East Water Street in Syracuse had a much different look a couple of years ago.

"Abandoned,” said Mark Pawliw, a Syracuse resident. “You wouldn't go past the other side of the street really to walk down."

But fast forward to 2018, and it's starting to flourish.



"We've seen so much growth in the residential market, particularly in Hanover Square, that that has driven new business to those ground floor store fronts where you really notice a change in the street,” said Merike Treier, the Downtown Committee of Syracuse executive director.

Treier says the population has grown 77 percent over the past 10 years.

One of the newest establishments is The Sweet Praxis, which is celebrating its two-year anniversary.

"We were looking for more than a year to find the perfect location,” said Jennifer Walls, The Sweet Praxis co-owner. “Mostly downtown because of the vibrancy of all the revitalization of the older buildings and the new energy of bringing residents downtown really inspired us."

"Sweet Praxis opened up here and I come here at least once or twice a week,” said Pawliw. “Water Street Bagel opened up too, and I'm visiting there as well. It's come a long way in recent years."

The latest development is the Grange X building which will be a mix of apartments and retail space. It's expected to open by the end of December.

"It creates a reason for people to come here to downtown Syracuse,” said Treier. “In the last year, we had about 18 new retail businesses open. So, things are changing dramatically."

"It makes you proud of your neighborhood,” said Walls. “It makes you excited to bring your friends and visitors out to eat in your neighborhood."

"I hope it keeps expanding and getting better,” said Pawliw. “There's so much hidden potential down here. I'd love to see it what it needs to be."