Just before Christmas I was doing some shopping in downtown Syracuse when I looked across the street from M. Lemp Jewelers and noticed a trendy looking real estate sign. The glossy stretch fabric depicted a tony looking clientele enjoying a fitness center, rooftop garden and slick looking urban apartments. It's all part of one of several new downtown developments called Merchants Commons.
It's the former Merchants Bank building on Warren Street between E. Fayette and Washington. It's the latest in a growing list of redeveloped downtown properties that are a mix of commerical and residential space.
A block away the Pike Block development is a vital construction site pushing toward an opening very soon. These projects come to mind as MSN.com gave some attention to Franklin Square for being a hip place to live. Franklin's rebirth from an a dilapidated industrial site to a vital place for living and working began more than twenty years ago. It is now a cornerstone of a growing collection of outstanding downtown living space in Syracuse.
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