12:54 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Downtown Syracuse Builds on Success, Sees Growth Spreading

An observer of population trends and urban issues says Syracuse appears to be on the right path toward making its downtown a more thriving place.

From left to right,'s Matt Carmichael, Downtown Committee Chair Jim Breuer, and Committee Executive Director Merike Treier talk shop before the meeting at the OnCenter.
Credit Scott Willis / WAER News

Matt Carmichael is editor of, and was the keynote speaker at Wednesday’s annual meeting of the Downtown Committee. 

Matt Carmichael says Downtown Syracuse has to strike a better balance of workers and residents in order to be stronger.

Downtown Committee Executive Director Merike Treier says downtown's growth seems to be spreading or strenghening nearby neighborhoods previously disconnected from the city's core, like the Inner Harbor and Franklin Square. 

A crowd gathers for the Downtown Committee's annual meeting at the OnCenter.
Credit Scott Willis / WAER News

 She also says  it's increasingly clear that downtown and University Hill are becoming more closely linked. 

Merike Treier says density is key to driving the value and viability of downtown and nearby neighborhoods.

Also part of improving downtown’s appeal could include future plans for Interstate 81.  Treier says the current I-81 no longer works since both University Hill and downtown are becoming increasingly linked. Treier says re-imagining I-81 could activate more of downtown’s street grid, spur development, and make the area more walkable, bikeable, and attractive. Downtown development has more than doubled over the peast 10 years, to $353 million, almost half of that residential.