area will receive special design attention through concepts developed through the School of Architecture/UPSTATE design/real estate center
  • Columbus Circle historic properties  receiving the attention of prominent developers and focus of significant business attraction prospects
  • Onondaga Historical Association, underwent significant renovation with assistance from the Connective Corridor façade program; is a key program partner with the Corridor on interpretive projects across the district
  • Everson, world class art museum designed by I.M. Pei which is key venue on the Corridor for major exhibitions by prominent artists and touring collections
  • Urban Video Project, a Connective Corridor funded project, curated by SU’s Light Work program — featuring large-scale outdoor video projection on the Everson of commissioned video pieces by prominent artists, and artists lectures at the Everson (recent work by William Wegman)

Centro Hub

  • New $14 million Centro transportation hub nearing completion
  • 53,000 square foot canopy will cover a bus passenger loading area
  • 22 bus passenger loading bays and an enclosed bus passenger waiting area will include a customer service desk, public restrooms, electronic bus departure information and automated bus pass vending machine
  • Scheduled to open to the public in June 2102
  • Centro is a key Connective Corridor partner, operating free Connective Corridor buses connecting University Hill and downtown

Downtown Core (catalytic projects supporting the Connective Corridor)

Tech Garden / Student Sandbox EDA University Center

  • 35,000 sq. ft. technology incubator, one of the largest in New York State
  • Partner with Syracuse University on the development of a Kauffman-funded student venture incubator/accelerator that is considered a national model
  • Collaborator with SU on the iSchool’s RvD $1.7 million IDEA seed fund, which supports the largest privately funded student business plan competition in the country
  • Partnered with Syracuse University to be named a U.S. EDA University, securing $500,000 in federal funding to create student  entrepreneurship programs, leading a 20-college coalition

Landmark Theater

  • $16 million expansion to historic theater to accommodate touring Broadway performances; one of the largest venues of its kind upstate
  • Classic 1928 former Loew’s building on the National Register; interior is opulent “European, Byzantine, Romanesque” motif from the era of “Oriental movie palaces” – the oldest of that genre in the country

Pike Block

  • 25 million redevelopment of four abandoned buildings to a mix of 78 apartments and 23,000 sq. ft. of retail; to be completed in 2013 Anchor project at “the crossroads of downtown”

Onondaga Towers

  • $8 million Class A office space renovation along Connective Corridor at the intersection of West Jefferson Street and Warren Street
  • Anchor project for Warren Street redevelopment initiative
  • 120,000 sq. ft. being redeveloped, supported by a 400-space parking garage

Merchant Commons

  • Redevelopment of two vacant buildings into 66 residential units; 23,700 sq. ft. of office space; to be completed in 2013

Dey Brothers Building

  • $14 million renovation of five-building complex into market rate apartments and first floor retail

Label Shopper Building

  • Redevelopment of vacant first floor space for apartments and retail units

Butler Building

$2.6 million redevelopment of historic building into apartments and retail units

One Lincoln Center

  • BSK signed 15-year lease to expand its footprint to 100,000 sq. ft.

Armory Square

  • The heart of downtown’s entertainment district, with vibrant restaurants, cafes, retail, attractive new work/live spaces, and home of the Museum of Science and Technology (MOST) and Bristol IMAX theater; registered historic district; actively engaged business association that is a key Connective Corridor partner on programming
  • Connective Corridor façade improvements throughout area
  • Connective Corridor welcome signage and branding
  • Connective Corridor public art showcase project, “WALT”
  • Connective Corridor billboard in conjunction with SU industrial design faculty and students, at gateway to the Armory Square district
  • Connective Corridor landscaping of gateway nodes along West Street
  • Connective Corridor crosswalk enhancements at key intersections

Recent investments include:  Jefferson Clinton Commons, environmentally conscious, upscale mixed use new development at heart of Armory Square; Jefferson Clinton Hotel; adaptive renovation of historic NYS&W railroad station as headquarters for Central New York Business Journal; major recent business attractions included Urban Outfitters which renovated historic building

Gateway for new Creekwalk 2.6 mile trail connecting to Inner Harbor, a project by the City of Syracuse and the NYS DOS Division of Coastal Resources.  The Creekwalk starts in the Armory Square district, winds past the Warehouse, and follows Onondaga Creek to Franklin Square and the Inner Harbor of Onondaga Lake.

Washington Station

  • $30 million investment by Pioneer Companies to develop new downtown office adjacent to the Warehouse, a Connective Corridor anchor project
  • New corporate headquarters for O’Brien and Gere Engineering, bringing more than 300 professionals downtown
  • Home of Onondaga County – City of Syracuse new combined “one-stop” for economic development
  • First major new construction project in downtown since 1991, catalyzing other significant nearby investments in Armory Square area

Inns at Armory Square

  • $31 million, seven-story new construction project by RJS Holdings on last major available parcel in Armory Square
  • 180 room Marriott Courtyard and Residence Inn – one of the first combined complexes in the country – with bistro restaurant, two bars, outdoor seating and raised garden terrace, pool and fitness club
  • Featuring Marriott’s most upscale, urban contemporary design
  • Directly adjacent to the Warehouse and key Connective Corridor partner
  • Opening anticipated in May 2013

The Warehouse

  • Catalytic investment in Armory Square district by Syracuse University that sparked a wave of downtown redevelopment projects and led renaissance
  • Innovative redevelopment of former furniture warehouse by the SU School of Architecture into seven story multi-use space featuring classrooms, galleries, auditorium, working studios, offices, performance space and streetside café; Connective Corridor landscaping enhancements
  • Now home of SU’s School of Visual and Performing Arts
  • Home to the SU Office of Community Engagement and Economic Development which is leading Connective Corridor and NWSI projects
  • Soon to be site of next Urban Video outdoor large-scale installation

Painted Railroad Trusses

  • Innovative public art project by the Salt District of the Near Westside
  • Featuring six paintings on three railroad trusses in Corridor/NWS district
  • Artwork  by Steve Powers, Philadelphia native and prominent NYC artist known for his conceptual work;  Fulbright scholar who has exhibited internationally and now best known for his Philadelphia mural project – 50 images called “A Love Letter to You” along elevated train in West Philly
  • Work commissioned and funded through the SU Office of Community Engagement and Economic Development

The Arts District

  • Redhouse Arts Center and Delevan Arts Center are anchors for the vibrant arts district that is emerging at the west end of the Connective Corridor
  • The Redhouse recently underwent a major expansion and now features a theater, art gallery, recording studios and post-production facilities, office space and artist lofts; it is a key Connective Corridor partner
  • The Delevan Arts Center was one of the first participants in the Connective Corridor façade program, and has adopted Corridor signage and identity; it is a former John Deere factory that is now how to about 60 artists and houses an expansive gallery that is the linchpin for Syracuse’s Third Thursday art crawls; long considered the catalyst for a vibrant arts movement in Syracuse’s downtown and a gathering place for the arts community
  • The burgeoning arts district also includes Lipe Public Art park and the Gear Factory Arts Center which is being redeveloped as studio space

The SALT District

  • Formed in 2006 by SU and The Gifford Foundation in partnership with the Center of Excellence and Home HeadQuarters to leverage the resources of SU, private foundations, the state, the city, local businesses and non-profits, and neighborhood residents to revitalize Syracuse’s Near Westside – which contains some of the poorest Census tracts in the country
  • Vision is to combine the power of art, technology, and innovation with neighborhood values and culture to create new opportunities for the people who currently live in the neighborhood as well as attract new residents to the area

CASE Complex:  WCNY/Pro Literacy

  • $22 million dollar renovation of vacant 200,000 sq. ft. warehouse space
  • The complex will be an urban plaza with WCNY as the anchor, ProLiteracy as a major tenant, and artist work/live condominiums, housing more than 180 employees
  • ProLiteracy, world’s largest literacy group, will move in May 2012
  • WCNY, local public broadcasting company, will move in to its new headquarters at end of 2012
  • Project financing includes $4.1 million in New Market tax credits and $1 million in federal funding

Skiddy Park

  • Two basketball courts renovated by the Boeheim Foundation and Courts For Kids — only porous pavement courts in Central New York, funded by  Onondaga County’s Save the Rain Program
  • NWSI raised funds renovate the playground; The City of Syracuse matched dollar for dollar
  • Playground to be named for Paul Seymour, captain of the 1955 Syracuse Nationals basketball team, who owned a business in the Near Westside

From The Ground Up: Innovative Green Homes

  • The NWSI partnered the School of Architecture, Center of Excellence, and Home HeadQuarters (HHQ) in 2009 to create a national competition that fostered advanced thinking about design, sustainability, and cost-effective building practices for the single-family home use
  • Three architects were selected and three homes were constructed
  • Today all homes are completed, owned, and occupied
  • The homes were recently featured in the March edition of DWELL Magazine and have national and international press

601 Tully

  • Scholarship In Action project renovated over two years by Syracuse University grad and undergraduate students working with artist and professor Marion Wilson
  • 601 Tully houses a gallery, a classroom/office space, and a small coffee shop, and regularly hosts art events, readings, community events, and an artist in residency program

Nojaims/ St. Joseph’s Nutrition and Wellness Center

  • Nojaim’s grocery store and  St. Joe’s health clinic are planning a $2.4 million project to renovate and expand into a “third space” where nutrition and health education will come together in the country’s first combined grocery store/health clinic where people can see the correlation between food selections and health, and have access to neighborhood services
  • Project financing included $1 million from New York State REDC’s initiative
  • FAULK College is partnering to create quality programming such as a community kitchen, rooftop urban farming, etc.
  • Nojaims advancing “healthy neighborhood” initiatives in Near Westside

King+King Architects

  • $6 million renovation of former thresher machine factory into LEED Platinum corporate headquarters for King and King Architects, one of the oldest architectural firms in the United State
  • Renovation features extensive energy conversation features;  it tied for the highest LEED score ever awarded in New York State
  • Anchor project for the SALT District of the Near Westside
  • Moved more than 75 professionals to the downtown area