North Syracuse mayor Mark Atkinson stands in front of a map of the village of North Syracuse near his office. The green area on the map is the village center which has a new plan about to be adopted by the village board.
North Syracuse North Syracuse's Village Center plan is near adoption by the village board, and the efforts towards revitalizing the community’s central area have already borne fruit. Two of three derelict buildings on Main Street have found new life.
“The village center is key to everything,” said North Syracuse Mayor Mark Atkinson, “just having all those building filled. Those larger buildings [will be] mixed use with some apartments in them. That's what we're going to have on the top, because I think it would be a great place to live right in the village.
“My vision is to have the village center [at a] full occupancy rate, no vacant buildings,” Atkinson continued. “We're going in that direction right now. Ideally, on my dream sheet, I'd love to see the telephone poles go away and have underground infrastructure. As you look down Route 11, you see all those poles but that is so cost-exorbitant, I don't know if we'll ever get to that. Everything's on the table with us. We're looking at everything.”
Atkinson said one effort that got developers interested in the two buildings now under renovation was a tax incentive. The incentive is a tax break for mixed use commercial-residential buildings in the village.
One of the buildings, the village's old post office, was sold and the new owners are working on turning it into something new.
“I've met with the people that are conducting that renovation, and they're moving forward with renovating that into mixed use commercial-residential,” Atkinson said. “They've seen the Village Center plan because it talks about that building.”
The village is also going for a $100,000 grant through the rural urban renewal program for that building. At press time, the grant had not yet been awarded, but a response was expected within a few weeks.
The building at 102 South Main St. next to Syracuse Realty was bought at auction recently, and the owner is preparing to turn it around. The third building, the old dollar store in the village, is more of a challenge, the mayor said.