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2015 Annual Meeting

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the 2015 Annual Meeting of the Downtown Committee of SyracuseWednesday June 24, in the Ballroom of the Oncenter Convention Center. 

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350 members of the downtown community helped us celebrate our 40th Anniversary year. The Downtown Committee became the first special assessment district in the state when it was established in 1975. Community leaders who founded the Downtown Committee recognized the importance of creating a vibrant urban center and the need to establish a dedicated organization to support its revitalization.

Chairman James Breuer opened the luncheon by sharing his memories of 1975. He set the scene by taking us back to the year that saw the end of the Vietnam War and the debut of Saturday Night Live. Back then, we were playing with Pet Rocks and Rubik's Cubes... and this song was a big hit.  

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Keynote Address:

We welcomed the President and CEO of the Congress for the New Urbanism, Lynn Richards, as our keynote speaker. Richards, a Rochester native, spoke to the national demographics as the tipping point for cities and neighborhoods, the benefits of investing in places, and the importance of collaboration as Downtown Syracuse plans ahead for its exciting future. 

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In her keynote address, Ms. Richards discussed ways we can accelerate the pace of change. She proposed creating walkable communities and green space, and establishing affordable housing as a few examples of how we can work together to provide more opportunities for the next generation. 

State-of-Downtown Address:

In her State of Downtown Address, our Executive Director Merike Treier shared recollections of the forward-thinking that has a history of transforming the landscape of Downtown Syracuse, while shining a spotlight on the exciting projects currently underway - and planned - in the center city.

Ms. Treier highlighted the commitment of retailers, entrepreneurs and others who have long believed in Downtown’s strength. She spoke about the renaissance underway on South Warren Street as the district continues to re-invent itself as an innovator through the growth of tech-oriented companies, and the power in partnerships.

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Downtown Awards of Excellence: 

Accomplishments of the last year were recognized, as three downtown champions were honored for their commitment to growth, diversity and revitalization in Downtown Syracuse:

Entrepreneur Troy Evans received the Urban Innovation Award for transforming 201 East Jefferson Street into one of the coolest office spaces around, creating a home for independent workers, entrepreneurs and freelancers in Syracuse CoWorks

Owner of Kitty Hoynes Irish Pub and RestaurantDavid Hoyne, received the Heart of Downtown Award for his on-going efforts and neighborly approach to all in the Downtown community.

NOexcuses Tours, Inc. founder Michael John Heagerty received the Perfect Partner Award for his contagious passion that has brought new attention and vibrancy to our city center through a series of tours.

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Congratulations to Troy, David and Michael!

Throughout the Annual Meeting, attendees were encouraged to use the hashtag, #CelebrateDowntownSYR to celebrate the progress they’ve seen, and share the potential they see for Downtown Syracuse.

You're invited to join the conversation as we continue to spotlight various monthly themes related to Downtown’s accomplishments and continued growth as our 40th Anniversary celebration continues. Get involved by following the Downtown Committee on Facebook (Downtown Syracuse), Twitter (@downtownSYR) and Instagram (downtownsyracuse). Send us your pictures too! We love to see Downtown through your eyes. 

If you have any questions, or suggestions for us as we begin to plan our 2016 Annual Meeting, please call (315) 470-1952 or email mail@downtownsyracuse.com.

Please let us know if you know of someone who has been actively involved in making good things happen downtown, and left a positive footprint on our downtown community. We would love for you to submit a nomination for an Award of Excellence to be presented at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Downtown Committee. 

Click here for a nomination form.