UPDATE (5/10/2019) – The Matthew’s Family also made a comment on the lease saying they are “committed to this community and looking for opportunities that support our region in a positive way.
The Mall in Johnson City is an important landmark to our community in general and more specifically to the Village of Johnson City…ensuring that the Mall remains healthy is important to our local economy. Confidential discussions are underway with our real estate division for additional tenants at the former Sears property to further our goal of helping the Oakdale Mall becoming a vibrant member of our community once again.”
UPDATE (5/9/2019) – Broome County Executive Jason Garnar made a statement on the transition saying:
“We are pleased to be working with the Legislature in proposing to move our Office of Employment and Training and a few divisions of the Department of a Social Services to a new facility at the former Sears building at the Oakdale Mall. Thank you to the Matthews family for making this investment in our community and providing a brand new space for our workforce development agency. This is a major step in revitalizing the mall and provides a brand new space for our workforce development offices which sees more than 1,000 people a month.”
In addition, Garnar says, “This is a win, win, win proposal. It will save the county money, revitalize the mall and boost our workforce development initiatives in Broome County.”
Broome County’s Legislature Chairman, Daniel Reynolds, “The County Legislature appreciates the efforts of the Matthews family and the County Executive to identify space for our Office of Employment and Training where residents of Broome County can receive the assistance and training they need to get back to work. We look forward to working with them…to keep them informed and involved in this plan for new and improved space as it moves forward.”
Broome County is planning to move its Office of Employment and Training and a portion of its Department of Social Services to the former Sears location in the Oakdale Mall.
A resolution before the County Legislature would have Broome enter into a lease agreement with Spark Broome LLC which is owned by the Matthews family.
Spark Broome would purchase the building, which Sears vacated in the Summer of 2017, and then renovate it to house DSS and Workforce New York.
Workforce New York, in turn, would continue to sublet space to the New York State Department of Labor as it currently does on Front Street in Binghamton.
DSS is currently located on Main Street across from Binghamton High School and the majority of employees will remain there.
The resolution calls for the county to pay Spark Broome $540,000 beginning next year with an annual 2.5 percent increase each year through 2034.
The agreement would also have an option for a 15-year renewal after that.