National affordable housing developer McCormack Baron Salazar, Inc. has been selected by the Syracuse Housing Authority as Master Developer in the approximately $500 million revitalization of the East Adams Street neighborhood, a 27-block, 118-square-acre area that includes more than 1,037 units of public housing and several privately-owned properties.
Syracuse Housing Authority (SHA) worked in concert with residents engaged in a multi-year visioning process to create the East Adams Street Neighborhood Transformation Plan. The plan is focused on facilitating enticing opportunities for commercial investment by redeveloping aging public-housing units with updated, energy-efficient, mixed-income housing. The plan’s footprint will expand the City of Syracuse’s urban core and will serve as a gateway to the city by reconnecting the neighborhood that currently exists at the crossroads of downtown Syracuse and the large institutions of the University Hill area, including Upstate Medical Hospital and Syracuse University.
“SHA’s resident-driven vision enticed many developers to submit proposals, which led to a very competitive RFP process,” said William Simmons, SHA Executive Director. “SHA and Blueprint 15’s selection committee chose McCormack Baron Salazar based on their strong resident engagement process, which was a top priority to ensure an inclusive opportunity for current residents.”
In addition to public housing replacement, the multi-year, multi-phase plan would include retail and commercial space along with mixed income and market rate housing. Key stakeholders include the City of Syracuse, Onondaga County, the Allyn Foundation, Urban Strategies, Inc., along with residents of current public housing in the East Adams Street neighborhood.
“We are thrilled to be selected as Master Developer of East Adams Street,” said Vincent R. Bennett, President of McCormack Baron Salazar. “The transformational vision of this project fits our core mission of blending high-quality, mixed-income residential development with community building. This vision isn’t just about bricks and concrete, it’s also about people and opportunity. It’s an understanding that exposure to jobs, proximity to educational opportunities, and access to family-oriented health and wellness help make a community strong.”
As the East Adams Street public/private partnership moves forward, a new non-profit called Blue Print 15 will serve as a conduit between the various public/private entities, and as a bridge between the residents and the development team. Blue Print 15 will incorporate five core values derived from a 20-member organization called Purpose Built Communities: the development of high-quality, mixed-income housing; cradle-to-college educational support systems; access to health and wellness programs; a community quarterback who ensures that all elements of the revitalization are working toward the same end goal; and a defined neighborhood. Blue Print 15 will serve as the community quarterback.
A core component of the McCormack Baron Salazar development approach is layering public and private funds to transform communities across the country. Going forward, McCormack Baron Salazar, Syracuse Housing Authority and Blue Print 15 will work cooperatively to raise the funds needed to complete the East Adams Street revitalization over the coming 10 to 15 years.