A project providing renovated housing to low and moderate income tenants has the added benefit of improving Binghamton appearance.

Binghamton Gateway Homes is an $8 million project covering 12 locations in the city’s First Ward.

Nine of them are along a once-blighted section of Front Street.

The 27 apartments feature modern building practices and energy conservation techniques.

The developer is the First Ward Action Council.

Executive Director Jerry Willard says many of the historic features of the late 19th century homes were preserved.

Willard says by renovating a cluster of buildings all at once, they’re creating a whole new Front Street.

“We’re serving several purposes. By bringing back Front Street, we’re providing housing. But, equally important, we’re creating a new, better, improved first impression of Binghamton,” he said.

The project has received funding support from the federal state and city governments as well as private financing.

As a result, there are income eligibility guidelines.

There will be an open house Thursday at one of two houses that have been finished.

From noon to 6 p.m., the community and potential tenants can check out 252 Front Street.

There will also be entertainment and free refreshments.