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SYRACUSE-As part of his continuing “City by City” long-term economic plan, Gov. Eliot Spitzer at an event held on Thursday at Syracuse University announced the state will commit $20 million to a multi-phased “Connective Corridor” program geared to linking the Downtown district with Syracuse University.

The plan calls for a pedestrian parkway, improved landscaping, the installation of new street lighting, public art, and bus shelters and other streetscape improvements that will serve as a pathway to join hotels, cultural venues, restaurants and the convention center to Syracuse University.

The governor also said the state would provide $2 million in funding for the planned Near West Side Initiative that will convert former warehouse space on West Fayette Wyoming, Tully and West streets into a new WCNY broadcast center and education center. The project also calls for the rehabilitation of the former CASE Supply and Lincoln Supply buildings into mixed-use commercial/residential buildings and the construction of 50 units of affordable “green” housing. The venture, according to state officials, will cost $56 million to complete.

“The projects we’re announcing today were selected to build on the unique strengths of Syracuse and Potsdam,” Spitzer said. “Both depend heavily on collaborations between communities and universities, and we believe represent public dollars well spent to yield major economic impacts in these regions of the state.”

Other Syracuse-based initiatives announced by Gov. Spitzer include $2 million in state financing to go toward the construction of a $16-million Downtown Convention Center District Parking Garage in Downtown Syracuse at the site of the Public Safety Building; $2 million in state funding to help develop 438 North Franklin, a five-story 36-unit housing development with 12,000 sf of retail space; and $3 million for the redevelopment of an area of South Salina Street into mixed-use residential and office space.

The governor also proposes the state spend another $300,000 on top of $1.9 million already committed for the Clarkson Downtown Campus Business Incubator project in Potsdam. The project, a partnership between the Village of Potsdam and Clarkson University, calls for the renovation of an existing building into a mixed-use facility that would include a business incubator on the first floor.

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