Syracuse opened the application window for a new program to revitalize commercial corridors in city neighborhoods using federal pandemic relief funds. Officials made the announcement on North Salina Street in Little Italy. Business Development Deputy Commissioner Eric Ennis said the funds can provide a much-needed spark for the corridors.
“They have experienced tremendous economic hardship over the past two years with COVID-19. Some have experienced decades of disinvestment. The purpose of this program is to target and create a fund of grant opportunities to help support landlords as well as tenants who may be looking to move in or expand retail storefront space, enable potentially upgrade apartments upstairs, creating more life and dynamism.
The launch of the Trade Corridor Enhancement Fund follows the closing of the application window for $10 million in public funding for the Southwest Gateway project. Mayor Ben Walsh said the alignment of federal, state and local funding is an unprecedented, once-in-a-generation opportunity.
“In order to see true comprehensive and holistic neighborhood revitalization, we need to invest in our trade corridors. We need to invest in our main streets. While we’ve certainly seen a lot of investment downtown, we want to make sure that extends outside of downtown, along our trade corridors, ultimately helping to improve our neighborhoods.
Businesses, non-profits and community organizations can apply for corridor improvement funds. Projects can range from $10,000 to $10 million. The deadline is June 15.
The Commercial Corridor Fund will provide grants to support the redevelopment and improvement of underutilized commercial and mixed-use properties, as well as quality of life and “catalytic” neighborhood development programs. The fund includes five categories of projects:
· Tier 1 projects are those estimated to cost between $10,000 and $100,000 and include exterior improvements and/or facade improvements.
· Tier 2 projects are those estimated to cost between $100,001 and $1,000,000 and include interior fit-up to expand the existing business or accommodate a new tenant.
· Tier 3 projects are those estimated to cost between $1,000,001 and $2,000,000 and include new construction or fit-up, as well as major interior and exterior improvements.
The Quality of Life Corridor upgrades are those estimated to cost $2,000,000 and include new lighting, shared parking solutions, shared energy efficiency upgrades, and pedestrian safety upgrades .
· Neighborhood Catalyst projects are expected to cost between $2,000,000 and $10,000,000. These large projects will include job creation requirements and must involve new construction or the adaptive reuse of a long-vacant structure.
Applicants can be for-profit and non-profit/501c3 or c4 organizations. All proposed project sites must be located within a qualified ARPA census tract (see the map here).