Upstate, private company announce plans to redevelop Kennedy Square in Syracuse

 

SYRACUSE, N.Y. ¿ Upstate Medical University and COR Development Company LLC will collaborate on the redevelopment of 10 acres of Kennedy Square, New York Lt. Governor Robert Duffy announced during a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday, Dec. 1 in Syracuse.

As part of the redevelopment, Kennedy Square will be renamed Loguen's Crossing in a tribute to the Rev. Jermain Loguen and his family, who lived nearby on E. Genesee Street. Loguen's home was part of the Underground Railroad and his daughter Sarah became one of the first African American women physicians in the United States, when she earned her medical degree in the 1876 from what is now Upstate Medical University.

"The Syracuse community has shown its resolve and demonstrated the leadership necessary to take the Loguen's Crossing project from concept to reality," said Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy. "The success of this project will be a real victory for the local economy and a clear sign New York is open for business."

The redevelopment of Kennedy Square will involve 10 acres of land adjacent to the Central New York Biotechnology Research Center (CNYBRC), a $22 million project between Upstate and the State University College of Environmental Science and Forestry that is currently under construction.

"We are pleased to partner with COR Development Company on this transformative project for Syracuse," said Upstate President David R. Smith, M.D. "This public private partnership will showcase how working together we can create new opportunities for economic development."

Steve Aiello, president of COR Development, said: "COR Development is proud to join with SUNY Upstate on this public-private partnership as we work together to create jobs here in Syracuse and revitalize our community. I thank the State of New York for its commitment in helping us take the next step toward realizing our vision at Loguen's Crossing."

State Sen. David Valesky applauded today's announcement. "Continued progress toward the development of Kennedy Square is good news for the community, and I am pleased to see a spirit of cooperation for the benefit of the neighborhood, the city and the region."

State Sen. John DeFrancisco said the project's benefits are many. "It is very exciting to see this public private partnership take place in Syracuse," he said. "Not only will it stimulate Central New York's economy, it also will rehabilitate part of the city, and recognize the Loguen's contributions to history."

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner thank state leaders for their support of the project. "I would like to thank the Governor and the Lieutenant Governor for their continued support of our region's economic development priorities," said Syracuse Mayor Stephanie A. Miner. "It is fitting that Kennedy Square will be renamed Loguen's Crossing as we celebrate our community's rich and unique history while looking ahead to a brighter future."

Development plans for Loguen's Crossing are still being discussed. Upstate officials will provide updates on plans to representatives from the city and county, CenterStateCEO and various neighborhood groups. Upstate officials have said the site will likely be a mix of residential, retail, office and educational space. Upstate already has plans to build an office complex at the site. The complex would allow Upstate to reduce significantly the amount of space it leases for various offices.

A recent Columbia University study said the redevelopment project is expected in the short term to have a $465 million economic impact with close to 7,000 temporary jobs. In the long term, the project anticipates a close to $200 million annual economic impact with the creation of more than 3,000 permanent jobs.

Smith said COR is a responsive local development company that brings with it a record of success. "COR projects have put people to work, provided new beginnings for small businesses and comfortable, safe and secure housing for families," he said.

COR has developed approximately 5 million square feet of commercial real estate projects throughout upstate New York, including both retail and commercial/office space, most notably the Towne Center in Fayetteville, two COR centers in Clay, Collamer Crossings Business Park in the Dewitt and a 50-unit affordable townhome project, Maple Heights, in Syracuse. In addition, COR expects to begin construction on a 300-unit apartment in Watertown this spring.

Officials say the redevelopment of this site provides Syracuse with a new opportunity to recognize its rich history, by paying tribute to the Loguen family, who lived nearby on East Genesee Street. Using his home at the corner of Pine and East Genesee streets, the Rev. Jermain Loguen is estimated to have helped more than 1,500 people escape from slavery. Daughter Sarah was one of the first African American women physicians in the United States, earning her medical degree in 1876 from what is today Upstate Medical University. Another daughter, Helen Amelia Loguen--wife of Frederick Douglass' son, Charles--was a teacher and advocate for increasing access to education for all.

While work on Loguen's Crossing begins, Upstate continues construction on the CNYBRC and expects to have it completed by June 2012. The 60,000 square-foot facility will house biotechnology, educational and research programs.

Kennedy Square is located north of Upstate's campus, bordered by E. Fayette Street on the south, Forman Avenue on the west, E. Water Street to the north and S. Crouse Ave. to the east.

Upstate acquired the property from the Empire State Development Corp. in 2008.

Caption: New York Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy announces the partnership between Upstate Medical University and COR Development Company that will redevelop nine acres of Kennedy Square into Loguen's Crossing. Duffy made the announcement at a press conference Dec. 1 at Kennedy Square in Syracuse.

 

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