Neighbors protest proposed corner store in Syracuse

A group of neighbors are planning to protest a proposed corner store on Syracuse's south side Thursday evening claiming it would become a magnet for crime.

The new owners of the former Midgley Printing building intend to renovate the structure and turn it into a convenience store. It's located near the intersections of Oxford Street, Midland Avenue and Bellevue Avenue.

The store would be across the street from a lot where the A-Shack Market once stood. That store was shut down and demolished in 2008 under the city's nuisance abatement law because it had become the scene of numerous violent crimes.

Mercedes Jones, who lives next to the site of the proposed store, told CNY Central's Jim Kenyon, "we don't need another corner store ruining the neighborhood."

Jones says there are a number of on-going improvements to the neighborhood including new homes and a community garden at the site of the former A-Shack Market. She also points out that the Oxford Inn, a homeless shelter, is about to re-locate.

Syracuse United Neighbors, which is organizing the protest, put out a statement saying the community "cannot afford to have a corner store selling nothing more than alcohol, tobacco and lottery products, creating a lawless area for loiterers, drug dealers and trash and debris."

The owners of the proposed store could not be reached for comment, but General Contractor Chris Seals says, "they need to give us a chance, they need to be open-minded."

Seals says the store would be the largest convenience store in the area, would be well run, secure, a local employer, and become an asset to the community. He says the convenience store is necessary because a number of residents are disabled or elderly and need such a store within easy walking distance.