Developing Syracuse Series: So you want to develop a property in the city of Syracuse?

Cosmo Fanizzi rehabilitated a condemned arts and crafts house in the University section, which he sold to buy a building on Division Street on the Northside. After fixing up that property and selling it, he was ready for a new project.

This time he's partnered with another entrepreneur, Christian Van Luven who owns the Roji Tea Lounge with his wife and partner Tomomi.

After a lot of looking around, the two gentleman picked up a distressed four story property on Syracuse's Near West Side, about a block south of the newly renovated structure that houses King and King Architects. It's next door to the fire station and is currently painted in Syracuse University orange and blue.

The structure has a full, dry basement; a garage area that functioned as a woodworking shop; a first floor that was built out to be a club that never opened; two flats upstairs that were hacked into four efficiencies; and a view of downtown Syracuse out the back.

The building has nice lines and is sound except for the roof having fallen in over the one story garage/shop area.

So what's the problem?

Well to start with the property was full of crap. Not everyone has the vision to see beyond this.

This week the two men will meet formally with the city about development plans. They have asked me to chronicle their journey as a blueprint of sorts for others who might want to follow suit.

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