2019 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.
400 members of the Downtown community - including property owners, businesses, residents and other stakeholders – convened in the Ballroom of The Oncenter for the 2019 Annual Meeting Luncheon of the Downtown Committee of Syracuse, Inc. Presented by Pathfinder Bank, the Annual Meeting is a celebration of the people and projects that have contributed to Downtown’s growth, diversity and overall vibrancy.
In an exciting State of Downtown Report, Downtown Committee Executive Director Merike Treier highlighted the incredible growth that Downtown Syracuse has experienced this year – right now $233 million in investment activity is underway – and offered a preview of the projects that our community can look forward to in the next year. Treier reflected on the ways she’s seen Downtown Syracuse grow in the 15 years that she has worked for the Downtown Committee, pointing to the evolution of South Salina Street to demonstrate the power of collaboration, and the impact a shared vision and passion for our community can have on the overall health of our city. Treier also shared how significant investments in the tech industry continue to attract talented employees and employers to Downtown Syracuse, highlighting the commitments of SideArm Sports, TCGplayer and Plowz and Mowz in choosing Warren Street as their workplace home.
The 2018-2019 fiscal year saw the opening of 20 retail businesses in Downtown Syracuse, and in the next few weeks, the community can look forward to the groundbreaking at Salt City Market – a food hall planned for 484 South Salina Street – further diversifying Downtown’s cuisine offerings.
Meanwhile, Downtown’s residential population continues to climb:
• Downtown Syracuse currently is home to 4,005 residents, representing a 70% increase in its population since 2009.
• In the 2018-2019 fiscal year, Downtown introduced 70 new apartment units, and another 106 units are projected to debut this year.
• Half of the residential units planned in the next two years for South Salina Street (which include The Lofts at Whitlock, Acropolis Center, Deys Plaza, The Chimes Building and at 484 South Salina Street) feature affordable housing units.
Additional highlights can be found in the 2019 Downtown Committee's Annual Report.
“As renewed investment fuels interest in Downtown Syracuse, people are connecting with our Downtown community in new ways,” said Ms. Treier. “Our entrepreneurs, developers, property owners and arts and cultural institutions have taken our vision for a vibrant center city community – transforming vacant buildings into theaters, coffee houses and showrooms for public art, as well as homes and workplaces – beyond anything I thought possible when I moved here in 2004. It’s amazing to see what happens when we work together, forging ideas to positively impact our community, and we aren’t done yet. The importance of making connections and working together is paramount to Downtown’s continued success.”
Downtown Awards of Excellence
Accomplishments were recognized as Chairman of the Downtown Committee Board of Directors, Anthony Fiorito, presented the Downtown Awards of Excellence. The following individuals and organizations were honored for their commitment to revitalization efforts throughout Downtown Syracuse.
*Video links highlighting our award winners are provided in the descriptions below, as well as by clicking on the image.
Urban Innovation Award: The Urban Innovation Award, given for a trailblazing activity that’s brought new attention – and energy – to a previously underdeveloped facet of Downtown Syracuse, highlighted TCGplayer. The tech company’s innovative, interactive office headquarters design activates South Warren Street, turning heads and inspiring the next generation. TCGplayer takes its interaction beyond its walls, too. It partners with Central Library to host “Dungeons and Dragons” game sessions for children and teens, and just two weeks ago, joined forces with the Marriott Syracuse Downtown to host a series of summer block parties.
Heart of Downtown Award: The Heart of Downtown Award, given for efforts that positively impact the way people feel about Downtown Syracuse, was given to the Everson Museum of Art, an institution that has evolved along with Downtown Syracuse. In the midst of celebrating the 50th Anniversary of its building in Downtown Syracuse, the Everson constantly finds new ways to connect diverse audiences to modern and contemporary artwork. Earlier this year, the museum introduced the Danial Family Education Center and through creative programming including “Third Thursday” events and “Pay What You Wish” Wednesdays, it makes sure the museum is accessible to all.
Perfect Partner: The Perfect Partner Award, given to an individual or business whose commitment positively influences Downtown Syracuse, was awarded to Michael Sgro, founder of Michael Sgro Leadership Coaching and co-founder of the newly-launched “Downtown Champions” group. As a Downtown business owner, resident and active participant in Downtown events, Michael’s enthusiasm is contagious, and his creativity continues to stir new engagement in Downtown activities.
The Newsmaker Award: First introduced in 2016, the Newsmaker Award, highlights collaborative efforts that have generated a buzz throughout the community. This year, one of the most-talkedabout projects was the transformation of 321 and 323 South Salina Street into The Whitney Lofts. The $4.5 million project reinforces South Salina Street as Downtown’s “Main Street” through 16 luxury apartments, Oh My Darling restaurant, Clementine – a Grab-and-Go lunch and breakfast counter – and The FITZ, a basement speakeasy.
Throughout the Annual Meeting, attendees were encouraged to follow along with the Downtown Committee on Twitter (@downtownSYR) using the hashtag, #ConnectDowntown to share their stories about how they use Downtown Syracuse, and what they’re most excited about looking ahead to Downtown’s future.
The Downtown Committee Annual Meeting also receives corporate support from SWBR.
Everyone who attends the Annual Meeting of the Downtown Committee will receive a copy of the 2018-2019 Annual Report. This is a yearly summary, showcasing the Downtown Committee's programs, initiatives, services and signature events - and the impact this has on the Downtown community.
The Downtown Committee of Syracuse, Inc.'s 2019 Annual Meeting is presented by Pathfinder Bank, and recieves corporate support from SWBR.