(CITY of BINGHAMTON, N.Y.) Mayor Richard C. David today announced redevelopment plans for the Washington Street Mall, including new parking spaces and improved infrastructure elements.
“For years, this space has sat empty as a concrete desert in the heart of downtown,” said Mayor David. “As we’re seeing new revitalization, it’s important to create and inviting and appealing streetscape and provide additional parking, leading to new activity and economic development.”
The City-owned parcel will be transformed into 11 parking spaces with sidewalk improvements, enhanced lighting and additional beautification efforts consistent with the Court St. Gateway Project.
This week, Phase I of the project will begin, which includes removal of existing aboveground features and construction of an entrance and exit. Temporary parking will be added to accommodate downtown business patrons during the holiday and winter seasons. Weather permitting, Phase I will be complete by the end of November.
Phase II will begin in the spring of 2015, which will include new curbs, brick pavers, lighting reconfigurations and sustainable landscape architecture.
R. DeVincentis Construction, of Binghamton, provided a low bid of $336,000 for both phases of redevelopment. The project will be funded through the City’s capital bonding.
Downtown businesses expressed excitement and gratitude for the efforts to develop the vacant parcel:
“This redevelopment will create new buzz for the restaurants and shops on the Court St. corridor,” said Michael J. Weisel, owner of Galaxy Brewing Company, which borders the project. “It will also make for easy customer access to some of downtown’s popular locations.”
“This area of the former Washington Street has fallen in disrepair during the past several years and no longer serves the intended purpose for which it was built,” said John Current of Pyramid Brokerage Company, property manager at Metrocenter, which borders the project.
“It would be a significant improvement for businesses located in that area and Downtown Binghamton in general,” said John Mirabito, Chairman of the Board, Mirabito Holdings, Inc, which borders the project. “Mirabito Holdings, Inc. has over 70 employees at our Metrocenter office and any improvements for parking an access to our offices for them and our partners, vendors, customers and associates would be welcome.”
“These improvements will create a positive business atmosphere for all downtown merchants,” said Thomas M. Ellis, Jr., of Ellis Bros. Inc., which borders the project. “This project will attract new customers and is very important to keep downtown a retail destination.”
“Customers complain that there is no parking and that any that is available is too far away,” said Linda M. Smith, Owner of Sip of Seattle, which borders the project. “We have found that this problem impacts our business negatively on a regular basis. I think this would be a positive way to move toward addressing additional downtown parking and believe it would help Sip of Seattle.”
“Any improvements for parking and access to the businesses in downtown Binghamton would be highly welcomed,” said Lou Santoni, C.E.O. of the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce.
- “It's refreshing to see a plan to put this space to beneficial use for the revitalized Downtown,” said Ron Sall, president of the Downtown Binghamton Business Association.
Since 1989, the Washington St. Mall was home to Binghamton’s “Walk of Fame,” 43 bronze stars showcasing famous residents who have contributed to arts and culture. In July, the City of Binghamton and Broome County coordinated moving the stars to their new permanent home at the Forum Theatre to make them more visible and better preserve their condition.
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