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Crouse Chemical Dependency Treatment Services Proposes Center/Medical Office in Former Sears Building

Crouse Health Has Been Meeting with Stakeholders including Clergy since July 2018

Community Meeting scheduled for November 1st has been cancelled

Area Residents Upset that they’re not Consulted

There have been a lot of questions swirling around the urban community as a new project has been proposed, utilizing the long vacant former Sears Building on S. Salina Street.

The project simply called, the Crouse/Sears Project establishes an enlarged Crouse Chemical Dependency Treatment Services/ Medical Office. Crouse Health had an entire campaign designed to gain community input and approval of this facility which would represent the largest investment on the Southside in a generation. Contrary to some misinformation, this is not going to be a traditional neighborhood based drug treatment clinic; this upgrade of facilities is requiring a $20 million dollar investment by Crouse Health.

The building will retain its Art-Deco design features and will resemble a large medical facility with patient treatment, education, counseling, vocational training and staff offices. For several months Crouse Health has been meeting with community members and African American clergy the majority of them pastor churches are located on the city’s Southside.

Even with scheduled meetings with community stakeholders there has been some concern that the overall Southside community has been left out of the loop. People have already shared images of drug crazed clients spilling over into schools and nearby housing projects.  At least one organization, the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, has reportedly given their approval as a body of pastors.  They represent one of many alliances and associations organized by the Syracuse African-American liturgical community.

However, residents in the immediate area of the facilities proposed location and those concerned with the area have expressed disappointment in the possibility of a drug rehabilitation center. Since the closing of the storied retail building, many on the Southside have held out hope that one day the building would return to retail providing needed goods and services.

In addition, there are so many projects that have been seemingly just placed within the Southside without paying attention to concerns of area residents. The Crouse/Sears proposal tried to avoid these pitfalls however the community does not attend many of the TNT meetings, the clergy represent churches located in the area, however congregants drive in from all over the region to worship. The almost 100 churches in Syracuse are clustered on the Southside in areas already identified as being hosts to intense levels of concentrated poverty.

The case being made for the communities’ acceptance of the project includes a series of fact sheets breaking down details of the proposal. They include an analysis that maintains the $16,000 in Property Tax paid by the current owners of the Sears Building, will be replaced by approximately $20,000 in Sales Tax revenue from the on-site café.

Unfortunately, that’s not an even a fair revenue trade off, since Sales Tax revenue goes to Onondaga County then distributed to cities, towns and villages.

Therefore, even at $20,000 revenue the Café would not replenish property Tax Revenue. If the Café fails there’s no economic activity other than the Crouse Chemical Dependency Treatment Services/ Medical Office, therefore $0 revenue is entirely possibly with projections based on retail activity.

Jobs for local residents will include working in the Café. Crouse Health will be capable of increasing their caseload by 400 per year, bringing their projected total to about 1,400 patients annually. Other details are included in the fact sheets that are linked to this story.

Download documents to view the entire proposal as presented at various meetings with local area stakeholders.

Sears CDTS meeting schedule

Meetings have been taking place since July 2018 with “community stakeholders” This is a list of all who’ve participated in these discussions. The most visceral reaction to this project comes from people who actually live/reside on Syracuse’s Southside. “It’s November and we’re just finding our about this.” Says one of many individuals and  the number of community leaders who due to their employment position cannot publicly speak about this project.

Mayor Ben Walsh July 13, 2018
Greg Loh, Mayor’s Office August 8, 2018
Rob Simpson, Centerstate CEO August 9, 2018
Mayor Ben Walsh August 10, 2018
County Executive Joanie Mahoney August 10, 2018
Linda Brown Robinson, NAACP August 14, 2018
Tim Penix, SUNY EOC August 20, 2018
Councilor Khalid Bey August 20, 2018
William Simmons, Syracuse Housing Authority August 23, 2018
Barry Shulman, MacKenzie Hughes August 23, 2018
Helen Hudson, Common Council President August 27, 2018
NYS Senator Dave Valesky August 27, 2018
Latoya Allen, Common Council August 30, 2018
Lisa Alford, Onondaga County Youth & Aging August 30, 2018
NYS Assembly Member Pam Hunter September 4, 2018
Calvin Corriders, Pathfinder Bank September 6, 2018
Rick Lee, Centro September 7, 2018
Pastor Daren Jaime, People’s AME Zion Church September 11, 2018
Steve Fournier, KeyBank September 14, 2018
NYS Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli September 19, 2018
Pastor John Carter, Abundant Life September 20, 2018
Jerome Walker & Walter Eiland, 100 Black Men September 21, 2018
Mark Hall, Syracuse Community Health Center September 24, 2018
Calvin Corriders, Pathfinder Bank; Mark Hall, SCHC; Gail Montplaisir, President, Taurus Dev. Group; Tim Penix, SEOC; Rafael Salaberrios, VP Economic Revitalization, Empire State Dev. September 25, 2018
Meg O’Connell, Allyn Foundation October 5, 2018
Carl Byrne, Byrne Dairy October 5, 2018
Andy Maxwell, C&S Companies October 8, 2018
Latoya Allen, Camille Coakley, Mae Carter, Tree Carter, Gail Bowens, Angela Wright, Charles Pierce, Annette Rouse, Amber Welch, Mel Menon, Walter Eiland, Rich Puchalski, Gwen Battle, Nicole Ingram, Elmore Davis, Geneva Hayden October 8, 2018
US Congressman John Katko October 11, 2018
NAACP Board (Mike Atkins, Van Robinson) October 11, 2018
Larry Williams, Frank Lazarski, Susan Stearns, PhD, Southwest Community Center October 15, 2018
 Pastor Bryant Gerald, Sr., Immanuel Temple Church of God in Christ; Pastor Maxwell Jones, Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ; Pastor Erik Eure, The Promise Land Church – Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance Members October 22, 2018
District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick October 23, 2018
George Kilpatrick, iHeart Radio/Vera House October 24, 2018
Onondaga County Legislator Peggy Chase October 24, 2018
Beth Rinfret-Fleming and Rochelle Cardillo, OASAS October 25, 2018
SS TNT Economic Development Task Force October 25, 2018
Duane Owens, Commissioner Facilities Management at Onondaga County October 26, 2018
Linda Lopez, Salvation Army October 26, 2018
Walter Dixie, Jubilee Homes and Twiggy Billue, National Action Network October 29, 2018
Councilor Chad Ryan October 29, 2018
County Executive Ryan McMahon October 29, 2018
Gail Montplaisir, President, Taurus Development Group; Eli Smith; Emanual Henderson October 31, 2018
Rev. Decarto Draper, Jr., Tucker Missionary Baptist Church November 1, 2018
Dr. Rick Wright/iHeart Radio November 1, 2018
Rev. Andre Dowdell, Greater New Testament MBC November 5, 2018
Police Chief Frank Fowler November 5, 2018
Jaime Alicea, Syracuse City School District November 9, 2018
Being Scheduled
Bruce Conner
Legislators Monica Williams, Linda Ervin
Elisa Morreales, Spanish Action League
Patrick Calli, Administrator, Central Park Rehabilitation & Nursing Center
Kevin Henry, Superintendent for Buildings and Grounds, City of Syracuse
Joe O’Hara, PEACE Inc.
Charles Garland, Garland Funeral Home
Lenore Sealy, CNY Works
Paul Joslyn, AccessCNY
Phyllis Moore, Dunbar Center
Nancy Eaton, Exec. Dir. United Way of CNY
Tania Anderson, ARISE

Sears CDTS site proposal Crouse/Sears Project an at a glance sheet includes details; number of employees, Current tax revenue on property:$16,031;  Estimated sales tax generated by cafésales: $20,000. 5 million promised in Minority and Women owned businesses in design, labor, construction, materials and labor.

Sears-CH Partnering w Community  Examples of what Crouse Health has done in the African-American Community, for example; Tickets to the NAACP Dinner and participation in Syracuse Juneteenth among documented community activity.

There was a meeting scheduled for November 1st  its has been cancelled. The process of neighborhood input will now be handled by Southside TNT (Tomorrows Neighborhoods Today). Utilizing this process gives everyone an opportunity to have input into the Crouse/Sears project.  Southside TNT in conjuction with the neighborhoods that make up the Southside have developed an ambitious 5 year plan.


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