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2017: The Year that was in Central New York Business

By Eric Reinhardt


SYRACUSE — Company expansions and acquisitions, building projects, changes in leadership, company moves, and new businesses and contracts made headlines during the past year. The Central New York Business Journal reviews, week-by-week, some of the stories that we reported in 2017.


(1/9) 500 Salina Enterprises, LLC on Sept. 1, closed on the purchase of the landmark, 12-story, 144,000-square-foot Chimes Building at 500 South Salina St. in downtown Syracuse. The seller was UA Properties, LLC. located in Huntington, New York. UA Properties had bought the building in 2009 for $1 million. The original plan was to create office space, but a soft market convinced UA Properties to change the concept to selling apartments, which later morphed into apartment rentals.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that more than 940,000 college-aged children from households making up to $125,000 per year would qualify to attend college tuition-free at all public universities in New York, including SUNY (State University of New York) and CUNY (City University of New York) four-year schools, as well as two-year community colleges. The plan, called the Excelsior Scholarship, was part of his 2017 State of the State agenda.

The downtown Syracuse branch of Oswego–based Pathfinder Bank expanded from a limited-service business banking office to a full-service retail branch. The change took effect Jan. 1, Cassandra Gehrig, marketing communications specialist for Pathfinder Bank, said. 

Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT) was working to fill more than 100 total job openings at its plants in Salina and in Owego. The “vast majority” of the open positions are at the Salina site, Thomas Kogut, strategic communications manager at Lockheed Martin, said.

(1/16) Steven Scott, a hospital executive with more than 30 years of experience in academic medicine, was named the new leader of Upstate University Hospital on an interim basis after Dr. John McCabe, the hospital’s CEO since 2009, announced he would step down on Jan. 17. Dr. Danielle Laraque-Arena, president of parent Upstate Medical University, named Scott interim CEO while the medical school conducted a national search for a permanent CEO of the hospital.

Visions Federal Credit Union (FCU) plans to expand its headquarters and to nearly “double its local workforce of 250 over the next decade.” The credit union held a groundbreaking ceremony on Dec. 20, 2016 at Credit Union Center, Visions’ HQ at 3301 Country Club Road in Endwell. The construction project marks Visions’ first major upgrade to its headquarters in nearly 30 years.

JADAK LLC, a Cicero–based technology supplier, on Jan. 5 announced that it plans to acquire the assets of Woburn, Massachusetts–based ThingMagic. JADAK is paying $20 million in cash to purchase the company’s assets, says Jeffrey Pine, VP of strategy and product management at JADAK. He expected the transaction to close by the end of first quarter. 

(1/23) St. Joseph’s Health named Leslie (Les) Luke as the health-care system’s 14th president and CEO. Luke succeeded Kathryn Ruscitto in that role on Feb. 20. He was previously interim CEO of Tennova East, a seven-hospital system in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Menorah Park Senior Living Community is renovating existing space for a Center for Healthy Living and adding a Memory Care Center on its campus at 4101 E. Genesee St. in DeWitt. It will have numerous programs involving nutrition, physical and occupational therapy, medical day care, workforce training for care givers, health clinics, social activities, and special events.

(1/30) CEO confidence across upstate New York in 2016 was up 9 points to compared to 2015 and was at the “second highest rate” of the 10-year study. That’s according to the Upstate New York Business Leader Survey that the Siena (College) Research Institute (SRI) conducted in late 2016.

The upcoming $45.1 terminal-improvement project at Syracuse Hancock International Airport targets its canopy, the façade, and includes a repaving of Col. Eileen Collins Blvd. New York State will contribute nearly $36 million to the project.


(2/6) An aerial gondola and a new exposition center are part of $70 million in additional work that Gov. Andrew Cuomo is proposing at the New York State Fairgrounds in Geddes. The plan represents the second phase of Cuomo’s capital program to develop the State Fair into a “year-round destination,” Cuomo’s office said.

The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) on Jan. 26 announced it approved the application for CFCU Credit Union to expand its field of membership in Cayuga, Seneca, and Ontario counties. Ithaca–based CFCU currently has 10 locations and more than 60,000 members in Tompkins and Cortland Counties, the two counties it currently serves.

(2/13) New York’s top law enforcer accused Stamford, Connecticut–based Charter Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: CHTR) and its subsidiary Spectrum Management Holdings, LLC of “promising Internet service that they knew they could not deliver.” New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Feb.1 announced the lawsuit, saying Charter and its subsidiary conducted a “deliberate scheme to defraud and mislead New Yorkers.” Spectrum Management Holdings is formerly known as Time Warner Cable, Inc., and together with Charter are known as Spectrum. 

Four Upstate affiliates of the Susan G. Komen organization “restructured and centralized” their operations, creating Susan G. Komen Upstate New York. Susan G. Komen says it is the “world’s largest” breast-cancer organization. Kate Flannery, who has worked for the Central New York affiliate for more than a decade, will help lead the merged organization.

We had a feature story on The Piggery, a vertically integrated business that includes raising swine, slaughtering, retail brick-and-mortar, wholesale distribution, and online sales. The Ithaca–based business employs 22 people and is the only farm-to-table butcher shop and wholesaler in the area.

The federal government awarded a Syracuse University professor a grant of more than $11 million to lead a team conducting research on improving reasoning and decision making. Jennifer Stromer-Galley, a professor in Syracuse’s School of Information Studies (iSchool), is leading a team of researchers from Syracuse; SRC Inc.; the University of Arizona; and Colorado State University, Syracuse University said.

(2/20) Sustainable Office Solutions, LLC moved to a larger space in the Liverpool Commercial Center at 900 Old Liverpool Road in the town of Salina, not far from the village of Liverpool. The firm had previously operated in a 1,400-square-foot space in the back of the same building since moving there in 2011. The company needed a larger space “to show more product,” says Andrew (Andy) Picco, sole owner of Sustainable Office Solutions, LLC.

Some Central New York police officers are wearing a product under their bullet-proof vests that a DeWitt startup has created. The product is called CoolShield, a shirt that the firm United Tactical Gear (UTG) manufactures. UTG is headquartered in a 2,400-square-foot space at 109 Twin Oaks Drive in DeWitt, between Carrier and Military Circles.

Cornell Tech, the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, and Sage Bionetworks announced on Feb. 6 the launch of what they say is a “pioneering” study to examine the use of a smartphone application to identify and understand impulsivity in daily life. 

(2/27) Upstate Medical University is now home to one of only 32 public cord-blood banks across the country and only one of two in New York. The cord-blood bank is located at 4910 Broad Road in Onondaga. Upstate’s Community campus is the former Community General Hospital. The 20,000-square-foot facility includes a processing laboratory and cryogenic-storage containers that can store nearly 14,500 units of cord blood. 

The SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) plans to use a federal grant of $1.25 million to help establish an Advanced Manufacturing Performance (AMP) Center. The grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) also includes $500,000 in matching funds from Empire State Development (ESD), SUNY Poly announced Feb. 16.

Dr. Brett Greenky, a joint-replacement surgeon, is the new president of Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists (SOS). The organization’s board of directors on Jan. 1 named Greenky as SOS’s new president. He replaces Dr. John Fatti in that role.

Charlotte (Chuckie) Holstein believes in the talent and work ethic of older adults. When people retire, or when companies “push” them into retirement, those businesses and organizations “have lost their investment” in those workers. At age 91, Holstein announced she planned to retire as executive director of F.O.C.U.S. Greater Syracuse, effective April 28, after nearly 20 years of leadership. 


(3/6) The Summit Federal Credit Union plans to build a new facility in the town of Cortlandville and relocate its existing branch in the city of Cortland. Construction of the new 2,000-square-foot branch at 877 Route 13 will begin “in the coming months,” with an opening planned for next winter, Summit announced Feb. 22. The 2,200-square-foot Cortland branch currently operates at 143 Main St.

(3/13) A plaza near the Syracuse University (SU) campus that was home to businesses such as Hungry Chuck’s and Funk N’ Waffles will be razed to make room for a student-housing project. The plaza is located at 727-729 South Crouse Ave., just north of Marshall Street. The project will also mean the demolition of the property next door at 721-723 South Crouse Ave. as well. The developer, Syracuse 727 LLC, will build an eight-story, mixed-use building. The $40 million project includes 287 beds of student housing, along with 18,300 square feet of new retail space.

Clarkson University in Potsdam and Cornell University in Ithaca will use grant funding to support projects that will generate nearly 40 manufacturing jobs. FuzeHub awarded the funding, which included a single grant to Clarkson and three grants for separate projects to Cornell, the organization said on March 1. FuzeHub, an Albany–based nonprofit organization, helps small to medium-sized manufacturing companies in New York State by matching them with technical and business resources.

(3/20) MACNY, the DeWitt–based Manufacturers Association of Central New York, will induct the late Raymond Currier, founder of Auburn–based Currier Plastics, Inc., and Arnie Rubenstein, board chairman of DeWitt electronics firm United Radio, into its Manufacturers Wall of Fame this May.

Installation of charging stations for electric vehicles in Syracuse and Utica will be among 450 such stations across New York in a new state campaign to promote wider use of electric vehicles here. A new electric-vehicle campaign includes the installation of charging stations, incentives for employers to encourage employees to drive electric vehicles, and “extensive” public education and outreach. The campaign, which Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on March 6, supports the Charge NY initiative.

(3/27) Syracuse University men’s basketball coach Jim Boeheim said he has “never been more excited about a season” than he is about the 2017-18 season. The long-time Syracuse head coach spoke March 20 at the university’s Carmelo K. Anthony Center, a day after the school announced it had extended Boeheim’s contract following the departure of assistant coach Mike Hopkins to become the next head coach of the Washington Huskies. Hopkins had been slated to replace Boeheim as Syracuse’s head man after next season as part of a succession plan the university had in place for three years. 

The top official at Rome Memorial Hospital (RMH) says it’s “becoming more and more clear” that individual hospitals “by themselves” are having a “difficult time and will continue to struggle in navigating through the health-care system.” RMH CEO David Lundquist calls St. Joseph’s Health in Syracuse a “great partner.” St. Joseph’s Health and Rome Memorial Hospital on March 9 announced that they have finalized an affiliation agreement they had first announced “less than a year ago.”


(4/3) Property Restoration, Inc., a firm that specializes in property cleanup following fire and water damage, added employees and equipment through three recent acquisitions. The acquired businesses include D&S Professional Services of Minoa; J. Santoro Construction, LLC of DeWitt; and Disaster Clean-Up of Endwell.

Madison Financial Planning Group, which specializes in retirement planning, recently relocated its Syracuse office to a new, larger location in Franklin Square. The firm is now situated in 2,100 square feet at 525 Plum St., Suite 101 in The Lofts at Franklin Square. That’s roughly double the space of Madison Financial Planning’s previous home in the AXA Equitable Towers complex on Madison Street in Syracuse.

 (4/10) The Oneida Indian Nation says construction on its upcoming Point Place Casino will start in May with an expected opening in spring 2018. The Oneida Nation plans to build the 65,000-square-foot casino in the Bridgeport area of the town of Sullivan in Madison County. The Oneidas will construct Point Place Casino on Route 31, near the corner of Bridgeport-Kirkville Road, just a few hundred feet from the border with the town of Cicero.

The U.S. Army contracted with the Salina plant of Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT) to produce 70 Q-53 radars over the next five years. That’s according to Rick Herodes, director of Lockheed Martin’s Q-53 radar program, who spoke with local reporters at the Salina plant on April 3. The Bethesda, Maryland–based defense contractor confirmed in a statement emailed to CNYBJ on March 31 that the award represents the “largest contract in Lockheed Martin Syracuse history.”

Grocery store Price Rite opened its doors to the public on Sunday morning, April 2. The 35,000-square-foot store at 611 South Ave. will employ nearly 100 people, the company said.

(4/17) SWBR Architects, a Rochester–based firm, is gearing up for an expansion and renovation of its growing Central New York office. The architecture firm expects to renew its office lease at 309 S. Franklin St. in Syracuse — on the second floor of the Labor Temple Building, above Pastabilities Restaurant — in May and embark on a renovation/expansion starting this fall, says Matthew Lupiani, branch manager of SWBR’s CNY office.

Frameology Optical, a business that specializes in filling prescriptions for and fitting glasses and contact lenses, moved from a space near Syracuse University to a new location in DeWitt. Frameology Optical now operates in a 1,450-square-foot space in the Chimney’s Plaza at 5781 Bridge St. in DeWitt, having opened there in early January.

(4/24) Rapid Response Monitoring Services Inc. planned to hold a hiring event in the summer to fill 125 jobs at its Syracuse location. The 125 new jobs, announced April 10, are part of 275 jobs at the company for which New York State is providing financial assistance. Rapid Response had already filled 150 of those positions.

The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) fined Excellus Health Plans, Inc. $1 million for “wrongly” denying contraceptive coverage. A DFS investigation found that the health insurer wrongly denied contraceptive coverage to customers due to internal system and process errors, failed to promptly pay or deny claims, and failed to acknowledge or resolve consumer grievances within time frames required by law. A DFS market-conduct examination found that Excellus erroneously denied 1,000 claims for contraceptive coverage between 2008 and 2013 “due to an error in coding.” 

The Tioga Country Club opened for the season on April 15 under a new name — Tioga Golf Club — and operator, Tioga Downs. Tioga Downs announced it had signed a 99-year lease with Tioga Recreation Association for the Tioga Country Club. The facility is located at 151 Roki Boulevard in Nichols in Tioga County, not far from Tioga Downs.


(5/1) Syracuse Label and Surround Printing is settling into a new, 60,000-square-foot printing plant located in the Hancock Airpark in North Syracuse (Town of Cicero). The Airpark building replaces a 38,000-square-foot plant located on Luther Avenue in Liverpool (Town of Salina) that served the company for 42 years.

The Summit Federal Credit Union plans to open a branch at 5201 West Taft Road in Clay. The location will replace Summit’s existing branch in Clay plus one office in Cicero. The Taft Road site is one of the branches that First Niagara Bank vacated last year as part of its merger with KeyBank.

(5/8) MedTech, a Syracuse–based trade association for New York state’s bioscience and medical-technology (bio/med) industry, announced it would soon have a change in leadership. Jessica Crawford, president of the nonprofit, told MedTech members in an April 28 email message that she planned on leaving the organization on May 26. Crawford told CNYBJ she had accepted a position with Boehringer Ingelheim, a German firm that describes itself on its website as a “research-driven pharmaceutical company.” She relocated to New York City for the position.

CH Insurance recently acquired Hanley & Associates, a Syracuse–based group-benefits company. The transaction closed Feb. 1, says Joseph (Joe) Convertino, Jr. president of CH Insurance, which is also based in Syracuse. Convertino spoke with CNYBJ on April 12. He declined to disclose how much his company paid to acquire the Hanley firm.

(5/22) Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE: BUD) is in the midst of investing $10 million in its brewery in the town of Lysander to increase production of non-alcoholic products, primarily Teavana, and to install a new multi-packer machine. The expenditures will not add any new jobs at the plant, but will help retain the current 500 people employed there.

CH Insurance moved to a new 7,500-square-foot space inside the Atrium at 2 Clinton Square in Syracuse, alleviating a space crunch and giving it a more visible home. The insurance agency had previously operated in a 4,200-square-foot space in Axa Tower I at 100 Madison St. in Syracuse.

Crouse Health on May 2 said it signed a clinical-affiliation agreement with an organization that describes itself as New York state’s largest health-care provider and private employer. Northwell Health, headquartered in New Hyde Park in Nassau County, includes 21 hospitals, more than 550 outpatient practices, and 61,000 employees, according to its website. Northwell is also the nation’s 14th largest health system.

(5/29) IPD Engineering opened an office in Buffalo’s Electric Tower to service clients and pursue work in Western New York. It also hired two engineers from the Buffalo area to operate the new office.

St. Lawrence University alumna Sarah Johnson and her parents, Charles and Ann Johnson, have donated a $25 million “unrestricted gift” to the school. The donation represents the “largest gift in the university’s 161-year history,” St. Lawrence said on May 20.

All-Star Alley & Tavern — a casual-dining restaurant offering bowling, games, and live music — moved into the space that Revolutions previously occupied at Destiny USA. Agoura Hills, California–based Trifecta Management Group (TMG), a dining and entertainment venue-management firm, is managing All-Star Alley & Tavern.

The Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce’s showcase business event has a new name and format. Formerly known as the Community Business Expo, it will now be dubbed the Best in Business Showcase. The event will have an increased focus on business-to-business networking in a “more intimate setting,” the chamber said. It was scheduled for Sept. 27 at the Radisson Hotel-Utica Centre in Utica.


(6/5) The man who has served as UHS’s executive VP and COO since 2013 is now the president and CEO of UHS Hospitals. The board of directors of UHS appointed John Carrigg to the role, effective June 1. Carrigg will also become president and CEO of the full UHS System on Jan.1, 2018, UHS said on May 25. Matthew (Matt) Salanger was set to leave his role as the current president and CEO of UHS Hospitals on June 1 and as president and CEO of the entire UHS System next Jan. 1.

New York State acquired more than 6,000 acres of protected lands in Oswego County, which the state intends to target for conservation, recreation, and education. The acquisitions represent the “largest additions” to state lands in Central New York in 45 years. These areas include about 2,825 acres of lands along the Salmon River and 3,236 acres of working forestland in the nearby towns of Redfield and Orwell, the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo said May 24. 

(6/12) Hotel Skyler Syracuse, located at 601 S. Crouse Ave. in Syracuse, was converted to the “first” property under the Tapestry Collection by Hilton brand. The Woodbine Group of Syracuse owns Hotel Skyler Syracuse, while Woodbine Hospitality manages the property.

New York State was looking ahead to the fall when it plans to convert a deteriorated 1940s boat house into a new environmental-education center at Green Lakes State Park in the town of Manlius. The $6 million project is part of the “next phase” of the $16.9 million in projects at the state park, the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced May 31.

St. Joseph’s Health will create a new, $31 million center for cardiovascular care. To help pay for the project, the health-care organization is working to raise $20 million as a part of a capital campaign to mark its 150th anniversary in 2019. The funding will also target is breast care and surgery program and the St. Joseph’s College of Nursing.

The $19 million Koffman Southern Tier Incubator, which seeks to promote entrepreneurship in the region, formally opened in downtown Binghamton on June 1.

(6/19) Syracuse attorney Tom Anelli left the Anelli Xavier law firm to open his own law office to defend people accused of driving while intoxicated (DWI). Anelli’s new firm is called Tom Anelli & Associates, PC. Anelli is well-known across Central New York and Upstate after marketing his services in radio ads for more than a decade, referring to himself as “The DWI Guy.”

Newman Development Group, LLC (NDG) expects to complete work in December 2018 on a more than $28 million, 170,000-square-foot, mixed-use development project in downtown Binghamton. NDG on June 13 broke ground on the project at 50 Front St.

Barclay Damon, LLP — a Syracuse–based law firm with 11 offices across New York and the Northeast — announced it instituted an “enhanced” compensation system for its associate attorneys and a “back-up child-care reimbursement policy.” They’re among several new workplace policies and initiatives that Barclay Damon says it established to “significantly restructure and modernize support of its associate lawyers.”

(6/26) Carthage Area Hospital started working to transfer the 23 residents in its skilled-nursing unit after the state approved its plan to close the unit. The hospital on June 16 announced that the New York State Department of Health (DOH) had approved that plan. Carthage Area Hospital cited “long-term financial challenges brought by changing state and federal mandates.”

Salina–based engineering firm Barton & Loguidice, D.P.C. (B&L) added a senior managing engineer to its office in Watertown. The addition of Matthew Cooper brings the employee count in that office to eight, says Eric Pond, VP in the firm’s water division who oversees the Watertown office.


(7/3) Masonic Medical Research Laboratory (MMRL) Utica plans a nearly $3 million project to renovate its research facilities. The $2.75 million project represents the “first time in over a decade” that the MMRL has undertaken such an effort, the organization said.

Downtown Syracuse is now home to 3,500 residents and 28,000 company employees in what has become a “neighborhood.” That’s according to the “State of Downtown” report that Merike Treier, executive director of the Downtown Committee of Syracuse, Inc. delivered during the organization’s annual meeting held June 22 at the Marriott Syracuse Downtown.

(7/10) The Wolak Group formally opened a 2,000-square-foot career-development center for its Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in Central New York. It’s located next to the Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant at 2851 Erie Boulevard East in Syracuse. The Wolak Group, headquartered in Falmouth, Maine, is an independent franchisee network that owns and operates more than 95 Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in Central New York, Maine, and New Hampshire.

SRCTec LLC is planning to offer services in the electronics-manufacturing services (EMS) market. The firm in May announced the hiring of Mathew Nearpass as a program director to “steward the company’s launch” in the EMS market. SRCTec contends it has the ability to provide “high end” manufacturing services throughout the Central New York region, describing itself as a “high-tech company with specialized capabilities in electronics-manufacturing services.” 

Square Deal Machining, Inc. (SDMI), a Marathon–based manufacturer of precision parts, purchased its first tube laser for engineering, designing, and producing custom metal parts. The tube laser represented “pretty close” to a $2 million investment in a cash transaction, says Joseph (Joe) Morgan, CEO and sole owner of the company located in southern Cortland County.

(7/17) The office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo on July 6 announced the 12 projects for which the City of Oswego will use its $10 million award in the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI). That came a day after the governor’s office announced the nine winning projects selected for the City of Elmira in the DRI. Both cities were first named DRI first-round winners in their respective regions a year ago.

MedShape, Inc., an Atlanta–based orthopaedic devices maker, announced on July 5 that it sold its ExoShape ACL Fixation System to Utica–based surgical-device maker ConMed Corp. (NASDAQ: CNMD). The acquisition closed on July 3. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. 

(7/24) Crouse Health completed the first phase of construction on a $38 million project creating its new emergency-services department. The new space is “three times larger” than the current emergency-services area, the hospital added. Crouse is naming the new department in honor of William and Sandra Pomeroy, who had provided a “generous” donation for the project.

After more than five years of collaboration, the nonprofit SyracuseFirst is now a program of CenterState CEO in Syracuse. Under the new agreement, CenterState CEO will “fully acquire” the SyracuseFirst brand, moving it from a separate membership organization to a program under CenterState CEO’s business-development portfolio, the organization announced.

Amidon Marketing, a new marketing firm headquartered in Cicero, acquired Customer Business Services, a marketing business in Auburn. Josh Amidon, co-owner of Amidon Marketing, had purchased CBS Marketing & Development in a transaction that closed June 14. Amidon declined to disclose the purchase price, but said he used his own cash for the acquisition.

(7/31) Christine Meeker, sole owner of Christine’s Cookie Shoppe, LLC, moved the growing specialty cookie business this spring into a 2,000-square-foot space on the first floor of 171 Genesee St. in downtown Utica. Christine’s Cookie Shoppe opened to customers on March 29 and held a formal ribbon-cutting event with the Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce on April 28.

The Syracuse Chiefs say sales of their Salt Potatoes merchandise have “broken” its merchandise sale records. The team made that pronouncement June 29, five days after announcing that it would become the Syracuse Salt Potatoes for one game against the Rochester Red Wings on Aug. 5 for the team’s “What If” night promotion. The team’s initial order of 2,000 merchandise items sold out in three days, says Jason Smorol, general manager of the Syracuse Chiefs.

A year after completing the acquisition, KeyBank’s top regional official in Central New York says he “would characterize our conversion a success.” Cleveland, Ohio–based KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY) completed its acquisition of Buffalo–based First Niagara Financial Group on July 29, 2016. The process of converting First Niagara Bank branches to KeyBank branches is “by and large” complete, says Stephen Fournier, Central New York market president of KeyBank.


(8/7) Syracuse Behavioral Healthcare’s (SBH) outpatient clinic at 329 N. Salina St. is now a federally certified community behavioral health clinic (CCBHC). The certification enables SBH to expand its programs for individuals seeking help for substance use and mental-health disorders, the organization said. It also includes new services for children and adolescents dealing with the same problems.

Syracuse and upstate New York are among the markets that will benefit from a donation that the KeyBank Foundation made to a business-assistance program. The organization awarded a four-year, $24 million grant to the “KeyBank Business Boost & Build Program, powered by JumpStart.” The program is designed to “stimulate economic growth and workforce development by fostering small-business success” in communities across Ohio and upstate New York, including Syracuse.

Tourism is on the rise in the Mohawk Valley. A recent study released by Empire State Development and the I Love NY, Division of Travel & Tourism reports that visitor pending in Oneida County increased by 8.8 percent to more than $1.4 billion in 2016. Oneida County represents 64 percent of the Central New York vacation region’s travel and tourism sales.

New York adopted regulations implementing the state’s paid family-leave law. The regulations outline the mandates on employers and insurance carriers in implementing the paid family-leave program. The program is mandatory for nearly all private employers — any employer with one additional employee. Public employers may opt into the program.

Syracuse law firm Hancock Estabrook, LLP started a student-loan repayment-assistance program for its younger attorneys. Under the program, Hancock Estabrook will contribute a monthly amount to qualifying associates and income partners to help them pay back their education debt, the firm said.

(8/14) The Raymond Corp. held an official ribbon-cutting event for the new Raybuilt Center of Excellence and enjoyed guided tours of the 90,000-square-foot facility at 6581 Chrysler Lane in the town of DeWitt. More than 40,000 square feet are dedicated to re-manufacturing forklifts and their components, and the remaining space serves as a leasing center. During the ceremony, the company also announced an expansion of Raymond’s service and parts-distribution facility located two miles away at 6650 Kirkville Road. The expansion will add another 40,000 square feet to the existing building.

Tessy Plastics added a 260,000-square-foot expansion in a $31.6 million project at its plant located at 7474 State Fair Boulevard in the town of Van Buren. The family owned-and-operated company already hired 203 new full-time employees, supported by $13.5 million in state incentives, the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Aug. 1.

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) information-analysis centers (IAC) awarded Utica–based Quanterion Solutions Inc. a more than $47.6 million contract. Under the contract, Quanterion will handle the “basic center operations” for the cyber security and information systems information analysis center (CSIAC).

A Cicero firm has developed a mobile unmanned traffic-management (UTM) system that the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo says “sets a new standard” in drone security and UAS traffic management. Gryphon Sensors, a company of SRC Inc. in Cicero, developed the system called mobile skylight. The development builds on the state’s investments in the region’s “emerging” unmanned aerial systems (UAS) industry, Gov. Andrew Cuomo contended.

(8/21) ICS Solutions Group, an information-technology (IT) support firm, moved its Syracuse–area office to a larger space at 6007 Fair Lakes Road in DeWitt. The firm also plans to open an office in Ithaca. ICS expects to add employees in its Syracuse–area office, prompting the move from its previous 4,500-square-foot location at 2518 Erie Boulevard East in Syracuse. 

A Syracuse University professor was recently awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study how people pursue work in the gig economy, and what challenges they need to overcome to be successful. School of Information Studies (iSchool) faculty member Steven Sawyer won an NSF grant of more than $52,000 through the foundation’s EAGER (EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research) program, Syracuse University said.

(8/28) CXtec CEO Peter Belyea says the firm plans to create between 20 and 25 new jobs after acquiring a company in Georgia. He also noted that the exact number of positions is “yet to be determined.” Belyea’s comment was part of an Aug. 22 news release in which the company announced its acquisition of Atlantix Global Systems, a Norcross, Georgia–based reseller of new, reconfigured and refurbished information-technology (IT) equipment. 

Crews from Rich & Gardner Construction Company of Syracuse continue their construction of Harborbrook Apartments, a new $12.6 million project adjacent to the Centers at St. Camillus at 811 Fay Road in Geddes. Christopher Community Inc. and the Centers at St. Camillus are co-developing the project. When completed, the complex will provide 60 apartments for people aged 55 and older. 


(9/4) Construction crews are working to build the first Chick-fil-A restaurant in Central New York at 7932 Brewerton Road in Cicero. Chick-fil-A is an Atlanta, Georgia–based restaurant chain that specializes in chicken sandwiches. The company on Aug. 29 broke ground on its upcoming location in Cicero. 

Binghamton University will use a more than $4 million federal grant to partner with community colleges to attract students pursuing bachelor’s degree in STEM fields. STEM is short for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The Nation Science Foundation (NSF) awarded the funding, the office of U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D–N.Y.) announced.

The New York Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) at Binghamton University and Corning Community College announced they would merge, effective Oct. 1. The move seeks to create a “comprehensive, full-service” organization that will provide assistance to small businesses in 12 New York counties, Binghamton University said.

 (9/11) Crews installed new electrical and heating systems as part of a $4 million project to improve Mohawk Hall at SUNY Canton in St. Lawrence County. The completed project is part of $47 million in capital projects on SUNY campuses statewide by DASNY, the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Aug. 31. DASNY is short for the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York.

Binghamton University’s new smart-energy research and development (R&D) facility will accommodate R&D initiatives for the departments of chemistry and physics. The school formally opened the new $70 million, 114,000-square-foot Smart Energy Building on Aug. 31. The Smart Energy Building is part of the university’s Innovative Technologies Complex (ITC), located at 85 Murray Hill Road in Vestal.

A Tioga County company won $250,000 in the 76West clean-energy competition conducted in the Southern Tier. Biological Energy of Spencer provides technology that “increases wastewater-treatment capacity while reducing energy use,” according to NYSERDA — the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. Skyven Technologies, a Dallas, Texas–based solar-heating company won the $1 million grand prize in the competition and will expand its operations in the Southern Tier.

 (9/25) Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists (SOS) moved into a new location in a newly constructed, $9 million building at 8324 Oswego Road in Clay on Sept. 18. SOS jointly owns the building with Family Practice Associates, PLLC (FPA), which plans to open a new office in the same building in October, combining its current offices in the Clay Medical Center at 8100 Oswego Road in Clay and its other office in Lysander. Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists (SOS) and Family Practice Associates (FPA) share equal ownership of the 40,000-square-foot building.

The Embassy Suites by Hilton across Hiawatha Boulevard from Destiny USA on Sept. 12 held a formal-opening ceremony after opening its doors the previous week. The 209-room facility is officially known as Embassy Suites by Hilton Syracuse-Destiny USA and located at 311 Hiawatha Blvd. W., according to Destiny USA. The Hilton property employs more than 75 people.

Barclay Damon, LLP is expanding its renewable-energy practice with the addition of the four attorneys from McCauley Lyman, LLC, a law firm based in Framingham, Massachusetts. The new lawyers include Don McCauley, Frank Lyman, Jill Winans, and Michael Blasik. They will join Syracuse–based Barclay Damon as of counsel, while remaining partners of McCauley Lyman. Richard Capozza, a partner in Barclay Damon, says the arrangement is “an affiliation” and not an acquisition.

The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of New York, Inc. (IIABNY) appointed Lisa Lounsbury as the organization’s permanent president and CEO. She had been serving in the role on an interim basis since former president and CEO Richard Poppa retired Nov. 30 of last year.


(10/2) Courtyard Gifts, a jewelry and eclectic gift shop, formally opened at 165 Main St. in Owego on Sept. 20 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Tioga County Chamber of Commerce. The move, which follows more than four decades in downtown Binghamton, is one the shop’s current owner expects to significantly boost revenue because Owego’s retail environment is a better fit for the shop.

The area locations of the Gold’s Gym Syracuse franchise are now operating as an independent brand called Elevate Fitness. The company operates in a 73,000-square-foot facility at 5791 Widewaters Parkway in DeWitt and in a 70,000-square-foot facility at 7455 Morgan Road in Clay. The change took effect Sept. 1, says Tom Muller, co-owner of the Elevate Fitness sites in DeWitt and in Clay.

Paul Davis Emergency Services of North Country NY, a restoration contractor franchise business owned by a local veteran, is settling into a new headquarters. It’s located at 22 Gildner Road in the town of Hastings, south of the village of Central Square. The company was previously based in a 3,300-square-foot space it leased at 9670 Brewerton Road in Cicero, which it has since vacated. Owner Scott Colbert says his company “just needed more room.”

(10/9) Syracuse University named Michael Frasciello as the new dean of University College, “effective immediately.” He was serving the as the interim dean since January. His appointment as the interim dean followed the announcement last December that Syracuse had named Bea González, the former dean of University College, as its VP for community engagement.

VNA Homecare, VNA Homecare Options, Home Aides of Central New York, and all their respective affiliated organizations and foundations are now operating under a “new health-care system” called Nascentia Health. The organization, which operates at 1050 W. Genesee St., will move into a new $13 million facility that’s currently under construction at the same address.

The Agency, which comprises the Broome County Industrial Development Agency and the Broome County Local Development Corporation, completed the move to 5 South College Drive in the town of Dickinson on Sept. 19. The Agency’s new office is situated at the southeast entrance of the SUNY Broome Community College campus and is just over one mile away from the organization’s previous home at 60 Hawley St. in downtown Binghamton.

(10/16) The New York Mets announced they would buy the Syracuse Chiefs for $18 million. After the payment of certain obligations and transaction expenses, the sale will return about $1,400 per share to the club’s shareholders, the minor-league team said. The Chiefs included the figures in a news release saying the Triple-A team had sent out the notice and proxy statement for the special meeting of the shareholders to approve the Mets’ purchase. The meeting was held Nov. 17 at NBT Bank Stadium, where the sale was approved. The Mets agreed to operate in the Syracuse market through at least the 2025 season. The current stadium lease term goes through 2025.

Imperium3 New York, Inc., a consortium of businesses that three Southern Tier companies lead, will establish research and development and production operations at the Huron Campus in Endicott. The consortium will spend more than $130 million and create at least 230 new jobs over the next five years, the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Oct. 4. Imperium3 New York plans to launch a lithium-ion battery production giga-plant, “ultimately ramping to 15 giga-watts of production and hundreds more jobs,” Cuomo’s office said.

The owner of Tioga Downs says he plans to open the 161-room hotel that’s under construction in early November. The venue will open Nov. 3 “most likely for just our … top customers,” says Jeff Gural, chairman of American Racing and Entertainment. “And then we’ll probably begin taking reservations … a few days after that.” Gural spoke to CNYBJ on Oct. 10. Tioga Downs, an entertainment complex offering live harness racing, casino gaming and live entertainment, is located in Nichols in Tioga County. 

(10/23) Crews started work on the first phase of a $48.8 million construction project to turn Syracuse Hancock International Airport into a “modern-day facility.” The project includes a “wide-scale” redesign and reconstruction of the terminal building, the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. It’ll will offer travelers a more modern and spacious airport, with the terminal itself increasing by 14,500 square feet. The project, which is scheduled to conclude in the fall of 2018, will create more than 850 construction jobs. 

Crews were set to begin work on a $27 million project to “upgrade and improve” the 65-acre orange parking lot at the State Fairgrounds “this fall.” The office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo didn’t provide a more specific date or time frame in its Oct. 17 announcement. The work will conclude before the start of next year’s State Fair on Aug. 22, 2018.

Centolella Green Law, P.C., a DeWitt–based law firm, opened a second local office in the Hamilton White House at 307 S. Townsend St. in Syracuse. At the same time, the firm added a fifth partner. Centolella Green believed it needed a “downtown presence,” says Jason Centolella, a partner in the firm.

(10/30) Construction continued on Lyons National Bank’s new branch office in the town of Sennett, which will be the community bank’s second location in the Auburn area. The 10,000-square-foot building at 311 Grant Ave. (Route 5), just outside the Auburn city line, will be completed in mid-December, Thomas Kime, president of Lyons National Bank (LNB), tells CNYBJ. It will be about two miles away from the bank’s first Auburn office at 63 Genesee St. 

Visions Federal Credit Union (FCU) on Oct. 1 started offering access to a team of Medicare advisors as a benefit to its members in Onondaga, Broome, Tioga, Chemung, and Chenango counties. “All they’re getting with the relationship here at Visions is our expertise and help in sitting down and reviewing their options and helping them make the right choice,” says Robert (Rob) Hennessy, insurance manager for Endwell–based Visions FCU.

Banks in upstate New York made 747 U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)-backed loans in its 7(a) and 504 loan programs, valued at $183.1 million during fiscal year 2017 across the 34-county Syracuse district. Buffalo–based M&T Bank (NYSE: MTB); Pittsfield, Massachusetts–based Berkshire Bank (NYSE: BHLB); and Watertown Savings Bank were the “most active” lenders in the 13-county Central New York region for the recently ended federal fiscal year 2017, the SBA said.


(11/6) The Rescue Mission next spring plans to break ground on a more than $6 million renovation and expansion of the organization’s food-services center at 148 Gifford St. in Syracuse. The organization’s main office is located across the street at 155 Gifford St. The facility’s dining room is currently designed to seat no more than 80 to 100 people. The renovation and expansion will nearly triple seating capacity, adding a family-dining area.

Officials on Oct. 31 gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction of the $15.8 million Roosevelt Residences project at 1515 Brinckerhoff Avenue in Utica. The Municipal Housing Authority of the City of Utica (Utica MHA) is working with Norstar Development USA, L.P., and Norstar Building Corporation on the project. Norstar Development is headquartered in Concord, Ontario with a U.S. corporate office in Buffalo.

The Automotive Lift Institute (ALI) announced that it formally opened its new headquarters and LiftLab near Cortland on Oct. 12 with a grand-opening celebration. The new 8,500-square-foot headquarters at 3699 Luker Road in the town of Cortlandville is more than four times larger than the organization’s previous Cortland office.

(11/13) Solvay Bank’s planned new office in the village of Baldwinsville is expected to open in early 2018. The new 32,000-square-foot office will be located at 197 Downer St., the site of a former branch of First Niagara Bank. The new office will be Solvay Bank’s 10th branch.

Gilberti Stinziano Heintz & Smith, P.C., a Syracuse–based law firm that focuses on energy and environmental law, combined with Barclay Damon LLP, as that larger firm continues to expand its legal work in those areas. Effective at the start of the month, 11 attorneys of the Gilberti law firm and its paralegals and staff have joined Barclay Damon, which is also headquartered in Syracuse.

Following its acquisition this past spring by UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) POMCO Group is now operating under the UMR brand. POMCO Group is a third-party administrator (TPA) of self-funded health-care and risk-management plans. Minnetonka, Minnesota–based UnitedHealth Group is the parent company of UnitedHealthcare.

 (11/20) Piaker & Lyons PC, a Binghamton–based accounting firm, on Nov. 15 formally opened its new Syracuse–area location at 100 Elwood Davis Road in Salina. The firm started operating in the 2,900-square-foot space early this year. It had previously been in a 2,300-square-foot space at 572 S. Salina St. in Syracuse.

Employee Benefit Systems, Inc. (EBS), a 25-year-old third-party administration (TPA) firm based in East Syracuse, recently announced it partnered with Mid Atlantic Retirement Planning Specialists of Dover, Delaware. EBS calls it “a collaborative arrangement to offer a wider range of financial products and services in five states.” 

St. Lawrence University announced it tapped HOK, a global design, architecture, and engineering firm, to present a plan for refurbishing and improving the school’s Appleton Arena. HOK’s design work includes the recently opened Little Caesars Arena, which is the new home of the National Hockey League’s Detroit Red Wings.

Made in Broome, a public-relations initiative, is highlighting products made in Broome County. Stacey Duncan, deputy director of community and economic development at The Agency, says the campaign, which launched in September, aims to show the economic impact these products have and tell the stories of the people behind them.

(11/27) The New York Mets will officially become the new owner of the Syracuse Chiefs when the transaction closes in early December. The minor-league baseball team on Nov. 17 announced that its shareholders approved the sale to the major league Mets by a vote count of 9,485 to 45 with 10 abstentions.

Genius NY, a business-accelerator program at CenterState CEO’s Syracuse Technology Garden, on Nov. 16 announced the 16 semifinalists in the competition’s second round. A panel of local judges will review the presentations and select the six finalists participating in Genius NY 2.0. CenterState CEO should announce the six finalists for Genius NY in late December.

Empire State Development offered Cornell University a “performance-based,” $15 million “Southern Tier Soaring” Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI) grant to support upgrades and improvements at the CHESS facility. CHESS, which is short for Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source, is a scientific research facility in Ithaca that plans for more than $80 million in improvements, the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Nov. 15.


(12/4) The Syracuse–based law firms Cohen Compagni Beckman Appler & Knoll, PLLC (CCBLaw) and Wood & Smith P.C., which both focus on health-care law, will become one on Jan. 1. The new combined firm will use the Cohen Compagni Beckman Appler & Knoll, PLLC (CCBLaw) name.

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D–N.Y.) on Nov. 22 told members of Teamsters Local 317 that he’s working to get a bill approved that would restore cuts to their pension plans. The Democrat spoke to Teamsters members at the local headquarters at 566 Spencer St. in Syracuse. “This issue does not just affect Central New York. It affects all of New York state, Downstate, Upstate, all the Teamsters in all parts of the state,” said Schumer.

The Oneida Nation announced it formally opened Tin Woodman’s Flask, a new 17,000-square-foot wine and spirits store in Chittenango. Tin Woodman’s Flask is one of the largest liquor stores in upstate New York, featuring more than 100,000 bottles of wine and spirits, the Oneida Nation contended.

(12/11) Tioga Downs formally opened the new hotel at its racing, casino gaming, and entertainment complex in Nichols in Tioga County. The new hotel started welcoming guests on Nov. 6. The new hotel boasts 161 rooms and spans six floors, Tioga Downs said. The hotel also includes a new events center that can accommodate up to 400 guests for special occasions such as weddings and banquets. 

Syracuse University will use a donation of $3.5 million for “significant” renovations to Archbold Gymnasium. The improvements will include the creation of the Barnes Center at The Arch, a new health, wellness, and recreation complex, Syracuse said. It will house all of the campus health and wellness services, including the Counseling Center, the Office of Health Promotion, Health Services, Recreation Services and the Office of Student Assistance — in one central location.                                                          

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