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. SHA and Blueprint 15’s selection committee chose McCormack Baron Salazar based on their strong resident engagement process, which was a top priority to ensure an inclusive opportunity for current residents.
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:
- Pioneer Homes,
- McKinney Manor,
- Central Village and
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:
- a People Plan, in which the needs of the existing residents are defined, and programs to meet those needs developed;
- a Neighborhood Plan, in which improvements will be identified that will create a sustainable, livable community; and
- 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:
- Inventory and Analysis of Background Information began in the fall of 2015
- Community Visioning and Preferred Plan Concept began in February of 2016
- SHA East Adams Street Transformation Plan released on September 22, 2016
- 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. This plan needs to be updated and residents and the community will be have the opportunity to participate in updating the master plan to represent their vision for the neighborhood.
The Syracuse Housing Authority, Blueprint 15 and McCormack Baron Salazar will work with residents and the community on updating the Master Plan. McCormack Baron Salazar utilizes Urban Strategies to assist in resident engagement and in creating a human capital plan.
Community Outreach During Master Planning
USI conducts community engagement processes around neighborhood conditions and human service needs. This process includes resident surveys, service and amenity assessments, and focus groups with key stakeholders. Through the community engagement process, stakeholders’ priorities are identified, and USI ensures success by integrating a human capital plan with the identified physical revitalization plan. Urban Strategies is mindful of the existing and authentic strengths of a community, their human capital plans focus on collaboration, building on current community assets while avoiding duplication of services.
The Human Capital Plan is the component of a neighborhood’s master redevelopment plan that focuses exclusively on the design of services and supports to improve the quality of life for vulnerable residents in the community while enhancing its appeal to prospective residents who have the economic ability to make choices about where they live. The Human Capital Plan is tailored to build on the assets of the area and diminish the individual and structural challenges to social and economic development faced by residents as well as business, civic, and institutional stakeholders.
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.
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.