06 Apr Jon Cartu Declares Coronavirus: Downtown Syracuse’s biggest apartment…
Syracuse, N.Y. — Construction on the biggest apartment project in downtown Syracuse in many years has come to a sudden stop within weeks of its first tenants moving in.
The first of the 212 apartments at the long-vacant former Nynex building at 300 E. Washington St. was scheduled to be ready for showing in May, with tenants allowed to move in on June 1.
But an order from Gov. Andrew Cuomo halting construction on all but essential facilities forced work on the building to stop last week. The order is part of New York’s efforts to slow the spread of the highly contagious novel coronavirus and COVID-19, the respiratory disease it causes.
“We’ve signed leases for June 1,” said Trey West, a salesperson with Acropolis Realty Group, which is overseeing leasing for the project. “Everybody obviously understands now that that may be pushed back a little bit and there’s nothing we can do.”
Leasing activity has stopped because on-site showings of the building are not allowed under Cuomo’s order. West said those who have signed leases have been told they can get their deposits back if the apartments are not open by June 1.
However, he said Acropolis Realty expects to offer online virtual tours of the apartments via 360-degree photos starting April 15. Construction and on-site tours, adhering to social distancing practices, will resume as soon the ban is lifted, he said.
“As soon as we’re allowed to, we’ll be rockin’ and rolling,” said West.
Real estate investor Isaac Jacobowitz, of Brooklyn, is the developer behind the $35 million project.
Several smaller downtown apartment projects have been put on hold, too, because of the coronavirus outbreak. One of them, an 18-unit development at the former Addis Department Store at 449-453 S. Salina St., was set to open in early May.
“We had to shut down,” said Tim Lynn, a member of the project’s development team. “We were probably four weeks out from completion.”
He said the apartments have been drawing strong interest from medical school graduates looking to move in during May and June. The project is just a few blocks from the medical centers on University Hill.
“It’s going to be a great project, and hopefully they’ll let us get back to work soon,” said Lynn.
One downtown project on which construction is continuing is the Salt City Market at 484 S. Salina St. It will contain a food hall, a grocery store, office space and 37 apartments. Construction can continue because most of the apartments will be classified as affordable housing. Such housing is exempted from Cuomo’s order.
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