Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – If you haven’t been to Downtown Syracuse in a while, you might be surprised to see the development – especially in the area of retail.
Now, the city’s Downtown Committee is aggressively looking for more businesses to join the area resurgence.
Syracuse's downtown area boasts nearly $300 million of development as more and more people choose to live and visit the heart of the city.
The residential sector can barely keep up with the uptick in demand, while retailers and restaurants have been following the crowd downtown.
"You have these residents, you have a huge employment population during the day, there's a lot of visitors coming here, so it really contributes for a retailer to have all of these different demographics that they can serve, so there's tons of potential customers anytime of the day, anytime of the week,” said Lisa Romeo of the Downtown Committee.
By the end of the year, Jimmy Johns and Tim Horton's will have locations in the Pike Block at Fayette and Salina, but Romeo says the real strength of downtown is the local, independent business.
"Anyone that's offering a unique shopping experience, a unique dining experience, they can fit in Downtown Syracuse. There's enough different types of people coming here that they want options and the more options you have in one space the stronger it is,” Romeo said.
A number of local businesses – such as Gannon’s Ice Cream and Café Kubal – have expanded downtown.
Romeo says it’s spreading out beyond Salina Street. The Alto Cinco satellite Otro Cinco, for example, will soon open on Warren Street.
The Downtown Committee will hold a retail recruitment event on Thursday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The event is free, but participants must register ahead of time at the Downtown Syracuse website