A lakeside brownfield is being restored for redevelopment + new public park in Syracuse

The cleanup of a piece of blighted old industrial property in Syracuse, New York’s Inner Harbor should clear the way for more redevelopment in a neighborhood that’s already seen a lot of revitalization lately. And, it will add public greenspace to the county’s lakeside trail.

Photo of Roth Steel site by Ellen Abbott of WRVO News

For years, the high-profile plot of land along Onondaga Lake—owned by Roth Steel—was defined by overgrown vegetation and junked cars.

But after the Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency purchased the parcel three years ago, work began to clean it up. Dozens of drums of liquid waste were removed, along with 2,500 tons of the shattered bits of junk cars.

It’s an all-too-typical example of the perverse form of capitalism found in the U.S. that many refer to as “corporate socialism”: profits are privatized but costs (like pollution and resource depletion) are socialized.

OCIDA Chair Pat Hogan said this week demolition begins on eight buildings still left on the property tucked in an area that he said is turning around. “I mean people are starting to realize this is an area that’s eminently suitable for small businesses, and eminently suitable as a recreation area,” said Hogan.

Loop the Lake Trail.

The part of the property next to the lake will become a new leg of Onondaga County’s Loop the Lake Trail. The rest, which amounts to between 10 and 15 acres, will be able to go on the market for private development, according to county legislature chairman Ryan McMahon.

It’s attractive property. You have Destiny USA right here, the Inner Harbor, you have Harbor West neighborhood,” said McMahon. “What [Syracuse] Mayor [Ben] Walsh and his team are doing over here is tremendous. I’m really excited about the potential.

County officials say there still could be more remedial action on the site if any signs of PCBs turn up.

The Onondaga County Office of Economic Development is a collaborative organization that provides information and services to relocating companies, expanding companies and local businesses. Their goal is to to build a more vibrant, thriving community by improving and growing the physical, financial and human infrastructure in Syracuse and Onondaga County, thus enhancing the area’s ability to retain and recruit businesses.

The Office is responsible for the management of the Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency (OCIDA), the Onondaga Civic Development Corporation (OCDC), and the Trust for Cultural Resources of the County of Onondaga (CRT).

Photo of trail courtesy of Onondaga County Parks.

Listen to 1 1/2-minute program on WRVO Public Radio.

See Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency website.

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