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Miner: Symphony Tower to become extended-stay hotel, called Hyatt House

By Eric Reinhardt

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Symphony Tower, located next to the Marriott Syracuse Downtown at the corner of East Onondaga and South Salina Streets in downtown Syracuse, will soon become an extended-stay hotel called Hyatt House. Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner on Wednesday announced a tax deal with Ed Riley and several partners, who plan to move forward with the $18 million project. Hyatt House is targeted for opening in the fall of 2017. (Eric Reinhardt / BJNN)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner on Wednesday announced an agreement that’ll have Symphony Tower redeveloped into a new, extended-stay hotel called Hyatt House.

The agreement includes the developers paying more than $1.1 million in back taxes in exchange for the forgiveness of $552,000 in tax penalties on the structure, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner said in a news release her office issued Wednesday.

Miner made the announcement at the Marriott Syracuse Downtown, located next to Symphony Tower.

The developers include Ed Riley and several partners, Alexander Marion, press secretary in Miner’s office, said in an email response to a BJNN inquiry. The project will cost $18 million and is targeted for opening in the fall of 2017, Marion added.

Ed Riley is the owner of the Marriott Syracuse Downtown.

Riley and his partners have also agreed to hiring and contracting goals of 20 percent MWBE (minority and women owned business enterprise) subcontractors; 20 percent minority and women workers; and 20 percent city residents.

Symphony Tower, a 15-story structure, is located on the corner of East Onondaga Street and South Salina Street.

Built in the 1980s, it formerly served as an annex to the Hotel Syracuse, which is now known as the Marriott Syracuse Downtown.

Renovations on Symphony Tower began in 2007, but eventually stopped “partway through” due to litigation over a lender for the previous owner.

Title issues were finally cleared in the fall of 2015, Miner’s office said in the release.

“This is a remarkable agreement because it continues the historic investments our community has made into downtown, the progress we have achieved by bringing the Hotel Syracuse back to life, and creates opportunity for the hardworking men and women of Syracuse who seek greater economic security,” Miner said. “I appreciate the support from all our partners who made this possible and demonstrate their commitment to Syracuse and to creating new pathways to personal economic growth for their neighbors.”

The new hotel project will convert the 2nd through 15th floors into 120 guest rooms. The 2nd floor will also include meeting spaces and staff facilities. The ground floor will include registration, restaurant facilities, and other hotel amenities.

The work will include façade enhancements, Miner’s office said.

The agreement
In the agreement negotiated by the Miner administration, the developer will repay $500,000 in back taxes up front and another $650,907 over 15 years at a 12 percent interest rate.

The City will also forgive associated fees and penalties, totaling $552,910.

The Syracuse Common Council will consider legislation authorizing a delinquent tax agreement at its voting meeting of Dec. 5.

The developer has agreed to follow the Syracuse Industrial Development Agency’s (SIDA) local-access policy, which requires developers to use contractors, vendors, and workers from the Central New York area.

Additionally, the project developers will continue the hiring practices of the recently renovated Marriott Syracuse Downtown, which includes hiring permanent staff from neighboring zip codes.

They also agreed to construction hiring goals of 20 percent MWBE subcontractors (12 percent minorities, 8 percent women); 20 percent equal-employment opportunity hiring (10 percent men and 10 percent women, measured in overall hours worked); and 20 percent Syracuse resident hiring (measured in overall hours worked).

Contact Reinhardt at ereinhardt@cnybj.com

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