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      Developer plans to convert former downtown National Grid building into student housing

      E.M. O'Donnell building

      Plans are underway to turn the office building across the street from National Grid's downtown Syracuse headquarters into student housing.

      Syracuse developer Ed Green is working with Jim Breuer of Hueber-Breuer Construction to renovate the E.M. O'Donnell building at 301 Erie Boulevard West.

      The building was most recently used as office space for National Grid. A covered walkway over Erie Boulevard connected it to the main building.

      Green says he expects Syracuse University students who attend classes at the Warehouse downtown will be the most likely to live there. The goal is to provide residential housing for about 150 students. Concept drawings show a restaurant on site but Green says it will likely focus on providing meal service for the students.

      "Whole new concept, whole new image for the area and it brings a lot of life to it that wasn't there before," said Green.

      Concept drawings show a restaurant, but Green says it will likely be centered on feeding students.

      An asbestos abatement project in the building is near completion and Green says he hopes the renovation will be ready to open in fall 2014.