Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - A Boston-based developer has offered to buy the historic Hotel Syracuse, renovate it and reopen it. The city can seize it if no one steps up and pays back taxes by May 8.
It was once the crown jewel of Syracuse, a majestic hotel that created thousands of lasting memories.
By the turn of the century in 2000 things had started to go downhill. The landmark deteriorated to the point that it finally closed down almost a decade ago.
Different owners have proposed reopening it over the years, but have been unsuccessful and now, the Pyramid Hotel Group of Boston has stepped forward. The company takes distressed hotels, fixes and reopens them.
Edward Riley, Sr. Vice President of Pyramid Project Management and a Syracuse native says, “The Hotel Syracuse has a tremendous presence on the hospitality stage across the country. I've taken numerous calls from places as far away as California and down in Florida asking about this property. People know the historical characteristics. It's one of the best preserved hotels of its time."
Riley says the lobbies and ballrooms are in fairly decent shape and can be restored quickly. The guestrooms, he says, need a lot of work.
Right now the developer isn't interested in the adjoining Hotel Syracuse parking garage, partially because right across the street is a city owned garage that's underutilized and can more than handle the visitors to the Hotel Syracuse.
Ben Walsh, Deputy Commissioner, City of Syracuse Neighborhood and Business Development, says, "I don't think we'd see the private interest if [the hotel] was too far gone, so our expectation is that it can be renovated and again our hope is that we'll be successful this time around."
Edward Riley said, "Probably the biggest demand generator is the convention center and linking this facility with the convention center. It really allows both of them to prosper more than they have in the past.”
Riley estimates it will cost more than $60 million dollars to renovate the Hotel Syracuse, which is why they need a private/public partnership. Both the city and county seem to be willing to pitch in.
The city could seize the hotel on May 8 and could have it on the Common Council agenda the following week for approval of the sale to Pyramid, which incidentally has no connection to the local mall developer.