CenterState CEO Foundation and CenterState Development Foundation are CenterState CEO-affiliated not-for-profit organizations led by a diverse board of community and business leaders. The foundations are focused on developing the philanthropic partnerships necessary to develop, scale, and replicate successful community prosperity initiatives.

CenterState Development Foundation

The CenterState Development Foundation (CDF) is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization that fulfills a key role in CenterState CEO’s efforts to improve the region’s economic viability and quality of life. Since its predecessor, the Metropolitan Development Foundation (MDF), was incorporated in 1981, CDF has served as a vehicle to fund and implement many projects with local and regional economic significance including:

  • Creative Communities Initiative, supported by an $800,000 grant from the Ford Foundation—to promote sustainable and equitable regional economic and community development. This initiative led to the creation of the Greater Syracuse Land Bank and various regional land use strategies to promote inclusive regional economic growth; and
  • Vision 2010, a regional economic development plan foundational to the region’s subsequent collaborative strategies, including the winning proposal to CNY Rising Upstate Revitalization Challenge that attracted $500 million in state funding for regional economic development projects; and the

Since its predecessor, the Metropolitan Development Foundation (MDF), was incorporated in 1981, CDF has served as a vehicle to fund and implement many local and regional economic development projects.

CenterState Development Foundation Supported Projects

Clinton Square Post Office

One of its first projects, CDF purchased the Clinton Square Post Office from the U.S. Postal Service in 1984. This vacant, historic structure was ultimately transferred to Pyramid Companies, which located its beautiful Syracuse headquarters there.

Hancock Airpark Sign Summer
Hancock Airpark

CDF helped redevelop the former Air Force base at Hancock Field into a light manufacturing and office park. Following the announcement that the base would close, CDF took the lead in securing state and federal grants to develop an overall site master plan and support subsequent infrastructure development.

Galleries of Syracuse

CDF played a key role in assembling the necessary land and funding for construction of the Galleries of Syracuse. This project stabilized and improved a blighted area made up of vacant or underutilized commercial buildings in Syracuse's central business district. The Galleries has become home to major office tenants, the county's main library, as well as restaurants and retail establishments serving the downtown workforce.

Townsend St. Sculpture moved to the MOST

CDF was involved in the redevelopment of the Jefferson Street Armory, now home to the Museum of Science and Technology (The MOST) and Bristol Omnimax Theater. CDF secured state funding for the initial feasibility study that examined potential reuses of the Armory, accepted title to the structure from the State of New York for eventual transfer to the museum and assisted in obtaining major state grants to support the project.

Jefferson Clinton Hotel
Jefferson-Clinton Hotel

CDF served as a vital partner in efforts to rehabilitate the former Jefferson-Clinton Hotel, a historic landmark that now boasts sixty-eight luxury suites. CDF received a state grant for building stabilization, and also took temporary title to the property from the City of Syracuse for eventual transfer to the developer.

Pike block construction june 2013
The Pike Block

CDF played a leading role in efforts to transform the 300 block of South Salina Street in downtown Syracuse into 87 units of market rate housing and 25,000 square feet of retail space. MDF Property Holdings acquired the properties (consisting of four vacant buildings), packaged them, and negotiated their redevelopment as one project. In 2009, VIP Development was selected as project developer.

Electronics Park

CDF played a critical role in facilitating development of the Electronics Park master plan, helping retain Lockheed Martin as a major regional employer, and serving as manager and developer of the park by securing two state grants totaling $2 million.

Central New York Regional Market
Central New York Regional Market

CDF served as the contracting entity for an $8.4 million state grant that was used to renovate the market into a highly trafficked commerce and entertainment asset.


Foundation Supporters

Current and past institutional philanthropic supporters of the Foundations include:

Local National
Alliance for Economic Inclusion
Allyn Family Foundation
Armory Square Ventures
Bank of America
Berkshire Bank
Central New York Community Foundation
Gifford Foundation
The F.B. Heron Foundation
JPMorgan Chase Foundation
M&T Bank
Peter Family Irrevocable Trust II
Richard S. Shineman Foundation
The Dorothy & Marshall M. Reisman Foundation
United Way of Central New York
City of Syracuse CDBG
Ford Foundation
Surdna Foundation
JPMorgan Chase Foundation
Microsoft Philanthropies
National Fund for Workforce Solutions