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Armory squared

Entertainment sector looking to officially expand its borders:

Armory Square may soon expand its borders to include the entire 300 block of South Salina Street, according to Armory Square Association president Joe Rainone. Only the west side of the street, home to the Landmark Theatre, is considered part of Armory.

Rainone said the association will vote in December to change Armory's footprint, stretching it to encompass the South Salina Street block as well as the 100, 200 and 300 blocks of Washington Street.

Rainone hopes the expansion will boost the association's membership, ultimately unifying and enhancing the area. But he faces a challenge.

Crime statistics and police enforcement

According to the Syracuse Police Department Neighborhood Crime Statistics report, South Salina had 57 reported crimes during the first six months of 2008, including 39 minor thefts. South Clinton, the next street over in the square, had only 16 reported crimes in the same period, 10 of which were larcenies.

This striking disparity between neighboring city blocks has surfaced in front of many on South Salina.

"How can you have the Cleavers over here and the wild, wild west on the next street?" asked Byron Williams, an Armory Square resident who frequently patrons the shops on South Salina.

The answer, he said, is simple: lack of police enforcement.

"The administration of justice is kind of unbalanced," he said. Certain areas have higher degrees of protection than others, he argues, and Armory is one of them.

"It doesn't seem right," he added, "especially when [the streets are only] separated by a house."

The Wilson building and 40 Below plus Adapt CNY

The house Williams refers to is the Wilson building, which he can see out the window directly across the street from discount store Dollar Wise, his location last Tuesday afternoon. The Wilson is a historic, abandoned retail space that's part of a renewal plan for the dilapidated block.

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