Developers plan to turn old Syracuse factory into space for new businesses
May 09, 2012 at 2:07 PM
SYRACUSE, NEW YORK -- The developers of the Engleburg Huller building, at 831 W. Fayette St. in Syracuse, hope to create a home for a new generation of local entrepreneurs. The developers are looking to attract manufacturers, artists and people who are starting their own businesses.
Short Enterprises, along with the TimeCap Development Corp., of Syracuse, are currently in the planning stages, but construction is set to start this year. The projected cost is $3 million to $5 million, Short said.
The 55,000-square-foot building has been part of Syracuse since 1895 when it housed a factory that made coffee bean hulling machines, said Ralph Rimualdo, chief financial officer of TimeCap. Rimualdo's son, Scott, bought the building in 2000 for his countertop-manufacturing business. Scott died in a car crash in 2002 and the building, which has tenants, has not been extensively renovated.
"It was tragic and awful," Short said. "He was going to rebuild the building."
The work will mainly be done to the interior of the building, with the exterior being left as is. "The historical look of the building is what gives it its character," Rimualdo said.
Since it was a factory, there are many windows which allows natural light to come in, reducing electric costs, Rimualdo said. The developers and Syracuse's Business Development office, among others, have been working to contact prospective manufacturers, artists and entrepreneurs.
"By leveraging our combined outreach efforts, we've already made tremendous progress with regard to developing tenants for the building," Short said.
Short Enterprises would let tenants sign a yearlong lease at a lower price, so they could put more resources into their growth. After the businesses grow, they would then sign longer leases. Short calls it "entrepreneurial flex."
"At this point, the city has had preliminary discussions with Short Enterprises, representing the property owner, regarding predevelopment, financing and tenant attraction," said Ben Walsh, deputy commissioner of the Office of Neighborhood and Business Development for Syracuse.
Build-out for one tenant will start soon, with spaces becoming customized to fit each tenant's needs as they sign on. Once the building is redeveloped, it's possible that more jobs will be created for Near West Side residents.
"My goal is to not only have the businesses that come into this building hire from the neighborhood, I also want people in the neighborhood creating their own businesses," Short said.