Public projects aim to preserve natural beauty of Onondaga Lake and transform Lakefront and Inner Harbor areas into vibrant, mixed-use neighborhoods

Syracuse, N.Y. –  The City of Syracuse, in conjunction with Onondaga County and New York State, is hosting an open house on Wednesday, May 4 for community members to view and share thoughts on proposals to revitalize Onondaga Lake as well as the Lakefront and Inner Harbor areas. Proposed community projects are intended to support natural resource protection, enhance waterfront access for pedestrians, improve inter-connectivity and transportation options, and provide economic revitalization opportunities.

 “Bodies of water are the soul of a city, and Syracuse is no exception. It was founded on the shores of Onondaga Lake and built around the historic Erie Canal, which once flowed through the heart of the City and served as the lifeline of its commercial and civic needs,” said Mayor Ben Walsh. “Today, the Inner Harbor and Lakefront area remains one of the last underdeveloped areas in the city, and it is time to turn this underutilized space into a vibrant destination for residents and businesses alike.”

The City, County, and State are in the process of developing a Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP). An LWRP is a comprehensive approach to re-imagining the City’s waterfront in which the public can advance community planning from vision to implementation. Projects selected for the LWRP will enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors, preserve and protect the environment, encourage economic investment, and seamlessly integrate into the fabric of our city. The community is encouraged to attend and provide feedback on these initial project ideas for the Lakefront.

The Syracuse Waterfront Revitalization Area (WRA) includes land along Onondaga Lake, Onondaga Creek and the Inner Harbor generally between I-690 and I-81. Key landmarks and destinations within the WRA include NBT Stadium, Destiny USA, CNY Regional Market, Onondaga Creekwalk, Empire State Trail and Loop the Lake Trail, and St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater.

The preparation of a LWRP is an approximately 12-18 month process that will result in a planning document encompassing a community-driven vision for revitalization and specific project and policies to successfully realize key opportunities. Benefits of an LWRP include: providing clear direction for appropriate waterfront development; increasing opportunities to obtain public and private funding for future projects; establishing long-term partnerships between multiple levels of government; and aligning local, state and federal actions.

Anyone with an interest in the City of Syracuse’s waterfront, including residents, businesses, and property owners are encouraged to attend the open house on May 4 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Freighthouse in the Inner Harbor. The project team will also be hosting a virtual public workshop and releasing an online survey for the community to provide their input.

Please visit for more information about upcoming meetings and staying informed on the process.

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