The Syracuse City Council has approved tax breaks for a $2.7 million expansion of the Near West Side Market, Nojaim Brothers. The tax breaks include an exemption on property taxes, sales tax, and construction materials.
A large portion of the money is coming from a New York State program to spur growth in communities.
O wner Paul Nojaim plans to remodel the store and add a 5,000 square foot addition. The City Council says that it's not just an investment in a store , it's an investment for one of the poorest neighborhoods in the city.
"It's exciting for the neighborhood to revitalize and literally raise a city from its ashes." Councilman Khalid Bey says.
Nojaim also plans on hiring 12 new local employees.
"we have 71 current employees and over 80% are from the community and I think it's important to do that. We want to be reflective of the people we are serving," says Nojaim.
With seven children to feed, Latasha Henderson is excited to see her neighborhood grocery store expand.
"That's big enough for a family my size. It's great ," says Henderson.
C urrent employees like Zoe Ann Hanson believe that these changes will give the store significant improvements.
"I think it would be great because it needs to be modernized more . It does get quite crowded during the first few weeks of the month," says Hanson.
For Henderson, it means more food and more room for when her big family goes shopping.
"It's extremely importan t because Price Chopper is so far away and w e get better deals on meats and everything else ," says Henderson.
For the rest of the neighborhood in the Near West Side of Syracuse, it might just be the fresh start that it needs.
The city council will vote on the final proposal on Monday.