I’m not sure that anyone could say it ever thrived as much as the eastern part of the street, but have you taken notice of what the area of Erie Boulevard East looks like from the area starting around Midler and a few blocks past Teall? It looks like an area that overall has been ignored by the powers that be, at least on the side heading towards the city.

Not that the side heading west looks all that much better, but at least there are businesses there. Some seem to be surviving, but if you weren’t from the area you’d swear that almost all of the businesses look closed. Actually I live here and until a few weeks ago I’d have sworn that most of those businesses were closed.

As the pictures will show, there are empty spaces where businesses used to be and one major building that showed great promise at one time that’s in outer decay and looks like a dead cruise ship, waiting for someone willing to take over a funny looking building with a horrible paint job (I always wondered who thought that was a smart color to paint that building so many years ago) that once belonged to a locally created insurance company whose business model was, unfortunately, flawed.

The only businesses that are probably thriving out that way are the Fuccillo Hyundai and possibly Sam’s Club, which I have to admit I didn’t even know was there, thinking it was the Super Walmart on Bridge Street instead. The day I passed by and realized what it was, there weren’t that many cars in the parking lot. And I did notice there was a Chinese restaurant on the same side of the street right across from them with only 2 cars in front. I was thinking how terrible it must be for that restaurant to be in that location instead of a location closer to Dewitt, which gets a lot more traffic and business.

Not that the most eastern part of Erie Boulevard has always had it easy, but most of its real estate has been filled and even when some buildings were razed, such as the old bowling alley, drive-in theater and Rib Inn’s (loved that place), they weren’t empty for long; goodness, there’s even a new hotel over there now.

As I stated in a post here about my 5 wishes for the Syracuse and Central New York area, I believe there needs to be something like an Empire Zone program to help encourage businesses to build, whether it’s retail or restaurants, to help revitalize this area. It’s close enough to the university area to have the opportunity to make a very big economical impact on the city, and it wouldn’t hurt having a quality hotel in the area close to the university for all the events that are held there. Imagine it; a nice sized hotel, quality restaurants… what’s not to like?

Who agrees with me here?

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