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Grocery store improves downtown living in Syracuse

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Grocery store improves downtown living in Syracuse
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Downtown Syracuse is one of the fastest growing areas in Onondaga County. Our Candace Hopkins has more on the area's latest developments, as population has grown 25 percent in the last ten years.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Nearly 3,000 people call downtown Syracuse home. Many say they were attracted to the idea of having nearly everything they could need right at their fingertips.

"I had a lot of friends recommend this area as kind of the cool place to live, a lot going on, really walkable type of area," said Chris Franklin, an Armory Square resident.

Last May, dozens toured the city's newest apartments during the Downtown Living Tour. Some of those buildings are already open, others remain under construction. However, city officials say it's been hard to keep up with the demand for new living spaces.

"There's about $320 million of development underway in downtown Syracuse right now and as fast as developers can build apartments, residents are moving in," said Merike Treier, the Executive Director of the Downtown Committee of Syracuse.

With those new residents comes the need for nearby conveniences. In the past year, 19 new businesses have opened. There is a lot of restaurants, stores and coffee shops, including the new Tim Hortons.

However, one thing was missing: a grocery store. Three weeks ago that changed when Alamo's Grocery and Deli opened their doors on Walton Street. The owner and his son originally planned to open their own restaurant, but they quickly changed their plans.

"The owner-landlord told us we should open a grocery instead, it would be much more convenient around here, and you guys would be the first grocery downtown, and so we did a blend of both, we have a full kitchen for a restaurant," said Adam Alamo.

The shop stocks plenty of fresh food and organic items, and will soon start making hot dishes. Residents say it's exactly what they needed, especially on days when driving to the store may not be appealing.

"Literally it's in my back door, so I walk out the other side of this building and within 50 feet I can pick up whatever I need," said Franklin.

With the trend of downtown living only gaining steam, that steady stream of residents doesn't appear to be slowing down anytime soon.

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