City should buy, not lease, former Syracuse Developmental Center

Reduce costs and control long-term site development.
Post-Standard Letter (published Jul 4, 2010).

July 4, 2010

To the Editor:

Rather than SCSD leasing the Syracuse Developmental Center from a private owner for 15 years, the city should buy the property and lease it to SCSD as needed. This would give the city control over the long-term redevelopment of a large and prime piece of city land.

The Common Council should reject the school lease. Without it, the pending private sale of the property will not go through, and the city could buy the property at or near the ridiculously low last sale price of $2.2M―minus back taxes.

Syracuse would benefit far more if the property were developed into an upscale (at least for Syracuse) residential area, with some retail mixed in.

The property is nearly 50 acres, on one of Syracuse's major hills, with extensive vistas; the zoo is an attractive neighbor; there is a great park beyond, and even a golf course; and it is less than a mile walk to downtown.

It is an incredibly rare opportunity to have such a large contiguous area of truly prime in-city land to redevelop. Syracuse needs another relatively upscale neighborhood to attract more higher income residents. This property is a huge opportunity to create that feature.

Carlo Moneti
Syracuse, NY

  • Here is a more detailed comment sent to the mayor and city councilors 3 months previous: SDC_moneti.pdf