Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - Two different developers have offered to buy the old NYNEX building across from the State Office Building, near Syracuse City Hall.
The 10-story office building has been empty for nearly 20 years. It was once home to the telephone company known then as NYNEX and eventually Verizon, which left the Salt City in the mid 90s in a downsizing move.
Buyers have expressed interest in the building, but no one has made an offer.
Two different developers want to take this massive structure and turn it into a mixed-use building, capitalizing on the sky-high demand for downtown housing.
"I think it speaks to the development going on around town and people are looking for new opportunities. Not only did we receive one purchase offer, but we received two, so we went from really no activity to quite a bit of activity in just within the past month or two,” said City Deputy Commissioner of Neighborhood and Business Development Ben Walsh.
The old NYNEX Building isn't the only one that may be coming back to life, there is a different developer that has plans for Mizpah Towers. Walsh says it’s significant because these are two of the biggest vacancies still left in Syracuse.
"So it would be really exciting to see this one get put back into productive use and I think give us hope for the other ones still remaining,” Walsh said.
The city will only say the two bidders are a local developer and a regional one who knows the Syracuse-area market.
The tentative offers are negotiable and would need final approval from Common Council.
The city has notified the current owners of its plans to seize the building for back taxes, a necessary step before moving things forward.
The current owners owe nearly $2 million in back taxes. It is possible the old owners or a lien holder could pay part of the total back to keep the building. They have 90 days in which to make the payment.