Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- Downtown Syracuse is slowly coming back to life. Now, there’s a big push to attract new businesses to downtown.
Interest has been growing in Syracuse’s core and the Downtown Committee wants to capitalize by getting retailers to open up there.
"It just seemed like a good fit because there's so much more happening in downtown Syracuse. There's a lot more support from the Downtown Committee to try and get other small, local businesses to thrive,” said Todd Brundage, with Om Boys Juice Bar.
Om Boys Juice and Smoothie Bar has been open in Armory Square for only about two months. It started small in Liverpool, but Brundage says they always had eyes on a more central and thriving location like downtown Syracuse.
They came away from a downtown recruitment event last year with a better idea of how they could make it happen and why it would be a good move – and they’re not the only ones.
"Within the last two weeks I've received phone calls from two of the individuals that attended the event saying, ‘I came to this retail event, I've been thinking about downtown and now I'm ready to take those next steps and find a location, so can you help us do that,’" explained Downtown Committee Executive Director Merike Treier.
To turn up the heat on downtown, the committee is running an ad campaign, featuring commercials airing in Syracuse and other surrounding upstate markets.
One of the selling points is demographics. More people live downtown now; more people work downtown at places like O'Brien and Gere and more will be visiting thanks to places like the new hotel that’s going up in Armory Square.
"I know compared to Liverpool, a bad day downtown is better than a good day in Liverpool, so I think that speaks for itself,” Brundage said.
The Downtown Committee says it’s had 24 new retail businesses open in the past 12 months – double the year before. They hope their next retail recruitment event on October 18 will help continue the trend.