Local Developer Outlines Ambitious Plans for Great Northern Mall Local Developer Outlines Ambitious Plans for Great Northern Mall

CLAY, N.Y. (NCC News) –  Great Northern Mall is scheduled for demolition this summer.

The mall in the town of Clay has been vacant since its doors closed in 2022. It was a staple in Syracuse for 34 years; kids grew up going there, including Guy Hart Jr., a Syracuse native and now owner of the mall.

Hart is managing partner of Hart-Lyman Companies, a real estate investment and development firm.

Over the years, he witnessed the mall decline and become what is now known as “the dead mall.” When an opportunity to buy the mall presented itself, Hart sealed the deal for about $9 million.

“Here we sit today, probably a week or two before we hear the announcement that Micron is gonna get this huge amount of chips and science money, and so we acquired, knowing that some cool things were going to happen, we acquired Great Northern Mall,” said Hart.

And he was right. Micron received a  $6.1 billion chips grant for Central New York and Idaho projects.

Hart said there will be a huge demand for housing as Micron has the potential to bring up to 50,000 people to Clay.

Some Syracuse residents have an idea of what is to come but do not know the magnitude of Hart’s plans.

“I heard a little bit about it. They’re doing maybe condos over there,” said Jennifer Kinch, a Destiny Mall employee.

But in addition to the demand for housing, there will be a need for other services as well.

Hart has proposed a multi-phase development that would include seven six-story hotels, nearly 1,700 condos, two parking garages, medical facilities, and 1.4 million square feet of retail, office, and entertainment space. The community, yet to be named, could be home to over 2,000 people.

Hart imagines creating a center where people could live, dine, shop, and work in a community.

“The suburban sprawl environment that we’ve created in our country in the last, in our world in the last 100 years, has taken that community and has sucked it right out,” Hart said.

This center would also be about five minutes from Clay’s new computer chipmaking complex.

Still, some people express pessimism about the project getting done.

Vice president of Jacobs Telecommunications Ed Sageer, who has been working on another project with Hart, has heard it from some.

“I think the people around this area, just my experience and discussions I’ve had with them, you know, it’s almost like they don’t want to believe something that nice can be in central New York or that we don’t deserve it,” Sageer said.

Hart asked that the city’s people believe in this project and their community.

The first stages of development will be starting at the end of 2024.

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