SYRACUSE — The Downtown Committee of Syracuse, Inc. plans to hold its 14th annual Downtown Living Tour on Saturday, Sept. 26 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
The event is normally held in mid-May, but the Downtown Committee moved it this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“Our date was Saturday, May 16, but as we watched what was progressing with the pandemic and public health, we recognized that that was not going to be a possibility,” says Merike Treier, executive director of the Downtown Committee of Syracuse. She spoke with CNYBJ on June 2.
This year’s tour will include stops at eight properties, provided public-health guidelines and social-distancing measures allow the organization to do so.
Treier noted that the Downtown Committee had considered holding a virtual event this year, but figured the tour is the type of event that should be done in person.
“We’ve seen a lot of events go virtual, but we think that there is something very powerful in being able to, if we have the opportunity, to be able to bring people through these spaces,” she adds.
The Downtown Committee will keep an eye on the status of the pandemic throughout the summer and if the group doesn’t think that the September in-person event is possible, it will consider its options at that time, Treier tells CNYBJ.
Treier describes the Downtown Living Tour as an event that seeks to raise awareness of the development happening in the downtown area.
“Because we have such a high occupancy rate for the downtown apartments, oftentimes people don’t get an opportunity to see what downtown apartments and downtown living really looks like,” she says.
The Downtown Committee looks at different properties to showcase with each year’s event, especially if it’s a renovated building for which people haven’t seen the interior.
This year’s properties include Washington Place, the former NYNEX building located across from the Senator John J. Hughes State Office Building and next to Syracuse City Hall.
“That is going to be our tour headquarters,” says Treier.
The properties will also include the Commonspace at 201 E. Jefferson St. in Syracuse and the Salt City Market project, which is under construction at 484 S. Salina St. in Syracuse.
The preparation for the event includes promotion, so the Downtown Committee gathers information about the history of the property and its amenities — along with assembling tour programs, highlighting each property.
“Having the Downtown Living Tour every year provides people the opportunity to understand the product and see what’s out there,” says Treier.
The 2019 Downtown Living Tour, held May 18 of last year, attracted 2,150 tourists, the Downtown Committee said. The self-guided walking tour featured seven tour stops. The tour stops included GrangeX at 215 E. Water St.; Piper Phillips Residences at 229-237 W. Fayette St.; the Whitney Lofts at 321-323 S. Salina St.; Syracuse Trust at 325 S. Salina St.; the Lofts at Whitlock at 480 S. Salina St.; TCG Player at 440 S. Warren St.; and the Wood Building at 205 E. Jefferson St.