Three relatively new businesses in the Hawley-Green Neighborhood of Syracuse held a joint ‘open house’ today to gain a little more exposure. The business owners see the once-struggling area as ‘on the way up.’ They also got a bit of a helping hand to be part of the area’s revitalization. Tim Ahart owns the Wine at 105 store…and feels they opened at the right time.
“I’ve heard stories of it going up and down over the decades. But I think we’re here at a good time. Two other businesses opened right when we did. So I think there’s a lot of good things going on down here with Mike at NEHDA promoting the neighborhood, growing and expanding.”
He’s referring to Mike La Flair, Executive Director of the Northeast Hawley Development Association. La Flair sees the close-knit neighborhood improving – and attractive.
"The great thing down here is just the diversity and it works. It’s not about whether you’re black or white, old, young, gay or straight; it’s about being a good neighbor. And I think that’s the thigh, people see and accept. They really don’t care. As long as you’re a good neighbor, great. And it works.”
La Flair says several vacant homes managed by the Land Bank will soon be developed along with other business interest. Wine at 105 joins Fresh Spa and 83 & Company bakery…all of which got some help from investments made into buildings by Laura Serway and Cindy Seymour, owners of Lacy’s Tapas Bar. Bakery Owner Esther Houston grew comfortable moving her business.
“We’d been doing business with Laci’s for about a year. And so over the course of the year, delivering things and talking to them, I really got a feel for the neighborhood and how everything was changing.”
Both business owners say they’re benefitting from development downtown – just a few blocks away. They hope revitalization in Hawley Green can improve both their business and a once-troubled neighborhood.