Chimes Building Project Brings a Fresh Vision to Real Estate Redevelopment in Downtown Syracuse

Posted on October 4, 2023

Chimes Building 500 S Salina

The Allyn Family Foundation’s planned redevelopment of 500 South Salina Street, also known as the Chimes Building, is the latest investment in downtown’s southwestern corridor. Symphony Place, across the street from the restored Hotel Syracuse is being turned into apartments, Central Tech is slated to be the county’s new STEAM school, and New York State’s committed $10 million to the area as a part of its Downtown Revitalization Initiative.

These recent investments coupled with the success of another Allyn Family Foundation project, the Salt City Market, is bringing energy and attention to this part of downtown. With this present opportunity, the Allyn Family Foundation and collaborators like CenterState CEO see a chance with the Chimes Building to expand a vision of benevolent commercial real estate development and long-term community prosperity.

This approach differs from traditional real estate development in that the vision is longer and broader. Instead of focusing on short term profit gains, the goal with the Chimes Building is to foster community prosperity. One of the ways the Chimes Building project plans to do that is by providing mixed income housing. Mixed income housing development can be challenging. Construction costs are high, banks require payment at certain times, and there are few incentives and credits for mixed-income projects.

The Allyn Family Foundation is investing in the building and community upfront, believing that even if the profit doesn’t return in 5 or 10 years, it will in 20 along with a more vibrant downtown. The first-floor commercial space will be redeveloped to enhance the streetscape and bring new business to the intersection. The businesses to fill those spaces will ideally be ones that add goods or services that are currently absent downtown.

Above the commercial space, the building will be redeveloped into mixed income housing. The project plans to create approximately 150 units, which would include a mix of affordable housing, workforce housing and market rate units. The housing, together with the new business opportunities, will reactive a long under-utilized space using the principles that guided the creation of the Salt City Market and potentially offer a new model of property redevelopment.

Photo Credit: Onondaga Historical Association

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