The renovation of the RE Dietz factory into apartments and commercial space is an example of the renaissance in downtown Syracuse expanding outward. Developers and government officials cut the ribbon on the development today. Developer Matthew Paulus is excited to contribute to the redevelopment of the Westside neighborhood.
“This is an old lunchbox community. It had all the old factories: the RE Dietz, the Marsellus Casket, the Rock West factory. So, that has kinda transitioned over from single family homes to this unique area that has people living in apartments. Some of those initial established businesses are still here, like Middle Ages, so there’s a really great diversity amongst this community.”
The Dietz factory sits just off of Erie Boulevard West, about five blocks from downtown. The other side looks onto Leavenworth Park and the old Victorian homes there. Paulus explains the mixed-use of the building is already drawing interest.
“92 lofts that we have on floors two, three and four. We have 50,000 feet of commercial space. That includes both office and retail. Today we have an architectural firm, Dan Manning. We have Jacobsen Rugs, which has been a long time retailer. We’re also welcoming O-Yoga Studios.”
About two-thirds of the apartments are rented. Rents run from $1300 to about $2000. Paulus says it will also bring in more revenue for the city.
“This building was on the tax rolls before we started development with it. But obviously we’ve just added $20 million of construction costs to this asset. So over time the city will collect taxes off of the increased asset value, which will be a boost for the city.”
The project benefited from a state grant through the Regional Economic Development process, along with historic tax credits. The building was built back in 1904 as the Dietz Lantern business was expanding from New York City, a time when there was still water in the Erie Canal through Syracuse.