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R.E. Dietz lantern factory renovated into apartments and commercial space

By Eric Reinhardt



SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The R.E. Dietz lantern factory, which has been vacant for a quarter century, has been renovated to include apartments and commercial space in a $19 million project.

The structure, located at 225 Wilkinson St. in Syracuse, now includes 92 apartments and more than 37,000 square feet of commercial space, Empire State Development (ESD) said in a news release issued Thursday.

The exterior of the R.E. Dietz lantern factory building at 225 Wilkinson St. in Syracuse, which Empire State Development says has been renovated to include apartments and commercial space in a $19 million project. (Photo credit: Empire State Development)

About two-thirds of the apartments have already been leased, ESD added.

The project complements the CNY Rising economic-development plan, which “supports ongoing revitalization efforts in the downtown Syracuse area,” according to the ESD news release.

Empire State Development supported the project with a $900,000 grant through the CNY Rising $500 million award secured during Cuomo’s Upstate economic-development contest in 2015.

The Community Preservation Corporation (CPC), which has a Central New York office at 315 N. Clinton St. in Syracuse, provided additional financing for the project.

CPC and its lending partners Pathfinder Bank (NASDAQ: PBHC) and NBT Bank (NASDAQ: NBTB) provided a $19.2 million construction loan.

CPC also provided a SONYMA-insured $16.2 million permanent loan funded through its agreement with the New York State Common Retirement Fund.

SONYMA is short for State of New York Mortgage Agency.

In addition, New York’s State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and the federal government’s National Park Service awarded state and federal historic tax credits for the project.

Onondaga County also provided $517,000 through a Save the Rain grant, ESD said.


About the Dietz company

Robert E. Dietz founded the lantern company Dietz, Brother and Company in Brooklyn in 1840, ESD said in describing the firm’s history.

After a fire destroyed the R.E. Dietz factory in New York City in June 1897, the company purchased its only competition at the time, the Steam Gauge and Lantern Company of Syracuse, eventually moving the company's manufacturing center to the city.

In 1971, Dietz stopped making lanterns in Syracuse, moving all production to Hong Kong.

The company closed its doors for good in 1992.


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