The Future of Downtown Syracuse Retail Gets a Glimpse of Recent Success Stories

Oct 18, 2013

Café Kubal's downtown location
Credit Downtown Committee

People who might want to open up shop in Syracuse got the red carpet treatment from the Downtown Committee Thursday.  The Downtown Committee’s Retail Recruitment event is hoping to capitalize on recent changes. 

One group of would-be business owners gathered at Cafe Kubal and saw the brisk business of the cappuccino makers and coffee purveyors in the relatively new business. 


Crowds welcomed the downtown location of Gannon's Isle Ice Cream. It was a stop on the retail tour.
Credit Downtown Committee

Joanne Grigoriev came in from Cooperstown to see about expanding her unique furniture company.

“It’s like the perfect American business model.  It’s locally designed, hand-made from locally sourced woods so we’re looking to possibly retail in the area.”

She's already had a taste of business for her "Just Lean Back" convertible furniture

“We can draw from Manlius, Cazenovia.  I did the Craft Fair in the summer and that turned out to be very well for us, so that’s why we’re exploring the possibility.”

Grigoriev and the others heard about some positive trends on their tour with Adria Finch of the downtown Committee.

“16 new businesses have come downtown.  They seem to be doing really well in pulling in a lot of patrons in.  The residential population of downtown is increasing and that’s really encouraging more people to do business downtown as well.”

Jolime Café is another example of a business that's recently opened a downtown location.

Finch says retail rents go from about 9 dollars a square foot to around 21 dollars a square foot, thought hat can be negotiable depending on lease lengths and build-out costs.

"We can connect individuals with advisors to come up with business plan.  We also can help them find a space.  They can tell us what features they’re looking for.  We can help them find financing and incentives to help local their business downtown."

The retail recruitment program hopes those trends - and some business help - can entice more store owners to set up shop.