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McCarthy Mercantile to provide showcase for artists, makers

By Adam Rombel


Michael John Heagerty, founder and co-owner of Wildflowers Armory, stands in front of Wildflowers at the McCarthy Building at 217 S. Salina St. A new underground marketplace called the McCarthy Mercantile is opening in the building’s lower level. (PHOTO CREDIT: DEREK SPANFELNER PHOTOGRAPHY)

SYRACUSE — A new underground indie marketplace, called the McCarthy Mercantile, is set to open under Wildflowers Armory in the basement of the McCarthy Building at 217 S. Salina St. on Sept. 16.

The mission of McCarthy Mercantile is “to promote the independent makers, collectors, and artists of Central New York and foster creative collaborations, as well as provide the most unique underground shopping experience available in the heart of downtown Syracuse,” says Michael John Heagerty, founder and co-owner of Wildflowers Armory, an artisan collective which describes itself as a “multi-vendor marketplace” shop. McCarthy Mercantile “seeks to strive to reflect the diversity of our community — both artists and audiences — while providing a welcoming space for creatives to connect with the public,” he adds.

The 8,100-square-foot lower level of the McCarthy Building will house eight tenants, including Wildflowers expanding into a multi-level shop as the corner tenant in the underground level, Heagerty says. 

Wildflowers Armory moved to a 2,000-square-foot space on the ground floor of the McCarthy Building in late 2019 after previously being located at 225 W. Jefferson St., in a 2,200-square-foot space across from the MOST since May 2018. Wildflowers will nearly double its space with the expansion to the lower level.

The other tenants of the McCarthy Mercantile are: SoFlea and Syracuse Yoga, combining a vintage shop and yoga classes; Lakeshore Hardwoods, a shop for woodworkers; Better, serving the skateboard, art, and subculture community; Simplistically Holistic, a holistic shop; P.A.S.T. (People Are Stronger Together) a multifaceted network that begins with an emphasis on the artist in all of us; Kanga Tutoring, a provider of tutoring services to students; and Accents, a shop for jewelry, local art, home decorations, furniture, and accessories.

There will also be an industrial creative event space at the McCarthy Mercantile, called ROOTED, which Heagerty says he will run for benefit of the other tenants.

“Syracuse wants something different — something they haven’t seen before,” he says. “Artistic workshops, dance lessons, pop-ups, fashion shows, craft fairs, and more will fill the eclectic calendar.” 

The McCarthy Building’s landlord Washington Street Partners (WSP) funded and completed the renovations to create McCarthy Mercantile. The WSP team doing the renovation work was led by William and Johnny Mahar.

Heagerty says he acted as leasing agent to recruit the various vendors. He declined to disclose the total cost of the project.

After opening, what’s next? Heagerty replies, “Continue the momentum and foster the undeniable creative buzz at the McCarthy Mercantile. Fill the calendar with interesting, intimate events from burlesque to DIY workshops, artist lectures to film screenings, floating galleries to disco roller-parties, and so much more."

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