I write a lot of posts on this blog that begin with the number 5. Some of them have been on the same topic I’m going to discuss today, that being things I wish for central New York. The last one of these I did was in 2014. I missed last year; oops! Because I want to get to the topic first I’m going to list my 5 wishes for central New York in 2016, then I’m going to list all the other “5-fer” posts I’ve had on this blog to date because… well, I want you to know they exist and possibly go read some of them. 🙂 Here we go:

1533591. Save Great Northern & Shoppingtown Malls

Back in July I wrote an article about ideas I had for solving the Great Northern issue; I only wish I could have gotten it to the new owners because I think it could be a winner. I wrote in 2012 and asked the question whether Shoppingtown Mall could survive.

I personally think there’s not only a place for both of these malls, but with a bit of creativity both of them could be turned into something special. Instead of always trying to compete with Destiny, which both malls will lose on, they need to establish their own identities and make each of the malls unique, while retaining the anchor stores they already have.

2. Get that hotel built in the Inner Harbor and the full renovation of Hotel Syracuse

Supposedly we’re close to the 2nd one and plans are moving along for the first. Both of these are important in being able to promote the city of Syracuse as a global marketplace for shopping and entertainment and to take full advantage of all that Destiny and the Oncenter are. Of course this comes with the issue of better parking downtown… I know local government had been touting the growth of downtown parking garages, but after a horrible experience I recently had at the parking garage next to Modern Malt I’m thinking they either need revamping or better management.

3. Give tax breaks for businesses to renovate the area from the former train/bus station up to Teall Avenue on Erie Boulevard.

This area is a total mess! I wrote about this area back in 2012 and believed the west side of Erie Blvd East looks like a wasteland. While all this attention is being paid to the area closer to Dewitt, the area close to the city is being left to decay. That’s embarrassing, especially since it’s close enough to the university area that visitors probably come straight down University Avenue and see… that; ugh!

My idea is to offer it up to business development, either small business parks or maybe a medical park. Clean up the area around the bridge so the homeless aren’t driving commerce away, and while you’re at it, take a part of the open space near the U-Haul building and turn it into some kind of nice park where kids can play or people can walk through. Heck, ask the folks at the university to help out; I’m betting they’ll have some ideas.

4. Carrier Circle; do I need to say more?

At least they finally tore down Howard Johnson’s… kind of. This area used to look really nice and was welcoming to a ton of visitors, most of whom get off the Thruway at Exit 35 and now see… what? I think there’s still a Denny’s that doesn’t look so bad but everything else looks horrific. The only part that looks somewhat inviting is when you go all the way around the circle and head towards what I like to call Hotel Row.

I know McDonalds is balking at some of the ideas for this area but just how well could they be doing sitting over there by themselves with little else around them? I have to admit that I don’t have many ideas for what to do with the area because the last thing I believe we want are restaurants right on the circle area. Yet something has to be done, even if all that can be accomplished is clearing away all the trash, taking down a few more decrepit buildings and turning it into a beautiful and inviting green space with maybe some kind of sculpture or statues highlighting the history of central New York. Anything would be better than what’s there now.

5. Set up wi-fi access around central New York lakes

It might seem I’m asking for this one because of how much I love walking around Onondaga Lake and how nice it would be to access free wi-fi instead of having to use one’s data plan. However, that’s not really the reason I have this on the list.

What I’m thinking about is that almost 5 years ago I walked through some pretty scary areas of Green Lake and last year walked through a fairly secluded and dangerous, though paved area of Onondaga Lake that leads to the new Amphitheater off 690 and started realizing that a lot of the areas have so much foliage that it blocks carrier signals and would be hard for someone to call for help if needed. I have no idea if this is a big issue or not but I’m sure I’m not alone in saying it would add a bit more comfort and security.

Still, I’m making this one #5 because I don’t feel it’s as crucial an issue to entertain as the other 4. I take pride in my adopted home for the last 40 years and I only want to see it get better. Who’s with me? Meanwhile, here are other posts you can check out in my 5-fer group:

5 Things To Address New York’s Financial Crisis

5 Things I Don’t Like About Wegmans

5 Wishes For Syracuse / Central New York In 2012

5 Wishes For Central New York In 2013

5 Things I Wish Would Change At The NYS State Fair

5 Differences Between Food In CNY & The South

5 Takeaways From The Bruce Jenner Interview

5 Thoughts From My Latest Local Blogging Get Together

5 Takeaways From The Asia Food Market In Syracuse


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