According to Syracuse.com, COR Development plans to begin its construction of the Syracuse Inner Harbor project before the end of the year. Aside from renderings that have already been made public, COR plans to present the city its design and site plans within a few months. Among the developments being planned on the 34 acres of former state land over the next 5 to 10 years are...
It's an ambitious project to say the least.
As much as I love its potential, I understand the criticism. Not only could it end up looking very "corporate", but we're giving one company a huge share of land and money and basically saying, "Here you go. Do what you want.". It reeks of Congelism. But I think in this scenario, given the history, successes, and mistakes that have lead us to have a huge contrast of desirable and undesirable settings within such a small amount of land (a half mile radius to be exact), this needs to happen in order to connect the dots between everything.
As it stands today, we have roughly four different vibes happening in the Lakefront...
- A desirable and huge mall that feels totally disconnected from the rest of the city.
- A scattered and unorganized arrangement of newly refurbished apartment buildings, shells of old industrial buildings, a creekwalk, and a nearby sewage treatment.
- A very desirable area in Franklin Square; possibly the city's greatest pedestrian district and asset for original character.
- A blank slate of land (with water) laying between the mall and Franklin Square.
And as much as I don't want Destiny USA to be associated with this city, we have to come to terms that it's here to stay and a part of our community. And if we want to improve its relationship between where it is right now (on the outskirts of town) to where it could feel psychologically (tied in with the city), we need to start building on the empty land that separates the two.
Picture if you will, a walk from shopping at Destiny USA, to the Inner Harbor for a stroll along the boardwalk, to beautiful Franklin Square for coffee, down the Creekwalk, and into Armory Square. I mean, it will provide so many different environments and relationships within such a short distance. And it could help connect everything without having to use a car in order to do it (ideally).
So this sounds hasty, but I'm all for this thing getting underway as soon as possible. However, I also understand the criticism because it puts a lot of hope and faith into one private company. If you have any thoughts, feel free to leave them below.