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UTCdude23

Upstate Uptick

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I find it interesting that for the first time in a while now, Central New York's population losses have stemmed and actually reversed in places like Syracuse and Utica. Do you think that these areas are going to have any measureable growth over the next 5-10 years?

Rochester and Buffalo seem like they are still struggling, Buffalo mostly. Any opinions?

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The losses will not stop until NYS understands that the state extends beyond Albany. NYS gears itself to the NYC economy and that does not work in the rest of the state. NYS is in competition with more efficient states and its politicians have blinders on.

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I agree w/ u on that. The state govt. has apparently done its best to focus on NYC while letting upstate run into the ground. Local officials can share the blame as well, look at Erie County, govt. for example. Govt. is too large for NYS as it is. It will hurt in the short term, but I remember reading a statistic that NYS govt. was 25% larger than other states per capita. That kind of strain on a shrinking populace will only speed it up. They need to shed alot of pork. Cut jobs, consolidate services. There are many municipalities that perform the same function as county governments.

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What kind of assets to upstate cities have to build on? Albany's been lucky (it's metro area atleast) being the capital of such a prosperous state, but what about Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo?

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The affordability of realestate in upstate is a massive asset that is not recognized yet. This excerpt is from the Buffalo News.

Home prices over the last decade have increased two to three times faster than incomes in places like L.A., San Diego, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, according to a new report by the Harvard think tank.

Here in Buffalo, it's just the opposite: Our incomes over the last decade have grown almost 30 percent faster than our home prices, which makes our housing more affordable and, combined with low mortgage rates, is a big reason why home sales this year are on a pace to top last year's record high.

People in upstate have a lot of money in their pockets sicnce they are not scraping by with huge mrtgages.

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i think these cities are assests in themselves. They are places that are already built, and I should add built a lot better than the places we build today. Each of these cities have excellent access to transportation, as well as many distinct traditional neighborhoods clearly defined by natural boundaries and diverse ethnic makeup.

If you developed high-speed rail from new york city, you would bring a lot of the economic flow upstate. If the state extended its empire zone (business tax incentives) to the west and gave empire zone distinction specifically to old industrial cites in these cities and transform its transit policies to utilize the existing urban environments primarily for pedestrians cities would start to come alive. Just as importantly, the state needs to adopt a new policy to fund schools and ensure that education money is more evenly distributed throughout the different municipalities throughout these metropolitan areas to ensure that the standard of education is just as high in city schools as they are in the suburbs. Once a substantial amount of new economic development takes place within these cities, other economic opertunities open up for lower-income residents, which in turn results in the revitilization of inner-city neighborhoods and crime is, for the most part, forced out of the city. Also, once these urban municipalities expand their tax base, more resources can be directly allocated to education and police protection.

This all starts with providing more jobs and redeveloping vast space once used for manufacturing for new industry. Once you have that, the policies need to change on the state level on education and the appropiate mode for transportation needed in these traditional, pre-automobile cities.

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I would say this article is highly accurate in describing how state officials will turn a blind eye to the plight of upstate. They'd rather highlight NYC and any tiny glimmers of hope in Upstate. I do however think that the Upstate cities can help to save themselves. After many years of slow gear-grinding, it looks like DestiNY USA is finally started to pick up steam in Syracuse. The Utica-Rome MSA is benefitting from this as well as the highly successful casino in Verona. I see turning stone on TV all the time now for both boxing and Texas Hold'em poker games.

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These three threads I started are a good example of the assets of Buffalo NY

http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/index.ph...topic=12259&hl=

http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/index.ph...topic=12144&hl=

http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/index.ph...2636&hl=BUFFALO

Also this Business First article talks about how Buffalo's economy might just be performing quite well these days since growth in wages has been higher than the national average. http://buffalo.bizjournals.com/buffalo/sto.../20/story1.html

The most recent jobs report also showed that Buffalo added 2500 new private sector jobs. Though because of massive County cost cutting to ballance its budget net job gain was only 200. Not a bad trade off though. Western New York has counted on government jobs too long to make up for losses. It is good see the balance tipping toward the private side

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Leets, the first two links were broken for me :( I totally agree w/ u about the trade/off. Private jobs far outweigh public ones in terms of public good. Now if only they could work out their city/county problems...

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Leets, the first two links were broken for me :(  I totally agree w/ u about the trade/off.  Private jobs far outweigh public ones in terms of public good.  Now if only they could work out their city/county problems...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The links should be fixed now

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Thanks, interesting photos!! I especially like the one of Buffalo & Toronto @ night. I wonder if they'll ever converge in the distant future...

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If you developed high-speed rail from new york city, you would bring a lot of the economic flow upstate.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That's true, here in Providence we have high speed rail (well once they fix the damn Acela's) to New York City and the city and state are benefitting from that. There are a lot of people in New York looking for a less expensive alternative, that still provides them with an urban vitality. Providence and Pawtucket in Rhode Island are both selling themselves that way. We benefit not only from proximity to New York, but proximity to Boston as well. Buffalo has Toronto on the other side to cash in on, and if they can keep the ferry afloat, Rochester has the same going for it.

New York state is watching people and businesses leave New York City for cheaper pastures in nearby Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Jersey, and off to the south and west, while there are perfectly good cities within the state that New Yorkers would be interested in moving to if the state would just give those cities a little push. Better for the state to spend some money to keep those people fleeing high prices in NYC in the state.

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That's true, here in Providence we have high speed rail (well once they fix the damn Acela's) to New York City and the city and state are benefitting from that. There are a lot of people in New York looking for a less expensive alternative, that still provides them with an urban vitality. Providence and Pawtucket in Rhode Island are both selling themselves that way. We benefit not only from proximity to New York, but proximity to Boston as well. Buffalo has Toronto on the other side to cash in on, and if they can keep the ferry afloat, Rochester has the same going for it.

New York state is watching people and businesses leave New York City for cheaper pastures in nearby Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Jersey, and off to the south and west, while there are perfectly good cities within the state that New Yorkers would be interested in moving to if the state would just give those cities a little push. Better for the state to spend some money to keep those people fleeing high prices in NYC in the state.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yes I think that the key word is cheaper. While there are perfectly suitable cities upstate, the costs are much less to move business to northern NJ or southern New England. Thanks in part to outrageous amounts of govt, the state essentially is shooting itself in the foot.

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A good way to tell how much a metro is growing is by looking at how many new building permits it has each year.

Check these numbers out:

Metro Syracuse builds about 1,000 new homes a year, up from 500 in 1998

http://recenter.tamu.edu/data/bpm/sfm8160m.htm

Metro Toledo 2,000

http://recenter.tamu.edu/data/bpm/sfm8400m.htm

Metro Des Monies 4,500

http://recenter.tamu.edu/data/bpm/sfm2120m.htm

Metro Raleigh 16,000

http://recenter.tamu.edu/data/bpm/sfm6640m.htm

My point. Metro Syracuse is doing better than it did in the 90s, but no where near even as good as places like Des Monies or even Toledo. I put Raleigh in there to show what a booming metro looks like and because back in the 1970s, Metro Syracuse was on par with Metro Raleigh in terms of population size. Now Metro Raleigh is double the population of Metro Syracuse.

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i dont think those are good examples, as those cities are much larger than syracuse.

if you want a good way to look at how a metro is changing in population, look no further than census figures. new home construction doesn't apply the same way to a place like syracuse because there are so many vacant housing units avaliable so why would people build new homes if there is already a fine housing stock for extremely inexpensive prices?

you say that syracuse is no where near these other cities, yet if toledo is over twice the size of syracuse to begin with, than your data shows that it is actually doing better than these other places.

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jackson, I'm talking metros, not cities.

Metro Syracuse is 735,000

http://recenter.tamu.edu/data/popm/pm8160.htm

Metro Toledo is 619,000

http://recenter.tamu.edu/data/popm/pm8400.htm

Metro Des Monies is only 476,000

http://recenter.tamu.edu/data/popm/pm2120.htm

Check out Metro Raleigh in 1970, only 537,000

http://recenter.tamu.edu/data/popm/pm6640.htm

Also about the inexpensive housing in the city of Syracuse. Why would a middle class professional family want to move to the city and live among WTA (white trash America), ghetto bangers and, bubba factory workers, put up with crime, noise and bad schools, when they could move to the suburbs and live among other middle class families with young kids going to good schools?

Therefore, my indicator for growth is suburban housing starts. It means that real families are moving into the area. Growth in downtown is another thing to look at since a lot of young professionals like living downtown.

I know this is a urban forum (like the other two or three on the internet- still can't find a forum that talks about metros, not just cities, thats a another topic- I digress) but I'm just trying to be realistic.

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I know this is a urban forum (like the other two or three on the internet- still can't find a forum that talks about metros, not just cities, thats a another topic- I digress) but I'm just trying to be realistic.

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Actually UrbanPlanet is devoted to anything having to do with the built environment unlike other sites that are devoted to just skyscrapers or something similar. If you look around you will see that we discuss Metro issues quite a bit. Please feel free to bring up any discussion about Metro development.

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I think that with the return to city-living, the families will move back. Granted, they wouldn't enjoy living with those demographics, but say, for instance, Syracuse's Armory square is developing hi-quality condominiums, if the vacancies are in parts of the city that are returning to vibrant areas, then the families will move back, or young couples. That's a demographic that is seriously needed in Upstate.

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Actually UrbanPlanet is devoted to anything having to do with the built environment unlike other sites that are devoted to just skyscrapers or something similar.  If you look around you will see that we discuss Metro issues quite a bit.  Please feel free to bring up any discussion about Metro development.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Thanks! Thats nice to know.

I'm still waiting for a forum where members take photos of their city's normal suburban areas and compare them with other cities. I would love to see what suburbs look like in other cities. Most think suburbs are all the same, but I haven't found that to be true. All suburbs have their own distinct feel and character. I'm also into design codes and seeing how nice other cities built their big box stores, upscale housing, and office parks.

I can't imagine that type of thing is welcome on here for the simple reason that most on here don't care about sprawl.

My like for suburbs must stem from the fact that I grew up in metro (Syracuse) where nice growing new suburbs are very rare, but there are plenty of old, run down, decaying urbanity all around me. The lack of new buildings in my community makes me desire new stuff. And since there is no chance of building new skyscrapers in downtown Syracuse, I then turn to the new construction in the suburbs as something to look forward too. It must be the opposite with those forumers who live in huge sprawling metros. I find that most of them like old buildings in the city. And since they live in booming metros, they take the suburban growth for granted because they can look forward to new skyscrapers downtown. My region is so depressed that if you stop growth in the suburbs, there would be NO new development in the whole region. Why? because there is not enough people that want to live here, most people would move south rather than to live in a run down decaying city. Most people around here are on the verge of leaving, all they need is one more reason to move south.

Someday I hope this area can make a big comeback. I just don't see how it will happen with current conditions. The only way I can imagine reversing this "move south and west" trend is if the west ran out of water and global warming made the south much too hot. Destiny USA isn't moving fast enough and there are so many people trying to kill the project that I don't see how it can start construction in my lifetime. Other than extreme examples like those, my region will just continue to lag more and more behind the rest of the country. Slow grow will never make this region a great place. We need fast growth for at least a decade to make it catch up with the rest of the country and attract more professionals that will breathe new life in the area. Slow growth only attracts the people who don't like growth and try to fight. If the region can boom, then it will start attracting the movers and shakers. That is exactly what this area needs.

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Try this site for more planning oriented stuff. I think you might find some suburban oriented stuff there. cyburbia.org

I hope that you can develop an appreciation for quality architecture rather than just buildings for the sake of their newness. You can find high quality in new and old buildings but rarely do you find anything of quality in suburban sprawl developments. High growth and sprawl is highly prized in today's society but the vast majority of what we are building is cheap cookie cutter stuff with no artistic of social merrit. Some of these newer high growth cities may run into a problem when the gravey train ends and they are left with nothing but crappy strip malls.

Go to downtown Syracuse and really look at what is there. I think you night be surprised at what you find. Don't discount the value of a building if it is dirty and worn. That is not what makes a building worth while and important. Look for history and craft and texture. Look for human interaction and how space is created. Old cities have a soul. the newer ones almost never do.

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Try this site for more planning oriented stuff.  I think you might find some suburban oriented stuff there. cyburbia.org

I hope that you can develop an appreciation for quality architecture rather than just buildings for the sake of their newness.  You can find high quality in new and old buildings but rarely do you find anything of quality in suburban sprawl developments.  High growth and sprawl is highly prized in today's society but the vast majority of what we are building is cheap cookie cutter stuff with no artistic of social merrit.  Some of these newer high growth cities may run into a problem when the gravey train ends and they are left with nothing but crappy strip malls.

Go to downtown Syracuse and really look at what is there.  I think you night be surprised at what you find.  Don't discount the value of a building if it is dirty and worn.  That is not what makes a building worth while and important.  Look for history and craft and texture.  Look for human interaction and how space is created.  Old cities have a soul.  the newer ones almost never do.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

http://cyburbia.org/

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Thanks leets. I already post at cyburbia. But since most everyone over there is a planner, they are all anti-suburb too.

OTHER TOPIC: Does anyone find this in other Upstate Cities or is it just a Syracuse thing? Transplants talking about Syracuse.....

1. This person moved to North Carolina, talking about the difference between Syracuse and NC on another forum said this:

"not a horn- not a voice raised in anger- not a "why would you move here"-just a lot of "welcome" "you'll love it here," "anything we can do to help?"...unbelievable the difference in attitude and pride in an area

reply from someone else

2. "I agree completely. Whenever anyone asks me where I'm from and I tell them TX, I invariably get the stunned, are-you-outta-your-mind look along with something like, "Why on EARTH would you ever come here (Syracuse) from Texas? I'd kill to be able to leave this place and move to Texas" Not just from a select few, either, but from almost everyone I've met since I moved here in 2002. People actually seem surprised when I tell them I like it here better than Texas, too. C'mon, people, even the folks in my crappy little wannabe-city hometown have civic pride. I'm thinking this place has been neglected and subject to abuse and corruption for so long that people have just lost hope."

3. Syracuse has "outdated & decrepit business frontages and signage as well as poorly-lit, crater-filled parking lots to the list. That's a pretty widespread problem here, I've noticed, and it makes the whole place look old and dilapidated.

You won't see stuff like this in, say, NoVa or the DFW Metroplex because businesses there are constantly trying to one-up each other in order to lure customers away from the competition. Here, that process seems to be in reverse. It's like the business owners and developers here see the squalor other businesses here are able to get away with and realize that they don't HAVE to spend the money to make their place safe and attractive because people will still patronize their store. Maybe it's because people here have given up and will tolerate a lot of trashiness, maybe it's because there isn't much choice here and people HAVE to shop at the trashy places. Maybe it's a bit of both. The businesses here definitely have little incentive to spend their cash on aesthetic and safety improvements when the people here don't seem to care anyhow."

Can people in Buffalo related with the above three comments about Syracuse or is it better in Western NY?

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Buffalo has the same negativity problem. Its citizens have developed this attidueas they see people move to the south and west for jobs and opportunity in high growth areas. Much of their negativity is based on beliefs that it must be so much better in these other places. These beliefes are not neccessarily based on facts. Many of them would find that they have it pretty good where they are if they could see the truth. Syracuse is a bit different from Buffalo in that it is a much smaller metro area so the negativity is intensified by the small town syndrome.

All of Centeral and Western New York has to

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