SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- After struggling for years to secure funding, renovations at the Gear Factory are well underway. It's a workspace for local artists and musicians.
"In 2002 I took a picture of the building and told my wife we were going to own that place," said Rick Destito.
A few years later, that dream became a reality for him.
That building is now called the Gear Factory and owner Destito is working to make another dream come true: using the factory to make Syracuse a more vibrant, creative city.
"There's a lot of things that are building up and starting to grow and I want to try and help build a base of those things," said Destito.
A few local artists are already using studio space at the factory but big changes are coming. Renovations include adding a sprinkler system, building a new stairwell and adding 22 music rehearsal studios.
"There's so many people who want to see more arts and culture in their community, but the way I think you really have to do that is you have to take people who live music everyday, live art everyday, live entrepreneurship everyday and just create a scenario where they can be more successful here than somewhere else," said Destito.
Those practice spaces are expected to be finished around January and there's already a waiting list for them. That's phase one of the project and when that's done, there will be even more for creative people to enjoy.
"The second, third floor would be micro live/work units," said Destito. "The fourth floor would be offices and co-working spaces related to multimedia, film and photography."
While people are getting the creative juices flowing, they'll have something to look at for inspiration.
"The thing that I think is most personal to everybody is the concrete blocks coming out and the windows getting put back in the window," said Destito. "These types of places were known as daylight factories when they were built."
The top floor will be left open, no walls or dividers, to give more people the chance to enjoy the view. Destito says he'll work to incorporate the building's history as an auto parts factory into the decor.
He's planning to repurpose left behind artifacts.