A blog dedicated to the local government, development, and future prospects of the town of Geddes and the Fairmount area.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Who would have guessed?

geddesblog has attracted nearly its 100th unique visitor in 2 days. Thanks to all of you for stopping over here from the Syracuse.com Neighbors West Forum. I hope that you consider bookmarking this site and stopping back from time to time.

I welcome input from all sources and all sides of the political spectrum. I wouldn't like to dissuade anyone from posting a comment here, or sending me any idea for future topics.

The email address for items related to this blog is geddesblog [at] yahoo [dot] com. Just replace the @ and the . in the email. (posting full email addresses tends to invite spam emails) I'll put it in the sidebar for future reference.

If there are any small business owners that visit this site within Geddes or Fairmount. Please contact me. I would love to talk to you, and I am very pro-local business.

Again feel free to leave your comments or opinions on this blog.

A rebuttal and a response - and we're only 2 days old!

Posted from the comments of the previous entry. I am bringing them up to the front page for the people that are new to blogs, that I am trying to increase exposure to. Feel free when visiting to jump in on the conversation, and press that comments button. I have left comments open to "Anonymous" - meaning you don't have to use your name or screen name. Blogs work best when they inspire comments.

One more tip for those new to blogs: Blogs are published in chronological order, with the newest post on top, and the oldest (or earliest) posts on the bottom. If you are just getting started here - scroll down to the bottom entry or click HERE, and work your way up.
NYCO said...

An attractive idea, but I wonder how much it would really boost property values. Easy access to shopping is still considered the greatest "amenity" in any residential area, and the western burbs are still hurting badly in this department. Also, while I like what is being done to make Fairmount walkable, there still isn't much of any place to walk TO; the W. Genesee corridor is still underdeveloped.

I digress... I really like this idea though. Has anyone brought it up at Geddes town meetings?

10:49 PM
my response:
baloghblog said...

I think that "demand" must be a driver of property value as well. Right now, I don't think that Solvay homes are flying off the market everyday, and the values remain low despite incredibly cheap utilities.

Giving someone a $600/yr value on their rental property would allow them to raise rates on rents, and therefore raise the value of the home. Having a growth in demand by college students (who would tend to care about free high speed - that they've gotten used to in the dorms) would help to improve return on investments from property owners.

If small businesses could be coaxed with free broadband, then storefronts would reopen, and buildings and blight that have sat there for years would begin to be fixed up. That I would think would raise the values of the homes.

As far as bringing it up at a Geddes Town meeting, I looked for info on the website for the next meeting, and there is no listing, so I emailed the supervisor and a councilor that had their email addresses listed to find out when the next one is. I may just have to do that...


I agree on the chicken and the egg theory of Fairmount. Do you make it walkable first, and then attract business? Or the opposite? I believe in this case you'd have to go with the former. Try to revamp Fairmount's image as a regular mall, then a strip mall zone, then a Walmart area. Build the infrastructure - a few new sidewalks, a central parking lot (free), and then try to attract small businesses that people like walking to: Small shops, restaurants and bars, art galleries, coffee shop/internet cafe, and a bookstore. If you have that in Fairmount, you'll find me there.

8:11 AM

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

An "attractive" idea

Here is a positive idea that took shape out of a tragedy.

In an attempt to boost its stalled economy, the hurricane-ravaged city of New Orleans is starting the nation's first free wireless Internet network owned and run by a major city.

Mayor Ray Nagin made the announcement at a late morning news conference.

Similar projects elsewhere have been stalled by stiff opposition from telephone and cable television companies aimed at discouraging competition from public agencies.

I believe that the same tactic could be used to attract new residents to an area that needs development and new life.

I continue to believe that this would be a great idea to attract people to live downtown in Syracuse and within the city limits. This story and the launching of this blog, made me remember that Solvay Electric was testing out broadband over power lines. Perhaps this could be a way to instantly give a boost to property values, and attract young residents and small business start ups to relocate into Solvay/Geddes.

(geddes power lines)

Imagine that in the future real estate listings:
2 bedroom apartment. Free broadband internet (over powerlines). Walkable neighborhood. $650.
1930's 2 story house, great starter home. Optional store front/office in first level. Off street parking. Free broadband internet for as long as you own your home. $90,000
It would certainly attract a different demographic of residents. Landlords would be more invested in their rental properties, as better apartments would attract more money. College students would find it a great place to live while they attended SU, Upstate, OCC, or LeMoyne. Business start ups could subtract hundreds of dollars from their expenses and would have incentive to locate in the Geddes area.

Higher home values, business receipts and workers living in the area would generate more tax revenue for the town. Everyone wins.

What do you think?

Wegman's (and our representatives) - Can't they do more?

Previously posted at baloghblog.

I reposted it at geddesblog, because I feel that this post raised several relevant points in regards to the Geddes/Fairmount area.
  1. Wegmans has an opportunity to improve it's accessibility and promote good health by making their stores accessible by foot/bike. Fairmount is trying to improve the walkability of West Genesee St. with the addition of streetlamps and sidewalks, we should encourage our local representatives to continue that process down into Wegman's Plaza and into Geddes.
  2. County/town/local officials should be forced to walk the streets of their district at least once every six months to get a feel for what the pedestrian experiences, and get a closer view of the area, not just in a passing car. When is the last time that you saw or heard of a local representative taking to the streets of your area on foot? We need our local reps to be more aware of the neighborhoods and communities in this area. They would be ashamed of the condition of our sidewalks, or lack of an safe area for pedestrians, joggers, and bicyclists to travel on many of our roads.
Original post:
Typical parking lot at Wegman's Food Store (on a monday):

I got my butt up and walked down to the supermarket yesterday, because I couldn't justify getting in the car and driving down there for 2 items. (pepperoni & marinara sauce for a homemade stromboli, if you must know.) The walk is nice and about a mile each way from my home, if that. Three things I noticed? 1. there is no sidewalk that extends from the store. You have to walk in on a service road, and over uneven grass. 2. the streets and sidewalks along my route were in such poor shape, with garbage that had been there for months (doesn't anyone clean this area? DPW, etc?) 3. Why is there no public transportation that serves this store? The nearest bus stop seems to be a good distance away, with again, no sidewalk to get there.

Two conclusions: 1. Wegmans has an opportunity to improve it's accessibility and promote good health by making their stores accessible by foot/bike. 2. County/town/local officials should be forced to walk the streets of their district at least once every six months to get a feel for what the pedestrian experiences, and get a closer view of the area, not just in a passing car.

The above will not dissuade me from walking again, though, it was a beautiful sky:

Over Konsumerland:

I will give Wegmans kudos for there recycling effort, taking in not only their plastic bags for recycling, but also household batteries fort the local recycling agency:

Wegman's response can be found here.

Development opportunity #1

I pass this eyesore on my way to work everyday:

(Cogswell and Milton Ave)

Late last year, the site was fortunately levelled (it was a jumbled mess of broken foundations previously), and readied for development. Since that time, it has sat unoccupied. It seems to me to be a very good location for a mixed use building (commercial and residential), or for a Byrne Dairy Store. It is a highly travelled route, as people cut down the hill on Cogswell to 690 and the fairgrounds, or for the many that drive up or down Milton Ave each day. There are many homes within a 6 block radius, that would provide pedestrian traffic in warmer seasons, and the location is on a Centro bus route.

I am hoping for a Byrne Dairy store, as this location is within walking distance from my house, albeit an athletic one. A local grocery store in this area to provide the staples would be an attractive asset to the residents of solvay, and would help reduce traffic and car use along West Genesee St. Again, walkability is something that I believe is key to the future of the Geddes area.

Welcome to Geddesblog

This blog will be dealing with issues relating to the Geddes and Fairmount areas of Syracuse. My focus will be initially to highlight and promote local businesses, locate and post potential opportunities for development, and to deal with any problems or public issues that arise in our area.

As we head into the future, I believe that communities will be able to rely less and less on the "global economy" to take care of our needs, as the price and availability of cheap oil and oil products declines. Communities will have to face shortages of energy and food if they are not prepared for such an eventuality. Big box stores such as Walmart, and Home Depot will become unsustainable. Local businesses frequented by people in their neighborhood to support them will again become an important and vibrant part of our society.

Communities that have infrastructure that can provide public transportation, food production, energy independence, and walkable communities will be in the position to thrive. I believe that the Solvay/Geddes/Fairmount area, has the necessary ingredients to be a sustainable community in the 21st century.