Future of Hotel Syracuse still uncertain

The future of the Hotel Syracuse remains uncertain after the city received a check late Thursday from the hotel's lender that will block plans to seize the property for back taxes.

Ben Walsh, deputy commissioner of neighborhood and business development, confirms to CNYCentral the city received a check for $361,855 from Financitech Ltd. of Tel-Aviv, Israel. The developer owes about $500,000 in back taxes. The delivery of that check essentially blocks the city's plan to take the property and sell it to a developer. Walsh says this is at least the second time the lender has come in at the last minute and paid part of the bill to prevent foreclosure.

The city must now wait until the property can be seized again or look into other options. Wash says the city may explore the option of taking the property through eminent domain. "We're going to take a hard look at that over the next week or so," Walsh told us by phone.

The city has worked in conjunction with the Syracuse Industrial Development Agency (SIDA) in the past to try to seize properties through eminent domain. It is a lengthy process, Walsh says, that involves negotiating a preferred developer agreement and public input. There would be a public hearing if the city decided to try to take the Hotel Syracuse through eminent domain.

Walsh says the city is anxious to move quickly.