JOHNSON CITY, N.Y. - Local and state officials are declaring a victory for one of Broome County's biggest, blighted eyesores.
Broome County Executive Jason Garnar announced a $50 million rehabilitation of the former Endicott-Johnson Manufacturing site, better known as the "EJ Victory building," located along Lester Avenue in Johnson City.
Named for our effort in winning World War I, the 250,000 square foot structure was built in 1921 as a shoe manufacturing factory until EJ left the building in the 1970s.
Then, it became an industrial site and storage facility, until it was overtaken by Broome County for back taxes in 2014.
The developer, 59 Lester Empire LLC, plans to create 228 apartments for seniors along with two floors of commercial space.
Garnar says people will no longer consider it the "white elephant" of the Southern Tier.
"This is the biggest eyesore in Broome County, without a doubt. There's no bigger eyesore than this. We're going to put $50,000,000 dollars into it and we're not even going to demolish it, we're going to renovate it. That's going to have a major effect on this community here," said Garnar.
Garnar says 59 Lester Empire purchased the property for $250,000 dollars.
While it is unsightly on the outside with chipped paint, broken windows and a leaky roof, Garnar says the building is structurally sound.
The project is slated to break ground in May of next year, with the opening scheduled for 2021, which will be the 100th anniversary of the building's construction.
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