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Progress Breakfast Shines Spotlight on Entrepreneurship as Downtown Syracuse Becomes a 24/7 Neighborhood

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

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Syracuse, NY - Approximately 150 members of the community joined the Downtown Committee of Syracuse, Inc. for breakfast Tuesday morning, March 29, to learn about three ground-breaking endeavors bringing new energy to Downtown Syracuse at the Progress Breakfast. Building upon the momentum generated from the first-ever Progress Breakfast held in October, Harris Beach, PLLC presented the event at 8:00 am at SKY Armory.

With more than $340 million currently invested in downtown redevelopment activities, Downtown Syracuse is in the midst of a renaissance. Since March, 2015 Downtown has welcomed 20 new businesses. The center of the city has also experienced a surge in residential activity. With more than 3,250 people now calling Downtown Syracuse their home, the community has experienced a 40% increase in residents in the last five years.

As Downtown Syracuse moves closer to a 24/7 Downtown, Progress Breakfast attendees heard directly from four entrepreneurial individuals who are contributing to Downtown’s growth by building connections through living, working and playing in Downtown Syracuse. In their own words, presenters offered an inside look at three of the most talked-about ventures happening Downtown right now:

First, Troy Evans and John Talarico, the founders of Commonspace – and Syracuse’s first Co-Working complex, Harris Beach Syracuse CoWorks – introduced attendees to a more connected way of living and working through Co-Living and Co-Working, a new development concept that has generated national headlines. Commonspace is accepting applications for leases now. The living portion of the space, located at 201 East Jefferson Street (map), officially opens later this spring. Evans and Talarico shared how the project blends Co-Working, private living space, common areas, technology and management to create a new neighborhood with an emphasis on building human connections.



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Then, Chedy Hampson, Co-founder and CEO of TCGplayer.com, located the 10th floor of the State Tower Building (map), discussed how the company has doubled in size each year since 2013, when it was running out of Hampson’s dining room. Today, TCGplayer.com is the technology leader in the collectible gaming industry – a fast growing multi-billion dollar market with over 25 million players worldwide. TCGplayer.com was recently recognized as one of the top 100 Workplaces for Women in the country by Fortune Magazine, as well as one of the Best Companies to Work for in New York State. Hampson is most proud that it was voted a great place to work by 100% of employees.




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Then, guests met Mark Graydon, one of the owners of Wolff’s Biergarten, which opened in a former firehouse at 106 Montgomery Street (map), just four months ago. Founded in Downtown Albany in 2009, breakfast guests learned why one of the best-branded soccer bars in the country chose to expand to Hanover Square, and how its newest location is creating a buzz throughout Downtown and beyond.




Wolffs Biergarten 250As part of this special program, all presenters were available after breakfast, so that guests were able to mingle and network in a more personal setting.

The Good Morning Downtown Syracuse Progress Breakfast was designed to celebrate the forward-thinking and progress that has fueled recent redevelopment in Downtown Syracuse. The first-ever Progress Breakfast was held in October, 2015, and highlighted three transformative projects: The Connective Corridor’s charge to restore connections between the University Hill community and Downtown through the installation of public art; The Redhouse Arts Center’s upcoming move to City Center re-awakening the corner of South and West Jefferson Streets; and finally, renovation progress at the Hotel Syracuse. Guests left feeling recharged and excited about Downtown’s future.

“The momentum in Downtown Syracuse is contagious,” said Merike Treier, executive director of the Downtown Committee. “The Progress Breakfast provides a great forum to build upon that energy. Not only do guests get the inside scoop on three ways Downtown is becoming the 24/7 neighborhood we all envision, but the true beauty of the morning comes from the valuable networking opportunities that follow the presentations. We’re grateful to partner with Harris Beach, a law firm with a long history of supporting entrepreneurial efforts in our community, to present this Progress Breakfast.”

“Working so closely with start-up companies and entrepreneurs is one of the best parts about my job,” said Brendan Palfreyman, an associate at Harris Beach, specializing in Intellectual Property and Business and Commercial Litigation Practice Groups. “Harris Beach has helped several start-up companies in Downtown Syracuse, including tenants of the Tech Garden, through the years. It’s an honor to present this breakfast and celebrate the creativity of our entrepreneurs.”


About Harris Beach, PLLC:
Founded in 1856, Harris Beach is among the country’s top law firms as ranked by The National Law Journal. Harris Beach and its subsidiaries provide a full range of legal and professional services for clients across New York State, nationally and internationally. Clients include Fortune 500 corporations, privately-held companies, emerging businesses, public sector entities, not-for-profit organizations and individuals. Principal industries Harris Beach represents include education, energy, financial, food and beverage, health care, insurance, manufacturing, medical and life sciences, real estate developers, state and local governments and authorities. The firm has more than 200 lawyers, practicing in offices located throughout New York State, in Albany, Buffalo, Ithaca, New York City, Rochester, Saratoga Springs, Syracuse, Uniondale and White Plains as well as in New Haven, Connecticut and Newark, New Jersey. For more information, please visit www.HarrisBeach.com.

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