Syracuse, N.Y. – Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh announced today that the City is issuing a call for experts to help bring the former Syracuse Developmental Center property back to life. The City released a “Request for Proposal” (RFP) to hire a professional commercial real estate brokerage firm for the property located at 800 South Wilbur Ave and 802 South Wilbur Ave Rear on Syracuse’s west side. The RFP puts a priority on returning the site to the tax roll and making it home to permanent jobs for city residents.

Mayor Walsh authorized the seizure for back taxes of the sprawling property in late August. Its owners owed the City $887,237 in back taxes, including interest and penalties, and the long vacant site had become a threat to public safety and an eyesore in the neighborhood.

Since the seizure, the City has secured the site, installing gates, video cameras, and signage to prevent unauthorized entry; clearing trash and debris from the site; re-boarding the buildings on the property; and completing regular security patrols and drone photography. The City also cut the grass and cleared overgrowth on the grounds.

“Our first priority was to clean up the property and do everything we could to protect public safety,” said Mayor Walsh. “While that’s been going on, our team in Neighborhood and Business Development has been working to get the site ready to be marketed so it can be returned to a productive use. It’s a highly attractive investment opportunity, so having a professional commercial real estate partner will help ensure we find the most qualified future owner with the best plan for the property.”

Once a broker has been secured, the City will release a subsequent RFP for sale and redevelopment of the site. The request for proposal will highlight three key criteria for any development partner(s): 1) a proven ability to provide creative and inclusive land use and development strategies 2) return the site to the tax roll and 3) a redevelopment concept that creates permanent jobs for Syracuse residents.

Located in Syracuse’s Tipperary Hill neighborhood, the property is located approximately 1.4 miles from Downtown Syracuse. Situated at the top of a hillside with a sweeping view of the City, the more than 47-acre site includes a building totaling 628,000 square feet. The property was formerly an instructional learning and long term care facility.

The RFP is available online at: Responses are due to the City’s Office of Management and Budget by Thursday, Nov. 14.

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