Downtowns gain strength in Upstate NY
The trend toward walkable urban places is helping the residential market in Upstate New York cities, developers reported in Syracuse this week. The conference sponsored by the NYS Conference of Mayors & Municipal Officials and NYS Urban Council included a session with developers from Syracuse (population 145,000), Rochester (210,000), and Watertown (27,000). All reported that the downtown residential market had gained strength in recent years. Reg Schweitzer, deputy director of Neighbors of Watertown, Inc., said that downtown was dead for decades until after the real estate crash, when interest in living there began to pick up. Bob Doucette of Paramount Realty Group in Syracuse said the downtown market is focused on younger singles and couples and empty nesters. Patrick Dutton of Live Work Realty in Rochester has been surprised to see families with young children moving downtown. Recent market studies in Albany, Buffalo, and Ithaca find very low downtown vacancy rates and strong rental markets.
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