(BINGHAMTON, N.Y.) — Mayor Richard C. David and Councilwoman Dani Cronce on Monday joined representatives from the First Ward Action Council, United Way of Broome County, Broome County Land Bank for the opening of a new community center at 47 North St., a historic building that was saved from demolition in 2016 and fully renovated.
“This community center will bring hope, stability and much-needed resources to one of Binghamton’s poorest, but most promising, neighborhoods,” said Mayor Richard C. David. “Two years ago, the City stepped in to keep this building from being demolished after neighborhood residents made clear how important saving the landmark was to them. Now, thanks to a broader grassroots coalition, the restored building is poised to be a neighborhood anchor and a beacon of change north of Main Street.”
The new community center is part of the First Ward Action Council’s Crandall & North Street Revitalization Project, which is creating 37 new units of affordable housing on two streets in the North of Main neighborhood, supported by New York State Homes and Community Renewal.
The $768,000 project restored the building to historic standards and created affordable housing on the upper floors in addition to the community space. Ten multifamily properties on Crandall Street are also being rehabilitated and will be rented to income-eligible families and individuals as part of the project.
The 1,000 square-foot community center is staffed and operated by the United Way of Broome County and houses the Binghamton-Broome Anti-Poverty Initiative (BBAPI).
“United Way of Broome County is excited about this partnership with the First Ward Action Council and the City of Binghamton,” said Jacqueline Gerchman, Executive Director, United Way of Broome County. “The staff occupying the space at 47 North Street are 100 percent focused on anti-poverty work, funded by the Binghamton-Broome Anti-Poverty Initiative. We look forward to the positive relationships that will be built with the residents and hope to help create progressive energy in the neighborhood.”
The 47 North St. building dates back to the 1870s and was the home of James W. Sturtevant, co-founder of the Sturtevant-Larrabee Co. The company was once a leading manufacturer of sleighs and carriages.
In 2015, the Broome County Land Bank acquired the property after it fell into foreclosure and planned to demolish it. But a grassroots efforts by members of the North of Main Street neighborhood group Safe Streets rallied to save 47 North St., citing its historical significance. In response to the concerns, Mayor David worked with the Land Bank and proposed a partnership to save the building. The City took ownership of 47 North St. and identified grant funding for what would become the Crandall and North Street Revitalization Project.
The Broome County Land Bank provided $170,000 toward the building renovation, supported by Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.
“Today is a great day for the City of Binghamton and Broome County Land Bank,” said Margaret Scarinzi, Executive Director of the Broome County Land Bank. “The Land Bank took possession of 47 North Street in 2015 as it faced an uncertain future. Now we are celebrating the return of this historic structure to productive use. Thank you to our partners, the City of Binghamton, First Ward Action Council, Enterprise Community Partners and the New York State Office of the Attorney General.”
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