VIP Announces Development of Four Downtown Buildings

Jan 27, 2010, 11:49 ET from VIP Structures

SYRACUSE, N.Y., Jan. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- VIP Structures has been selected by the Metropolitan Development Association of Syracuse and Central New York to redevelop four prominent buildings in the 300 block of South Salina Street, Syracuse.  VIP Structures will turn the historic structures into a mix of residential and retail space, revitalizing this critically important section of downtown Syracuse.  VIP will develop the Chamberlin, Witherill, Wilson and Bond buildings as "Pike Block," named for Henry Pike, the original developer and builder of the Witherill building.  Broad-based public and private support for the Pike Block development is led by funding from Governor David Paterson, New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Assemblyman William Magnarelli, Empire State Development, and Senator David Valesky.

"The 300 block of South Salina St. is the psychological heart of our City," said Robert M. Simpson, president and CEO of the MDA.  "For more than a decade, this block has been an all-too-visible reminder of the work that remains to complete downtown's transformation.  Today, that changes. This block will be a symbol that our community can tackle even its most difficult challenges, showing that with patience, hard work and unanimity of purpose, we can achieve our vision for downtown."

VIP Structures will build out Pike Block's 130,000 square feet of space into 87 one- and two- bedroom apartments, and 25,000 square feet of street level retail space.  Numerous "green" features will also be incorporated into the buildings, including rooftop rain gardens, permeable paving, and recycling of rain water for use in the buildings' toilets.

The Pike Block project will produce a $25 million investment in downtown Syracuse thanks to financing commitments from a coalition of public and private partners.  Funding for the project includes support from the New York State Assembly secured by Speaker Silver and Assemblyman Magnarelli; grants from New York State's City by City, Restore NY, and Environmental Protection Fund programs; a grant secured by Senator Valesky; financing from the Syracuse Industrial Development Agency; the Syracuse Neighborhood Initiative, a program made possible by former Congressman James Walsh; National Grid; the Downtown Committee of Syracuse's Main Street Program; and a loan from the Syracuse Economic Development Corporation.  The Community Preservation Corporation (CPC) is providing the permanent financing.

The Pike Block development is also notable as one of the first prominent projects to take advantage of the recently expanded New York State Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit, which provides commercial developers with a 20% tax credit on qualified rehabilitation costs on historic properties.  

Many community stakeholders, individuals, and organizations have been instrumental in moving this project forward.  The Pike Block project initially began in December 2005 when Adapt CNY, Inc. a non-profit entity spun out of the 40 Below organization, secured control of the Wilson Building from the City of Syracuse.  Adapt CNY has raised more than $1 million in grants and private donations, and helped lay the groundwork for redevelopment on the 300 block.

VIP Structures was chosen through a competitive request for proposals process.  A committee of 10 community and business leaders, with backgrounds in finance, construction, and real estate, reviewed the proposals, selecting VIP in summer 2009.

"We see a tremendous opportunity in the Pike Block project to take another positive step forward in the redevelopment of downtown Syracuse.  This project creates an exciting link between a mature historic district in Armory Square and the newly designated South Salina Street Historic District," said David C. Nutting, AIA, chairman & CEO, VIP Structures.

Construction is scheduled to begin in spring of 2010, with anticipated completion in fall 2011.  Architectural design and concept drawings for the residential components of project have already begun.

About VIP Structures

VIP Structures is an integrated design-build-development firm with extensive design and construction experience in a wide range of industries; manufacturing, warehousing, municipal, historic; healthcare and building/office renovation. Today, VIP Structures enjoys the challenge of design, construction and development projects across Central and Upstate New York.  For more information about the Pike Block project, visit

Contact: David J. Compton

(315) 214-7629

SOURCE VIP Structures