The former North Syracuse post office is coming to life again after sitting vacant for a year.
The North Syracuse Chamber of Commerce, formerly known as the Plank Road Chamber of Commerce, has moved into the building. The chamber is located in the back office of the former North Syracuse post office, 201 South Main St., Suite 101, but the phone number is the same as it was (458-4181).
The move comes with the name change, according to chamber executive director Margaret DeLeo.
“We changed the name because we found that a lot of people didn’t know what Plank Road meant, especially the younger people. They’d get confused,” DeLeo said. “Now that it’s North Syracuse, people know where it is. And it’s not just North Syracuse – it’s North Syracuse, Mattydale and Hinsdale. And because our name is now the North Syracuse chamber, it’s important that we have a North Syracuse address.”
The post office has been vacant since the U.S. Postal Service closed it down in January of 2011. Village Mayor Mark Atkinson said the property was recently purchased, and the new owner is renovating and subdividing the building. Atkinson said he’s pleased to see the chamber come into the village.
“I think it’s great. It’s a great location in the middle of the village,” he said. “The name change is more reflective of the people that they serve in this area. There’s a lot of recognition with the name. I’m looking forward to working with the chamber in their new location.”
Atkinson said the chamber’s move into the property is a step toward the redevelopment of the village center, an integral part of his goal for North Syracuse.
“We have three vacant buildings in the center of the village right now,” Atkinson said. “As part of our Village Center Plan, we’ll work with anyone who wants to move forward with redeveloping those buildings. We’re doing everything we can to help fill these buildings. For the village to be healthy, the village center has to be healthy.”
DeLeo said the chamber will play an active role in maintaining the health of businesses in the village and the outlying areas.
“We’re hoping that businesses will be able to flourish and grow with our help,” she said. “People in the community know what the businesses are and when they need a service, they can trust our local businesses instead of going outside the area.”
She said the central location will work to the chamber’s advantage.
“This is a good area for us to be,” DeLeo said. “People can stop in or call for help with advertising, and we’re close to the village offices.”
Office hours for the chamber are currently 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, though DeLeo said she hopes to extend them soon. There will also be an open house at the chamber from 4 to 6 p.m. March 7 for chamber members and members of the community to see the new offices and get acquainted with each other.
Sarah Hall is the editor of the Eagle Star-Review and the Baldwinsville Messenger. The 2012 winner of the Syracuse Press Club's Selwyn Kershaw Professional Standards Award, she has been with Eagle Newspapers since 2006. She is a Liverpool native.