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Tear it Down or Fix it Up? Former Club 37 continues to sit vacant

Tear it Down or Fix it Up? Club 37 has been closed since the early 2000s. (Brett Hall/CNYCentral.)

You're in a special club if you can remember the former Club 37 that now sits masked behind tall bushes along Route 11 in North Syracuse.

"It was really busy in its time," said Brian Hamilton, who runs the website Syracuse Nostalgia. "I went several times in the 90s. It was a great place just to hang out with your friends. I wasn't much of a dancer, but you could stand around the edge of the circle and watch people dance."

It was 1975 when the 8,104 sq. ft. nightclub opened according to Onondaga County Property Tax records. For much of the clubs history it was run by Eugene Dinino, who also owned and operated a former dance club in DeWitt. Both clubs were closed by 2002. The one in DeWitt came crumbling down earlier this year.

"Its kinda, kinda sad now," said Hamilton. "The sign over there says club N V is coming - that's been there for about 15 years."

Hamilton isn't the only one noticing the aging property.

"The old Club 37 is another place that has been around quite awhile that is totally overgrown with weeds and not in good shape," wrote Marlene Levett to the Tear it Down or Fix it Up email.

From the road you can see strips of dark fabric sparsely hanging from the old canopy frame. Peeling paint flanks the bricks, while rotting wood parking guardrails surround the parking lot. The club's large bay windows, are now hidden by tall bushes.

"It has been unoccupied for some time and it doesn't look great," said Mark Nicotra, R-Town of Salina Supervisor. "Certainly it comes to a quality of life issue."

A Freedom of Information Law request turned up no code violations in the last decade for the property. However, there have been "clean up notices" issued.

"Once or twice a year we write up his property for the same things," Nicotra said.

Those "things" being overgrown brush and weeds mostly. Each time the property owner is given 10 days to clean up the property and if they don't comply the town does the work for them, explained Nicotra.

"You know [the former Club 37 owner] is okay with us cleaning up the property and those costs being put on the tax bill," said Nicotra.

Public records show that the 1.5 acre site was purchased by Warners Rd Development LLC, of Watertown in 2008 for $437,500. The property has been assessed at $350,000 for 2017.

Philip J. Simao with Warners Rd Development LLC told CNYCentral.com that the property is currently being marketed for a sale.

He was not aware of any complaints about the properties appearance and when asked if the old Club 37 would be demolished prior to any sale Simao said he's "not yet sure."

Longtime fans of Central New York nightlife don't want to see another club fall at the hands of the wrecking ball.

"Yeah...Fix it up," said Hamilton. ""I think it could be popular again. They could have different theme nights, a disco night, rock night a college night. I think it could work along that level."

An idea, that could be explored, for the right price.

Previously CBS5 asked the question of the City of Oneida's Hotel Oneida, Van Buren's Quaker Steak & Lube, Oswego's 1850 House and Mattydale's Cinema North, and even saw action.

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