Company's Unusual Plan: A Non-Profit to Turn Vacant Downtown Syracuse Building Into College Dorm

Tim Goral's picture

A new company wants to bring college students to live downtown Syracuse by turning a vacant office building near Armory Square into a dormitory for 146 students.

The project proposed by Syracuse Creekwalk Commons Inc. is unusual because the newly formed company is not affiliated with any college but hopes to redevelop the building as a nonprofit corporation exempt from income and property taxes.

Construction contractor James Breuer, a director of the company and one of the building's owners, said most of its tenants likely would be Syracuse University students. However, he said full-time students from any of the area's colleges and universities could live there.

The company has proposed transforming the E.M. O'Donnell Building at 324 Water St. into 69 apartments, along with 8,000 square feet of retail space. The building is owned by EMO Properties LLC, of which Breuer is a partner, and has been vacant for three years.

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