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      Demolition clears way for expansion of Syracuse's James Street Econo Lodge

      Site of demolished apartment building on James Street.

      The owner of the Econo Lodge on James Street in Syracuse says he's doing his part to improve the neighborhood. Naresh Patel says the current demolition of an abandoned apartment and storefront is a critical step in expanding the hotel, and cleaning up the James & State Street corridor. "I'm doing my part, now it is up to the people who own nearby buildings to make this area better," Patel said.

      The Econo Lodge has suffered with low occupancy for years. Patel blames that on the way his block has looked for years. He's hoping the demolition of the building next to the hotel will be a positive first step. Patel plans to expand the Econo Lodge which currently has 49 rooms. Patel will add more rooms, a common area and a fitness center. "There were homeless people living in that building and it was not the sort of thing that people who come to stay the night want to see," Patel said. He added that the now demolished building was "one of the worst on the street."

      Recent reviews of the hotel are mostly unfavorable. However, one comment written by hotel staff in May promises "a major renovation at this location very soon."