Updated 10/18/2012 06:40 PM
Downtown Syracuse business owners discuss advantages of operating in the city
Thursday morning, downtown Syracuse business owners answered questions from men and women considering starting their own businesses in the city. It was a forum highlighting the little known benefits of being downtown. Our Candace Hopkins tells us about the effort.
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Tina Parker, co-owner of Eureka Crafts, has been in business in Armory Square since the 1980s. There's nowhere else she'd rather be.
"It has a community, it has an energy, that isn't in a more canned environment," Parker said.
That's why Parker and other business owners are working to attract new shops and restaurants to the city. Potential owners got a chance to pick their brains Thursday.
"You want to have as many attractions as you can to get different venues to have people draw from the suburbs and other towns and so on," said Parker.
Increasing retail in the city is a goal the downtown committee is constantly working toward. And they say Syracuse is on the right track.
"There is significant amounts of investment underway, $265 million worth, in projects that are resulting in new amenities, new streetscapes and most importantly, new residents, employees and visitors to our downtown Syracuse market," said Merike Treier, Syracuse Downtown Committee's Executive Director.
Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner agrees.
"We're on pace to break an all time record with building permits and construction value and we have seen in downtown in particular that construction has been residential, retail, commercial, so we think it's very good news," Miner said.
While many downtown business owners say there are plenty of pluses about being in this area, they face some hurdles as well, especially with parking.
"The city has got a real challenge to try to remedy the parking faux pas they made with the machines they have and the costs they are now having to take on and correct for, for the problems of keeping them running," said Parker.
But despite a few small issues, everyone agrees bringing consumers and residents to Syracuse is key to the city's future.