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Courtesy photo / NYSERDA

Great expectations surround the new GlobalFoundries semiconductor plant, which set to open later this year in Malta, N.Y. But if the company and its high-tech workforce of 1,400 are expected to help revitalize the region’s economy, all those people will need plenty of places to spend their paychecks.

That’s why the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is planning a new “green” retail center for the employees – next door to where they’ll be working.

Ryan Morden / WRVO

Construction crews in Syracuse are hard at work on the transformation of a former synagogue into a state-of-the-art, LEED certified hotel.  Their mission: to get the facility up and running by April 1.

Tom Fernandez with Woodbine Group, owner of Hotel Skyler, says the facility’s green credibility should be a draw for those who want to travel and leave as small a carbon footprint as possible

“Especially with the close vicinity to SUNY-ESF [the school of environmental science and forestry], everything going on with Syracuse University ... going on with the hospitals," says Fernandez, "I think the presence of where the hotel is will draw a lot of traffic to it.”

Trying to carve out a new niche of travelers will be key for Skyler.  It's entering the market in the Syracuse University neighborhood, where there are already several other hotels, including two properties owned by the Woodbine Group.

So what is different about Sklyer? 

Image of the Philanthropy Center.
Ryan Morden / WRVO

A renovated Gregorian Revival-style building in downtown Syracuse is now the new home of a center for nonprofits in the region.

The Philanthropy Center (as it’s been dubbed) will be run by the Central New York Community Foundation (CNYFC), a grant making organization that’s been around for nearly a century.

Other cities have centers like this, but the Syracuse area was lacking one, according to Katrina Crocker, communications manager for the CNY Community Foundation.  The facility will also be the foundation’s new headquarters.

CNYCF president and CEO Peter Dunn tells the Post-Standard that the center will help "bring folks together:"

“This creates a storefront presence in a prominent place downtown,” said Peter A. Dunn, the foundation’s president and chief executive officer. “It also raises the visibility of philanthropy and giving in general in the community. ”

In addition to meeting rooms, a ballroom, and other amenities for non-profits to use, the center is applying for LEED certification to establish the building's environmental bona fides.

Any non-profit in New York can use the space, though usage guidelines haven't yet been determined.