Welcome to the Rent From Ben Time Capsule! For those of you who were tenants over the years, and still keep in touch, this tab is a trip down memory lane of the fun events and such we shared together. And for those of you who are prospective tenants, this tab can serve as a harbinger of what we can expect when you are a tenant of ours.
From our Euclid Mardi Gras parties, our winter tenant chili eating contest, our joint projects designing the permanent art sculptures decorating many of our property’s lawns, to our regular “Tupper Tenant Takeover” events at the Beer Belly Deli, Munjeds, and Hungry Chucks (where the food and drink is on me!), we here at Rent From Ben do our best to foster and maintain a positive tenant-landlord relationship.
So enjoy these historical nuggets, and here is to making many more of these memories in the University Neighborhood!
In 2020, we commissioned a funny video for our new YouTube channel created by a few of our student tenants to commemorate the student experience of COVID-19. As we look back at a time when apartment tours were mostly done virtually and students were under strict regulation not to party with each other, we want to honor the challenges faced and the ingenuity of students to still have as good of a time as possible given the restraints.
In 2016 we hired a student photographer to get drone footage of our annual Mardi Gras celebration for tenants. And as it turns out, we bet on someone pretty amazing– check out the award winning Chase Guttman here! Some years we host on Euclid, others we hold it at Beer Belly Deli. This one was particularly epic with a second line band and chili contest!
In 2012, Rent From Ben became more active in its support of local nonprofit organizations. Ben adopted a business philosophy and practice to give back to our community and Syracuse University. Since then, we have become proud to be supporters of Westcott Community Center, Vera House Shelter for Battered Women, the historic Mills Rose Garden in the University Neighborhood, Kids Oneida, WAER Public Radio, Clear Path for Veterans, Boys and Girls Clubs of Syracuse, and Reach CNY.
In 2014 and 2015, we sponsored the Beats and Eats Block Party organized by the Daily Orange, which brought together local food trucks and musical acts for a raucous good time.
In 2015, we supported and sponsored the music and cultural event, ‘Westcott Trumps Hate’, a concert event at the Westcott Theatre that raised $3000+ for progressive student and community groups. See video footage here and press coverage here and here.
We enjoy working with local Neighborhood associations to provide useful tools and solutions for improved quality of life. Check out our recently produced map of the University Neighborhood here.
In 2014, Rent From Ben began investing in the creation of public art projects in the University Neighborhood. These include decorative public benches, murals, permanent interactive sculptures, as well as other forms of artwork embedded into the neighborhood scene. Local artists and students have designed these existing projects.
Over the years we have served as financial supporters of local art venues, such as the Artrage Gallery, the Red Cup Project, and established artists, such as Echo Makes, and the Westcott Nation’s own Joe Driscoll. We love supporting our student tenants who are just beginning their professional art careers. We continue to regularly hire our artist tenants to help design murals and sculpture pieces, that are permanently displayed at our properties. We feel that fostering art and music in the University neighborhood adds to the quality and vitality of living in the area.
In 2014, we buried a time capsule filled with goodies that represent ‘Cuse. Check it out at 137 Clarendon and under the ground you can imagine a basketball net, a signed football, red Solo cups, an Obama bobble head and so much more. Take a minute to imagine what it will be like for the class of 2064 to open it up one day far into the future! And get this- it’s the only known, public time capsule in the area!
In 2013, we revolutionized our pet policy to promote rescue of pets! While most landlords have bans on pets, we decided to encourage our tenants to consider rescuing animals by promoting responsible pet ownership in our properties. As part of this policy, we reduce the pet deposit fee by 50% for any tenant who chooses to adopt a rescue cat or dog. My family has a history of working to support pet adoptions and rescues- read our story here.
Spay or neuter makes them cuter! And healthier! Rent From Ben is a true believer in spay/neuter. We’ve sponsored hundreds and hundreds of these surgeries through Fixing to Help. FtH is a local nonprofit that helps with the cost of fixing dogs and cats belonging to Onondaga County residents with low incomes. As of mid-2023, FtH has sponsored nearly 2,000 practically perfect family pets! Surgeries (vaccinations included!) are done at Spay and Neuter Syracuse (SANS) — another recipient of Rent From Ben support. SANS offers low-cost spay/neuter for pets of income-eligible college students. Check them out!