A plan for a Syracuse homecoming by opening a new business
Frank D'Agostino has his eye on a mostly vacant storefront in the Armory Square section of downtown Syracuse. It's a big part of his grand plan for a Syracuse homecoming.
"Dagsly," as he’s known by his friends, aims to open a computer service and repair store in the space, hoping to capitalize on the growing residential population downtown.
"People are moving back into Syracuse in droves and they’re going to need a place to bring their stuff when it gets busted," he reasons.
Right now the shop is being used as the office for the construction company building a hotel across the street, but they'll be out in a few months.
A native of the suburb of East Syracuse, D’Agostino and his wife moved to Toledo, Ohio last year. But they missed Syracuse and decided to return.
His wife has found a job and is already back, but D’Agostino has a bolder plan. He’s hoping to have his shop - he’d call it Apples and Oranges - open this summer. But first he has to raise the money.
A crowdfunding page on the website Indigogo is up and running, but so far it’s only raised about a thousand dollars of its total goal of $20,000. The deadline is the end of the month.
But D’Agostino isn’t deterred. If the crowdfunding comes up short, he’ll seek out more traditional funding sources.
He’s encouraged by the positive energy in downtown, generated by people taking newly-minted pride in the city.
"I feel like this generation, young people, are taking Syracuse and saying, ‘this is our town now and we can make it the way we want to make it,’" he says. "And I want to be a part of that."
D’Agostino has a lot more hurdles to overcome before he opens the doors of his dream business, but he’s a good example of the kind of people contributing to the city’s reinvention.
"People just are really, really positive about the area, about the resurgence of the area. And they’re not going to take no for an answer when you tell them Syracuse isn’t going to work. It’s going to work."