Demolition of Chuck's building could start as early as March


SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The Marshall Street-area building that houses longtime bar Chuck's could be razed as early as March.

Developers earlier this week won the city's approval to demolish the buildings in the alleyway behind Marshall Street to make way for an eight-story apartment building with retail on the first floor.

In paperwork filed with the city, developers said construction on the $40.5 million project, called "Syracuse 727," is expected to begin as early as March and be completed by August 2018.

The estimates were provided to the Syracuse Industrial Development Agency as part of the developers' application for about $1.7 million in tax breaks.

Partners Jared Hutter and Brian Rosen said they don't yet have a definitive timeline for construction, so it's possible Chuck's will still be open for March Madness.

Hutter and Rosen, who are based in New Jersey, said they were working with a local contractor, engineer and construction firm to determine the best time to begin demolition and construction.

The project includes tearing down the Chuck's building at 727 S. Crouse Ave. as well as 721-23 S. Crouse Ave., which includes Orange Crate Brewing Co.

The developers have applied to the the city's development agency for tax exemptions on the building's mortgage and on sales tax for construction materials and equipment.

With big changes pending for University Hill, Syracuse.com interviewed business owners, alumni, students and other stakeholders about what makes Marshall Street special and what its future might hold.

The sales tax exemption would save developers about $1.5 million and the mortgage tax exemption totals $215,500. Developers have not sought a property tax break.

SIDA, the city's development agency, will hold a public hearing on the developers' request at its next meeting on Feb. 28, said Honora Spillane, the agency's director.

The agency will then decide whether the developer has shown that their project will improve the city and provide benefits to Syracuse residents.

The developers argue in their application that the project will create at least 150 temporary construction jobs and 42 permanent jobs in building upkeep and retail.

Hutter and Rosen also said that their proposal will help Syracuse by bringing much-needed upgrades to the Marshall Street area, especially in the alleyway where the building's storefronts are accessed.

"This whole Marshall Street area needs a facelift," Hutter said. "Development spurs other business owners to be interested in cleaning up their buildings."

He added that he and Rosen are committed to hiring local businesses to work on the construction.

Jared Hutter, of BLVD Equities, stands in front of the construction site where a six-story, 54-unit student apartment building went up at 404 University Ave. in Syracuse. The project was a joint venture between three Syracuse University graduates including Hutter

and Brian Rosen.
He said they are working with the many of the same people who helped build the BLVD404 apartment, a project they completed in 2015.

Hutter, a 2006 graduate of the university, said he wants the local community to know they are invested in Syracuse and its history.

"I don't see this as the end of Marshall Street as we know it," Hutter said. "I see it as: This is the beginning of a new day for Marshall Street."

He and Rosen, a 2001 graduate, particularly wanted to quell concerns about Chuck's, a staple on University Hill since 1970. They said they were in the process of reviewing a lease for Chuck's in the new building with the bar's owner.

Chuck's owner Stephen Theobald previously said he wants to preserve the look and feel of the bar when it moves. Theobald could not be reached for comment today.

Hutter said he named his son Charlie after the bar. He said he was at Chuck's in 2003 when Syracuse won the NCAA championship. Both alumni shared fond memories of the bar.

The developers said they view the project as a way to invest in Syracuse and elevate the college and city's profile.

They said they have been traveling back and forth nearly every week since they began the BLVD404 project.

"Our connection to Syracuse has only deepened," Hutter said.

Reporter Julie McMahon covers Syracuse University and Syracuse city schools. She can be reached anytime: Email | Twitter | 315-412-1992


Source: http://www.syracuse.com/su-news/index.ssf/2017/02/demolition_of_chucks_building_could_start_as_early_as_march.html

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