Impact of I-81 Options
Property Value and Tax Revenue
Rethink81 White Paper 1 June 2014
Rethink 81 has conducted an analysis of the property value and real estate tax implications of the elevated and street level alternatives that the NYSDOT has presented to replace the Interstate 81 viaduct in Syracuse. Based upon an analysis of these alternatives, the following forecasts were made:
- In order to meet current federal highway standards, a new viaduct would need to be wider, straighter, and more intrusive than the existing viaduct. These changes would require property seizures, demolitions, and impacts that would result in an annual tax loss of about $1.6 million to the city and county. Add in the impact on the value of nearby properties and the total tax loss could be $3.3 million.
- The removal of the Interstate 81 viaduct would free up for development approximately seven acres of land downtown currently owned by the NYSDOT. The potential exists to accommodate $138.8 million in property value on this land, which could bring an additional $5.3 million in property tax revenue to local governments each year. This is a conservative estimate given the real estate development opportunities that would open up beyond the footprint of the State’s right of way.
- The total opportunity cost associated with building a new viaduct rather than a street level solution is $224.3 million in property value, and $8.6 million in annual property tax revenue. This equates to $431.4 million in potential property taxes that would be lost over the course of the new viaduct’s lifespan (50 years).
Think more attention needs to be brought to the fact that only 12% of the traffic if “through traffic”, way are these other groups (save 81) so obsessed with the having traffic run through? No one is using it for that. I think this group should push the save 81 group for some facts and data to back their argument up. Hotel owners north of the city: How much of your business comes from 81? They have this information, it’s not hard for them to get. Town of Salina supervisor keeps stating loss of I-81 would be economically devastating to the town. How? Any facts / data or study’s to back that claim up. One other thing that I think needs to keep being highlighted by those of us who want a street level option is that 81 coming from the North will still run almost to the Erie Blvd region. It won’t be called 81, maybe 3-81 or 81 local, but those coming from the north still have highway access and the town of Salina still has the highway spur passing through. I feel many casual observers think if the street level option is selected that they need to take Rt. 11 from cicero to get downtown.
A well-designed boulevard would be the best investment that could be made to re-vitalize Syracuse.