Gothic Syracuse church may be closer to sale, city approves seizure for back taxes

Mizpah Tower

New hope for the future of a crumbling landmark in downtown Syracuse may be closer to realization.

The Syracuse Common Council agreed Monday to seize the Mizpah Tower for back taxes with the intent to sell to a developer for $31,000.

The former First Baptist Church on Columbus Circle has been abandoned for decades.

The current owners, Syracuse Bancock LLC of Bellevue Washington, will now have an opportunity to pay off some or all of the $115,000 in back taxes they owe if they wish to retain ownership.

Attorney Thomas Cerio went before the Syracuse Common Council last Wednesday with an offer to buy the Mizpah Tower for $31,000. Cerio says he intends to turn the former church into office space and residential apartments.