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Lincoln Building renovation groundbreaking ceremony in Near Westside neighborhood Sept. 28

September 25, 2009

Jemeli Tanui
(315) 443-5172

The Near Westside Initiative, the City of Syracuse and Syracuse University will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for a $3.2 million renovation project of the Lincoln Building at 10 a.m. Monday, Sept. 28. The ceremony will take place at the building, on the 300 block of Wyoming Street in the Near Westside neighborhood.

The Lincoln Building, formerly known as the Lincoln Supply Warehouse, is a 100-year-old, four-story property that will be renovated to create 30,000 square feet of mixed-use commercial and residential space. The renovation will transform the first two floors into commercial space and the top two floors into live/work artist lofts.

Initial funding for the project comes from SU’s $13.8 million debt reinvestment fund dedicated to the Near Westside Initiative in 2007 and $1 million from the Round 2 Restore New York Communities grant awarded by the state to the City of Syracuse last year as part of a state initiative to help revitalize urban areas, stabilize neighborhoods and invite renewed investment.

“This is an exciting day for SU, the city, the community and our neighbors in the Near Westside neighborhood. We are extremely grateful for the steadfast support the Near Westside revitalization effort has received from New York State and the City of Syracuse,” says SU Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor. “This project is the perfect embodiment of our vision of Scholarship in Action. We are combining the intellectual capital and resources of our students and faculty with residents, community partners, civic leaders, government and business to create new cultural and economic hope and opportunity in a neighborhood with a grand history and very resilient and talented residents. This is a two-way street of beneficial development with many exciting academic, cultural and economic opportunities ahead.”

The Lincoln Building renovation is estimated to cost $3.2 million, not including acquisition, architectural and engineering costs.

“First with housing, and now with commercial properties like the Lincoln Building, the Near Westside strategy is making a significant positive impact on this critical neighborhood on the edge of downtown,” says Syracuse Mayor Matthew J. Driscoll. “I’m proud of the key role the city played to develop housing and commercial tax incentives that are leveraging the significant investments made by the Near Westside Initiative. And on behalf of the citizens of Syracuse I want to acknowledge the significant investments in this community made by Syracuse University under the leadership of Chancellor Cantor.”

The Lincoln Building project is overseen by the Near Westside Initiative, a not-for-profit organization composed of some of the region’s most experienced economic development professionals; neighborhood residents; and businesses, educational and nonprofit leaders from Syracuse, including representatives from Syracuse University, the City of Syracuse, the Rosamond Gifford Foundation, the Green and Seifter law firm, Home HeadQuarters and the Syracuse Center of Excellence (Syracuse COE). The Lincoln Building was acquired by the Near Westside Initiative, which will continue to manage the renovated building once work is completed.

“This groundbreaking ceremony is a culmination of the hard work exhibited by members of the Near Westside Initiative board and all our partners across the city,” says Marilyn Higgins, president of the Near Westside Initiative Board and SU vice president for community engagement and economic development. “Monday’s event is an important sign to residents and future investors that the Near Westside neighborhood is undergoing revitalization with significant sustainability elements.”

The Lincoln Building is part of a comprehensive revitalization project that aims to create an arts, technology and design quarter in Syracuse’s Near Westside neighborhood in keeping with the culture and values of the residents who reside there. By renovating these vacant buildings into living and work spaces the Near Westside Initiative expects to bring in artists, designers and entrepreneurs to help create sustainable economic development in the neighborhood. The quarter is called the Syracuse Arts, Life & Technology (SALT) District of the Near Westside neighborhood. Other projects for the SALT District include relocating public broadcasting station WCNY from the town of Salina to a new $17.5 million facility within the Case Warehouse complex on Wyoming Street and constructing or rehabilitating housing around Blodgett School in the neighborhood.

“I am very pleased that the Near Westside Initiative is under way and that it will bring new life to our city. This exciting revitalization project is a great community collaboration that will benefit the Central New York arts community, Syracuse University and the west side of our city,” says state Sen. John DeFrancisco, who has been closely invested in the Near Westside project from the beginning.

“This investment in the Near Westside neighborhood revitalization is a great example of how the City of Syracuse and Syracuse University can cooperate to improve the living conditions of all residents and students while also creating environmentally friendly buildings,” says state Assemblyman William B. Magnarelli. “The Lincoln Building initiative not only will renovate an empty building into a community-friendly area promoting arts and culture, it will also contribute to increasing the sense of community and pride in the Near Westside neighborhood.”

“The Lincoln Building is the kind of project that is key to revitalization of our neighborhoods and cities,” says state Sen. David J. Valesky. ”By incorporating green technology, it also represents a new standard in sustainable construction.”

The building is designed to demonstrate innovations in “green” technologies for energy and environmental systems. SyracuseCoE is funding the design of green systems for the project. The effort is led by C&S Companies, with contributions from Northeast Natural Homes, Earth Sensitive Solutions, John Todd Ecological Design, Intelligent Converted Energy, Building Energy Solutions and Steven Winter Associates.

“Our green engineering design team is an outstanding collaboration among innovative firms from here in Central New York,” says Ed Bogucz, SyracuseCoE executive director. “Our team has come up with an outstanding design that is sure to attract national attention and strengthen our region’s reputation as a leader in innovations for green buildings.”

The project is one of the first in the country that has been designed using a proposed new rating system that is being developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for mid-rise, multi-family residential buildings. Since 2000, USGBC has developed Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating Systems for a variety of building types, including commercial buildings and single-family homes. USGBC is currently developing a new LEED system for mid-rise, multi-family buildings, which have four to six stories. The Lincoln Building is designed to achieve a Gold rating in the new LEED system, one step below the highest rating.

The renovation will feature several green building technologies, such as energy-efficient geothermal heating and cooling, and storm water retention strategies that eliminate all site water from entering the city and county sewer systems. Green building amenities include interior and exterior bicycle storage racks, water-efficient landscaping and rain gardens, and an urban farm. The building’s location along the Connective Corridor, within close proximity to Armory Square, the downtown Syracuse business district, and connected to the Near Westside neighborhood, enhances sustainable living by decreasing the need for commuting via personal vehicles for its residents.

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