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  • Writer's pictureCarol Elizabeth Owens

Downtown Syracuse’s City Center Building has Officially Opened


City Center Building in downtown Syracuse

The official grand opening of the City Center Building in downtown Syracuse, was recently announced by Governor Kathy Hochul.


The location, originally home to Keith’s Theatre in 1920 followed by Sibley’s Department Store, is now transformed into a $40 million mixed-use facility that serves as a focal point for efforts to revitalize Syracuse’s downtown area.

Upgrades to the former department store support the current transformation underway in downtown Syracuse, through significant state funding, including investments by the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council and the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, as well as capital funding, tax incentives, and other economic benefits provided by Empire State Development. New York State, through Empire State Development, is providing a total of up to $4.1 million to support this project.

“The redevelopment of City Center breathes new life into the former Sibley’s building– a key project in the resurgence of downtown. The mixed-use facility will bring jobs, entertainment and business opportunities and contribute to economic growth in our region,” Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh said.

"The new City Center Building marks the start of a new, exciting, and prosperous chapter in downtown Syracuse,” Hochul said. “By investing in vibrant community anchors like City Center, welcoming new businesses to the area, and leveraging our local partnerships, my administration is committed to revitalizing community districts in Central New York and all across our state.”

The four-story facility includes 240,000 square-feet of commercial space and an attached 750-car parking garage. Among the companies operational at the new facility are project developer and construction manager The Hayner Hoyt Corporation; all-domain defense and technologies partner Huntington Ingalls Industries; green IT technology company CXtec/TERACAI; and Tompkins Community Bank. The renowned Redhouse Arts Center, a partial building owner, is also located on-site.

"City Center is one of many transformational projects that are bringing new life to storied buildings in the heart of Syracuse. Through the support of DRI and other targeted investments, we are helping to create a more vibrant and connected downtown, and a brighter future for this incredible region," said Empire State Development President, Chief Executive Officer, and Commissioner Hope Knight.

In 2021, the city of Syracuse was named as a round five, $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative winner. That effort serves as a cornerstone of the state's economic development policy, meant to transform downtown neighborhoods into vibrant centers of activity that offer a high quality of life and attract redevelopment, businesses, jobs, and economic and housing diversity.

“Syracuse and Central New York continue to grow, and I’m thrilled to see the latest addition to our vibrant downtown, the City Center building. This new hub for business, theater, and retail will help continue the area’s resurgence by creating more jobs, dining, entertainment, and shopping,” said New York State Senator Rachel May.

Hochul’s announcement complements “CNY Rising,” the region’s comprehensive strategy to generate robust economic growth and community development.

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