Upscale, green Hotel Skyler to open in former Jewish synagogue location
A former Syracuse synagogue is taking on a new role, transforming into an environmentally conscious hotel.
The Hotel Skyler, which is on track to be certified LEED Platinum, will have 58 rooms and will be located on South Crouse Avenue. The building was once home to the former Temple Adath Yeshurun.
‘Being a former Temple, the unique character and charm inherent in the building speaks for itself, and then there’s the local historical significance that is being preserved,’ said Lynee Sauer, LEED accredited professional business manager with the Woodbine Group, which is overseeing the construction and design of the building. ‘The opportunity to write another chapter in the building’s history is pretty exciting.’
The hotel will cost $6.7 million to complete and is set to be open next spring. The building was constructed in 1922 and has been mostly vacant since the synagogue’s worshippers moved to a new location in DeWitt in 1968, according to a July 21 article in The Post-Standard.
The Woodbine Group also owns and operates the Parkview Hotel and the Genesee Grande Hotel.
The LEED system rates buildings based on sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation and design. It is important to take the environment into account when building, given the state of the global environment, Sauer said.
‘I think it’s just the right thing to do,’ Sauer said. ‘We’re already experiencing the effects of global warming. Since we created the problem, it’s now our charge to combat it.’
The hotel’s energy efficiency will be enhanced by a 63-ton closed loop geothermal heat pump that uses heat from the earth’s crust and will provide energy for the building’s heating and cooling needs.
The building will also feature a rainwater harvesting system and keycard management system to save energy. The keycard system saves energy by turning a room’s power on when a guest swipes his or her keycard to enter and shutting it off when the guest swipes again to leave.
While constructing according to LEED standards in an already existing building posed some challenges, finding room for all of the hotel’s components has been the main issue, Sauer said.
While the motivation behind building the hotel to LEED standards came from a moral standpoint, it also has financial benefits.
‘LEED and LEED certification is also market driven,’ Sauer said. ‘Guests are now seeking out sustainable, eco-conscious hotels, so we’re also satisfying the demand of consumers.’
Sustainable construction is quickly becoming a trend and could soon become the standard for all development, Sauer said.
‘It’s a movement that’s been around for many generations, but now it’s made its way into the political arena, and so it’s really digging in and gaining traction,’ Sauer said. ‘If it continues at this pace, it may well trickle into code and become the standard building model, rather than an exceptional one.’
Along with helping the environment, the hotel will also help patients at the Golisano Children’s Hospital. Norman Swanson, owner of the hotel, pledged the proceeds for the first 10 years of operation of a loft room in the hotel to the children’s hospital.
The loft room will run guests $175 a night and feature a two-level tree house. According to a Sept. 14, 2009 article in The Post-Standard, the total proceeds are expected to be $250,000.
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