BINGHAMTON, NY – A proposed development at the site of the Number 5 restaurant in Binghamton has been delayed again.
The Binghamton Planning Commission tabled for the second time a proposal to build a gas station, bank and convenience store on the property while converting the old firehouse into commercial space.
The commission held a public hearing last night during which many residents expressed opposition to the plan, voicing concerns about traffic, impact to the neighboring park and other issues.
Developer Brett Pritchard reluctantly agreed to delaying the project by another month allowing for tweaks to the plan.
“The whole intent of this is to capture traffic, to utilize that park the way it’s not being utilized, to be able to have people to use that park that’s on the side. As much as I don’t want the vote to get pushed another month, I’m not sure, by the sounds, that you can accurately give me the right information that I need tonight,” says Pritchard.
Supporters say the Number 5 restaurant and the buildings surrounding it can become an eyesore if this project is not approved.
Those against it, however, point to the impact it can have on surrounding businesses.
Whole in the Wall Restaurant Owner Eliot Fiks says his business could suffer because of changes from construction.
“My main concern is that if there’s not a change to the wall that the current plan shows, it would basically make my business inoperable. So that’s my main concern,” says Fiks.
Fiks also took issue with how the other Mirabito station on Vestal Avenue would be used if the new one goes up, saying the south side doesn’t need another ghost gas station like the one on the corner of Vestal and Pennsylvania Avenues.
The issue was moved to the Planning Commission’s March meeting, giving fans of the Number 5 possibly one more month to enjoy the iconic restaurant.