2017 Downtown Committee Annual Meeting
The Downtown Committee's Annual Meeting is a celebration of the announcements, people and places that have contributed to Downtown Syracuse's growth, diversity and overall vibrancy.
On Thursday, June 22, 350 members of the Downtown community gathered in the Grand Ballroom of the Marriott Syracuse Downtown (map) for the 2017 Annual Meeting Luncheon of the Downtown Committee of Syracuse, Inc, presented by Pathfinder Bank.
State of Downtown Report:
In an exciting State of Downtown Report, Downtown Committee Executive Director Merike Treier shared insights, drawing parallels between the Marriott Syracuse Downtown’s rebirth and the rebirth of Downtown Syracuse. Just as the hotel has activated Downtown Syracuse’s southern gateway entrance, the presence of new Downtown residents and major employers that chose to relocate to the center of the city has activated all of Downtown Syracuse as a community. Ms. Treier explained how Downtown has grown from what was predominantly an office center into a 24/7 neighborhood, now home to 3,500 residents and 28,000 employees (and counting!). Attendees learned how the creative visions of property owners and developers, and the commitments of business owners, restaurants and cultural institution leaders helped shaped Downtown Syracuse into the vibrant destination it is today.
“Incredible levels of investment have moved Downtown Syracuse forward this year,” said Ms. Treier. “If I could sum up the 2016-2017 fiscal year in two words, I would say it’s been about choices and changes. We’ve seen what happens when our community bands together with a collective voice. Our community’s decision to save this hotel, and our history of forward-thinking has paved the way for the active, vibrant, Downtown we know today.”
Throughout the Annual Meeting, attendees were encouraged to use the hashtag, #ThisIsOurTown to share their stories about why they invest, care about, or are excited about in Downtown Syracuse.
Right now, almost $200 million of investment activity is underway throughout Downtown Syracuse.
During the 2016-2017 fiscal year, Downtown has celebrated more than 800 new jobs added to its workforce, and the opening of 24 new retail businesses.
Downtown is home to 3,500 residents and counting... The residential population has grown 67% since 2010!
Downtown Awards of Excellence:
At our Annual Meeting, it's become a tradition to recognize the accomplishments of Downtown Syracuse All-Stars - the businesses, organizations and individuals who have contributed in positive ways to Downtown's growth, diversity and vitality. Chairman of the Downtown Committee Board of Directors Jim Breuer presented the Downtown Awards of Excellence during the 2017 Annual Meeting.
The following individuals and organizations were honored for their commitment to growth, diversity and continued revitalization efforts throughout Downtown Syracuse:
- Urban Innovation Award: Urban pioneers Bob Doucette and George Curry had a vision for Armory Square, back when it was known as a warehouse district. The duo restored the Labor Temple Building in 1984. With eight new residential apartments, the property became the first residential space in Armory Square – setting the foundation for the successful Armory Square we know today.
- Heart of Downtown Award: Dennis Connors, Historian at the Onondaga Historical Association embodies everything the Heart of Downtown Award stands for. Connors - who Downtown Committee staff like to think of as the keeper of our community’s stories - was at the forefront of the effort to save historic Hanover Square from bulldozers in the 1960s. He recognized the importance of historic preservation from an economic and cultural standpoint. Always making himself available to answer any historical question – no matter how small the detail – he will be missed when he retires at the end of this year.
- Perfect Partner: Randy Sabourin and his team at Metro Fitness received the Perfect Partner Award for their creative programming to instill healthy habits and wellness initiatives throughout the Downtown community. Sabourin sparked the conversation to bring outdoor fitness equipment to the Creekwalk earlier this year and jumpstarted the Wellness Wednesdays the Downtown community looks forward to throughout the summer season in Clinton Square.
- New this year, the Downtown Committee introduced the Newsmaker Award, given for one of the most-talked about endeavors in Downtown Syracuse during the 2016-2017 fiscal year. A group of women entrepreneurs along Warren Street were recognized for their high-quality retail shops, boutiques, restaurants and creativity that has created a new destination in South Warren Street. Congratulations to Kathie Morris of The Changing Room, Shauna Diliberto and Susan Hodell of Vintage Love, Natalie Evans and Jen Walls of The Sweet Praxis, Johanna Yorke of Otro Cinco, Cheryl Hassett of Soup ‘R Salad and Gini Cerio of Markowitz Florist!
If you know of a downtown champion who has been actively involved in making good things happen downtown, we encourage you to submit a nomination for our Urban Innovation, Perfect Partner, or Heart of Downtown Awards.
Please let us know if you know of someone who has 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 2018 Annual Meeting.
Click here for a nomination form.