TV studio moving to Syracuse's near West Side; will it help revitalize the neighborhood?

The future WCNY studio on Syracuse's west side / photo: Brandon Roth

What is now an abandoned warehouse on Syracuse's near west side will soon be transformed into a state of the art building that will be the new home for WCNY's television and production studios.

Bob Daino, President and CEO of WCNY, says the new building, which will also include a learning center, is going add to the revitalization of the near west side that is already underway.

"There's all sorts of activity, and the near west side is going to come roaring back," he says.

Do you agree with Bob? Do you think these projects will bring people back to the west side of Syracuse?

That's what Mary Alice Smothers would like to see. The longtime west side resident runs a community center for neighborhood kids right across the street from WCNY's future home.

"It's just a blessing because this area has been out there we're like the lost city," she says.

Revitalizing the near west side has been a top priority for Syracuse University since they turned the old Dunk and Bright warehouse into a school of architecture. Since then, several other businesses including King and King Architects, Hillside Children's Center, and Lincoln Center have relocated here.

Smothers says the new businesses are bringing with them a new sense of hope for a neighborhood that has been neglected for far too long.

"I've been here for 37 years, and have seen a lot come and go, but nothing as great as what is going on now," he says.

WCNY's new headquarters will go into the old Case Supply warehouse on West Street and Marcellus Street. The renovation is costing close to $20 million, but for Daino it is money well spent.

"To be able to grow in a neighborhood and expand our services is very important - and to make this a venue destination," he says.

Construction on the building is scheduled to begin in the next couple of weeks. If all goes as planned, WCNY plans to move into its new headquarters in the fall of 2012.