May 23, 2006
By Rick Moriarty
An Israeli investor who last week bought a large share of the Israeli
company redeveloping the Hotel Syracuse complex says he plans to go
forward with the project, calling the property a "grand historic
"Our business plan includes not only the redevelopment of the
historic hotel rooms and ballrooms of this great asset, but also will
include the development of new commercial businesses, restaurants,
residences, parking and improved public spaces," the investor, Levi
Kushnir, said in a statement.
"With the local team in place, together with our expanded abilities,
this project will become a centerpiece once again for the city of
Syracuse and the Central New York region."
Kushnir, an Israeli citizen with holdings throughout the world, made
a major investment in Gmul Investment Co. Thursday, according to a joint
statement from Kushnir and Gmul.
The Hotel Syracuse project, which is among the assets included in the
deal, is a small part of the investment, according to the statement. But
Kushnir's son, Elad, confirmed Monday that small part was valued at $25
Another part of Kushnir's acquisition includes a 51 percent stake in
Gmul Energy Ltd. for $27 million, according to Globes, an Israeli
business publication. Gmul Energy's sole asset is a stake in GPM
LLC, which operates 149 convenience stores and gas stations in the
United States and provides fuel to 60 operators, some of which sub-
lease the gas stations, the Globes reported.
The Hotel Syracuse, which opened on Warren Street in 1924, closed in
May 2004 after years of financial difficulties under several owners.
Gmul, which is based in Tel Aviv, planned to turn the newest building in
the hotel complex, a 15-story tower opened in 1983, into 70 condominiums
to be called Symphony Place.
In later phases, the original hotel would be renovated and turned
into a 155-room business hotel and about 100 apartments. Plans include
putting two floors of commercial space and three floors of loft
apartments - a total of 15 apartments - into the adjacent Addis building
on South Salina Street.
Kushnir, the controlling shareholder and chairman of Nechushtan
Investments Ltd. and Tadiran Ampa Ltd., has no other investments in
Upstate New York, his son said. His father's investment in the Hotel
Syracuse project is part of a plan to expand his holdings in the United
States, he said.
"We're looking to expand our base here," said Elad Kushnir. "The
project is an amazing project. It has a lot of political support. The
hotel is a landmark development. The numbers work. It's good for the
Rick Moriarty can be reached at 470-3148 or email@example.com.
© 2006 The Post-Standard.