Anyone who has driven through Syracuse on SR 13 has passed the old molasses factory at 100 S. Huntington St. Until recently, the giant, yellow building was something of an eyesore – rundown, empty, and taking up prime real estate. But that all changed when Roy Schwartz purchased the property.
“I bought it around September 2011,” says Schwartz, landlord and president of Swiss Perfection LLC. “I bought it from Hubbard Feeds. It was deserted for four years at the time I was buying it.”
According to the kcgov.com’s geographic information system, the building was constructed in 1950. It was the home of Pacific Molasses Company for many years.
In 2000, Sweetlix LLC, a livestock feed and nutritional supplement producer, purchased the property. Then Hubbard Feeds purchased the building four years later.
Under Hubbard Feeds’ ownership the building became vacant and fell into disrepair. “It was deserted for four years at the time I was buying it,” says Schwartz.
“The winter before we moved here, a homeless guy had taken up residence in the office,” he says. “I felt sorry for the guy until I realized he had the biggest house in town.”
Schwartz moved his family to Syracuse from Berne several years ago and was looking for a space to start a shop. “I saw possibilities,” says Schwartz. “It was a good deal, but it needed work.”
Schwartz went to work renovating the old building. Since he purchased the property, he’s replaced siding and doors, installed new insulation, and repaired parts of the foundation. More importantly, he’s filled the building with new business.
Swiss Perfection, Schwartz’ company, does steel fabrication. S&L Concrete and Excavating occupies the West end of the building. A few retail spaces have also set up shop there.
Track & Channel Bait and Tackle operates out of a space in the building, which is conveniently located near the public access ramp for Syracuse Lake. The building is also home to The Kleener Shop, which sells modestly priced soaps, detergents and other household goods.
The once unused grain elevator has been repurposed in an interesting way. “What used to lift the grain up and down is now providing Internet service for the town,” says Schwartz, pointing out the satellite dishes atop the grain tower.
Schwartz saw potential in the old yellow behemoth and gave the building a new lease on life.