East Adams Street Neighborhood Transformation Plan Update


On July 18, 2019, the Syracuse Housing Authority Board of Commissioners approved the selection of McCormack Baron Salazar as the Master Developer for the East Adams Street Neighborhood Transformation Plan.

The Master Developer was selected by a committee that consisted of SHA staff members and Blueprint 15 board members.

On October 2, 2019 the Syracuse Housing Authority Board of Commissioners approved a memorandum of understanding (MOU) entered into between Executive Director William Simmons, on behalf of the SHA and President Vince Bennett, on behalf of Master Developer, McCormack Baron Salazar.  The MOU outlines the business terms that will be negotiated and agreed to in a Master Development Agreement.

What is the East Adams Street Neighborhood Transformation Plan?

In 2013, the Syracuse Housing Authority's Transformation Plan for the East Adams Street Neighborhood was initiated to define a comprehensive approach to the revitalization of this part of the City of Syracuse that embodies both significant physical and social challenges, and unique opportunities for the creation of a new mixed-use, mixed-income community.

East Adams Street Neighborhood

The neighborhood is approximately 118 square acres on 27 square blocks.  SHA controls the majority of the property in the plan area, and other non-profit and educational institutions control much of the balance.

The East Adams Street Neighborhood Transformation Plan includes the redevelopment of 1,037 units of public housing owned by the Syracuse Housing Authority that includes:

  1. Pioneer Homes,
  2. McKinney Manor,
  3. Central Village and
  4. AOT

Toomey Abbot Towers located at 1207 Almond Street is also on the footprint of the Master Plan but will be renovated separately.

The Transformation Plan was designed to contain three major elements:

  1. People Plan, in which the needs of the existing residents are defined, and programs to meet those needs developed;
  2. Neighborhood Plan, in which improvements will be identified that will create a sustainable, livable community; and
  3. a Housing Plan, in which locations for new and/ or renovated housing will be identified.

HUD is encouraging housing authorities to re position their public housing due to its inability to fund the capital needs requirements of public housing nationwide.  On November 13, 2018 HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) sent a letter to the public housing agency (PHA) executive directors regarding  “repositioning public housing".   through the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program to provide greater financial sustainability for their properties.

The preparation of the Transformation Plan consisted of four stages of work:

  1. Inventory and Analysis of Background Information began in the fall of 2015
  2. Community Visioning and Preferred Plan Concept began in February of 2016
  3. SHA East Adams Street Transformation Plan released on September 22, 2016
  4. Final Transformation Plan

The work to date has included numerous meetings with public housing residents, as well as potential partners in the implementation of the Transformation Plan including the City of Syracuse and other major institutional stakeholders.

 When did residents and the community come up with the vision for the Syracuse Housing Authority Master Plan?

The residents met with SHA and Master Planning consultant Gilmore Kean to create the vision and the preliminary concept for the Master Plan.  Meetings with residents took place between 2015 and 2016.  The preliminary Master Plan was released on September 22, 2016.  The Syracuse Housing Authority, Blueprint 15 and McCormack Baron Salazar will work with residents on updating the Master Plan.  McCormack Baron Salazar utilizes Urban Strategies to assist in resident engagement.

To accomplish the East Adams Neighborhood Transformation Plan, the Syracuse Housing Authority (SHA) has partnered with Blueprint 15, a not for profit entity that will help lead the holistic revitalization efforts for the East Adams neighborhood. The Board of Directors of Blueprint 15 includes business, government, education, health, and philanthropic leaders.

Vince Love is the CEO of Blueprint 15.

Who is on the Blueprint 15 Board?

 President:  Sharon Owens, Deputy Mayor, City of Syracuse

 Vice President:  Calvin Corriders, Regional President, PathFinder Bank

 Treasurer:  Meg O’Connell, Executive Director, Allyn Family Foundation

 Secretary:  Wayne Sistrunk, representing Tucker Baptist Church


Other Board Members:  

  1. Jaime Alicea, Superintendent, Syracuse City School District
  2. Latoya Allen, Common Councilor, 4th District
  3. Michael Collins, Executive Director, NSCC, SHA Commissioner
  4. Bob Corona, MD, President & CEO, SUNY Upstate Medical Hospital
  5. Bea Gonzalez, Vice President, Syracuse University Community Engagement
  6. Mark Hall, Interim President & CEO, Syracuse Community Health Center
  7. Helen Hudson, President, Syracuse Common Council
  8. Melanie Littlejohn, Regional Executive, National Grid
  9. Robert Mike, Resident Advisor, Syracuse Housing Authority
  10. Stephanie Pasquale, Commissioner, Neighborhood & Business Dev. City of Syracuse
  11. Tim Penix, Vice President, SUNY Educational Opportunity Center
  12. Ann Rooney, Deputy County Executive, Onondaga County
  13. Bill Simmons, Executive Director, Syracuse Housing Authority
  14. Rob Simpson, President & CEO, CenterState CEO
  15. Supreena Smalls, Resident Advisor, Syracuse Housing Authority
  16. Gladys Smith, CommissionerSyracuse Housing Authority
  17. Randy White, Outreach Specialist, Syracuse Cure Violence (SNUG)


 Purpose Built Communities

The redevelopment vision for the East Adams neighborhood is inspired by other holistic revitalization efforts championed by Purpose Built Communities whose Network Members are leading 18 such revitalization projects around the country.

The Purpose Built Model consists of 5 pillars to break the cycle of poverty while creating a healthy and sustainable neighborhood:

(1) high quality mixed income housing

(2) a cradle to college education pipeline to serve the children in the redeveloped area

(3) supportive family oriented health and wellness facilities to serve the neighborhood and

(4) a “community quarterback” entity that organizes the revitalization and ensures that all initiatives are working to the same end goal and

(5) a defined neighborhood.

The community quarterback entity for this project is Blueprint 15.


How was the Master Developer for the East Adams Street Neighborhood Project Chosen?  

The Syracuse Housing Authority issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a Master Developer to redevelop its East Adams Neighborhood on November 1, 2018.  The RFP process included site visits from potential developers, the evaluation and scoring of the responses by a scoring committee, and the travel to cities with the two (2) highest scored respondents to view their on-site accomplishments similar to the project to be undertaken here.

In July of 2019, SHA conditionally selected McCormack Baron Salazar to serve as the master developer for the Redevelopment.

On July 18, 2019, the SHA board authorized William Simmons, Executive Director, to enter into negotiations with the intent to finalize a contract award with McCormack Baron Salazar to become the Master Developer for the East Adams Street Neighborhood.

An Memorandum of Understanding was reached and approved by the Syracuse Housing Authority Board on October 2, 2019 that outlined the terms that will be negotiated and will become part of the Master Developer Agreement.

Who is McCormack Baron and Salazar?

McCormack Baron Salazar is the nation’s leading for-profit developer, manager and asset manager of economically-integrated urban neighborhoods. Since 1973, the firm has been an innovator in community development and urban revitalization in 47 cities, having built more than 22,000 high-quality homes for families, children, seniors and veterans.

Will input from residents be taken into consideration when updating the Master Plan and designing the new neighborhood and housing?

Resident and stakeholder engagement is at the foundation of an aligned comprehensive community transformation. To ensure meaningful input and participation in the planning and redevelopment of their communities, SHA will fully engage with residents and community stakeholders in the comprehensive design and implementation process. Throughout the process, residents will be connected with nonprofit service providers, public agencies, philanthropies, faith-based organizations and other local stakeholders to build and support vibrant, self-sustaining communities.

Will residents have to move out of their homes during construction?

Residents will be informed and involved in the finalization of the Master Plan and the design of their future housing.  Once the Master Plan is finalized the construction will be completed in phases.   The Syracuse Housing Authority owns and manages over 2,340 units of housing and administers the local Section 8 program.  Therefore every effort will be taken to avoid a resident having to temporarily relocate off of Syracuse Housing Authority Property.  The Syracuse Housing Authority will follow the HUD rules for resident relocation.  https://www.hud.gov/sites/documents/16-17HSGN_16-17PIHN.PDF

SHA East Adams Street Neighborhood Transformation Plan September 22 2016


Resident Provisions in Conversions of Assistance from Public Housing

Summary of Resident Provisions

1. Notification of proposed conversion of public housing, meetings during the conversion process, written response to residents comments on conversion, and notification of conversion approval and impact 

2. No rescreening at conversion 

3. A right to return, which covers the right to return to the rent-assisted property after temporary relocation (when temporary relocation is necessary to facilitate rehabilitation or construction), or the right to occupancy of the new unit if the rental assistance is transferred to a new unit. 

4. Relocation protections, including procedural rights, assistance with moving, and applicable relocation payments

5. Choice-mobility option allowing a resident to move with a tenant-based voucher after tenancy in the Covered Project




RAD Residents Fact Sheets

In July 2017, RAD Resident Fact Sheets were designed by HUD to inform both residents and PHAs about important aspects of the RAD conversion process.

Relocation Requirements.
a. RAD Fair Housing, Civil Rights, and Relocation Notice. Relocation requirements related to public housing conversions under RAD are described in the RAD Fair Housing, Civil Rights, and Relocation Notice.  For properties being redeveloped with funding under a Choice Neighborhoods Implementation (CNI) grant, the RAD Fair Housing, Civil Rights, and Relocation Notice is superseded by requirements regarding relocation included in the applicable CNI NOFA and applicable CNI Grant Agreement.    The RAD Fair Housing, Civil Rights, and Relocation Notice provides PHAs and their development partners with information and resources on RAD program requirements, Uniform Relocation Act (URA) requirements, and other requirements which may be applicable such as Section 104(d) of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, as amended (Section 104(d)) when planning for or implementing resident moves in connection with a RAD conversion under the First Component of RAD.

Specifically, the RAD Fair Housing, Civil Rights, and Relocation Notice provides guidance on relocation planning, resident right to return, relocation assistance, resident notification, initiation of relocation, and the fair housing and civil rights requirements applicable to these activities.

The appendices to the RAD Fair Housing, Civil Rights, and Relocation Notice include recommended relocation plan contents. Sample relocation notices for issuance to residents depending on RAD project characteristics are available on the RAD website at www.hud.gov/rad. The primary source for First Component relocation requirements and guidance is the RAD Fair Housing, Civil Rights, and Relocation Notice and not this Notice. In the event of a conflict between this Notice and the RAD Fair Housing, Civil Rights, and Relocation Notice, with regard to relocation requirements, the RAD Fair Housing, Civil Rights, and Relocation Notice controls.

b. Right to Return. Any resident that may need to be temporarily relocated to facilitate rehabilitation or construction has a right to return to an assisted unit at the Covered Project once rehabilitation or construction is completed. Permanent involuntary displacement of residents may not occur as a result of a project’s conversion of assistance, including, but not limited to, as a result of a change in bedroom distribution, a de minimis reduction of units, the reconfiguration of efficiency apartments, or the repurposing of dwelling units in order to facilitate social service delivery. Where the transfer of assistance to a new site is warranted and approved (see Section 1.4.A.12), residents of the Converting Project will have the right to reside in an assisted unit at the new site once rehabilitation or construction is complete. For more information on how to implement these provisions see the RAD Fair Housing, Civil Rights, and Relocation Notice.

c. Ineligibility of Tenant Protection Vouchers. Conversion of assistance is not an event that triggers the issuance of Tenant Protection Vouchers to residents of public housing projects going through a RAD conversion.   This provision does not preclude a PHA from receiving tenant protection vouchers for a property that has also received a Choice Neighborhoods Implementation grant.