Revitalizing an Overshadowed Neighborhood in Syracuse, NY
The South Avenue Corridor in Syracuse, NY was once a thriving commercial corridor but has suffered from years of disinvestment, creating challenging economic dynamics for residents. Now, bringing together local community leaders, non-profits and City agencies, the City of Syracuse is committed to develop a plan to re-energize the South Avenue Corridor with market-feasible, community-supported strategies for revitalization.
In 2018, the Syracuse Industrial Development Agency (IDA) retained Camoin Associates and our planning-partner, Bergmann Associates, to complete an economic development feasibility study for the South Avenue Corridor. The study was purposefully community-forward, leveraging the voices and opinions of not just the project’s Steering Committee, but also South Avenue residents and local policy makers. Camoin and Bergmann collected stakeholder input through three community workshops, a project Facebook page, and a community survey that was available both online and in hard copy. Local stakeholders were given the ability to engage with the project team throughout the planning process.
The planning process was informed with market research and analysis. Camoin completed a comprehensive market analysis of the economic and demographic trends within and around the corridor, as well as similar commercial corridors in Syracuse. We also worked alongside Bergmann Associates and City officials to develop a series of feasible strategies to guide economic development along South Avenue. The strategy outlines strengths to leverage, like the significant traffic counts along the corridor, and hurdles to overcome, while presenting a set of realistic goals for neighborhood development, corridor character, and quality of life. The recommendations recognize the changing perception toward the area, as well as its central downtown location and abundant green space, all of which contribute to the neighborhood’s economic potential.
- Market analysis of the South Avenue Corridor
- Community outreach sessions to gain on-the-ground stakeholder input
- Development of feasible redevelopment concepts and strategies for the corridor
The final project meeting brought out a dynamic crowd, including the Mayor of Syracuse (pictured right), who was excited to show his support for the project. A follow-up meeting with local stakeholders was conducted after completion of the study, facilitated by and with full support of the City of Syracuse. The City sees this study as a model for similar corridor redevelopment initiatives that it wishes to take on in the future. The first phase of implementation was generously made possible by the Allyn Family Foundation, proceeding through the end of 2018.