SYRACUSE — The Downtown Committee of Syracuse, Inc. has recognized the Everson Museum of Art, TCGplayer, and the Whitney Lofts project for their efforts in downtown revitalization.
The Downtown Committee also honored local businessman Michael Sgro in the awards portion of the organization’s annual meeting held June 20 in a lunch-hour event at the Oncenter.
In addition to the awards, Merike Treier, executive director of the Downtown Committee of Syracuse, delivered her annual “State of Downtown” address, outlining $233 million in investment activity underway.
Urban Innovation Award
The Downtown Committee honored TCGplayer with the Urban Innovation Award, “given for a trailblazing activity that’s brought new attention — and energy — to a previously underdeveloped facet of downtown Syracuse,” per a Downtown Committee news release.
The tech company’s “innovative, interactive” office-headquarters design is part of South Warren Street, just north of the Marriott Syracuse Downtown, the former Hotel Syracuse. Besides its own activity, TCGplayer partners with Central Library to host “Dungeons and Dragons” game sessions for children and teens, the Downtown Committee noted. It’s also working with the Marriott Syracuse Downtown to host a series of summer block parties.
Heart of Downtown Award
The Downtown Committee also honored the Everson Museum of Art with the Heart of Downtown Award, “given for efforts that positively impact the way people feel about downtown Syracuse.”
Described by the Committee as “an institution that has evolved along with downtown Syracuse,” the Everson is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its building.
“The Everson constantly finds new ways to connect diverse audiences to modern and contemporary artwork,” the release stated.
The museum earlier this year introduced the Danial Family Education Center and uses programming such as “Third Thursday” events and “Pay What You Wish” Wednesdays to make sure “the museum is accessible to all,” the Downtown Committee said.
The 3,000-square-foot Danial Family Education Center features flexible class spaces, a new kiln, parent lounge, and gallery walls to feature student work.
Perfect Partner Award
The Downtown Committee recognized Michael Sgro with the Perfect Partner Award, “given to an individual or business whose commitment positively influences downtown Syracuse.”
Sgro is founder of Michael Sgro Leadership Coaching and co-founder of the newly launched “Downtown Champions” group.
As a downtown business owner, resident, and “active” participant in downtown events, “Michael’s enthusiasm is contagious, and his creativity continues to stir new engagement in downtown activities,” the Downtown Committee said.
The organization also recognized the Whitney Lofts project with the Newsmaker Award, which “highlights collaborative efforts that have generated a buzz throughout the community.”
Crews redeveloped the buildings at 321 and 323 S. Salina St. into the Whitney Lofts with 16 luxury apartments, Oh My Darling restaurant, Clementine — a grab-and-go lunch and breakfast counter — and the FITZ, a basement speakeasy.
Project developers included Ryan Benz, Steve Case, Leigh-Ann Boatman-Benz, and Shashank Bhatt.