BINGHAMTON, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – At Binghamton’s City Council’s chambers, Mayor Jared Kraham addressed the public regarding the dilapidated Binghamton Plaza.
It is known as one of the city’s biggest eye sores, and talking points amongst Binghamton residents.
Once home to restaurants, a movie theatre, and most recently, a K-Mart, the Binghamton Plaza on the North Side was a hot spot for business and community.
Kraham held today’s hearing to announce the city’s plan to revitalize the plaza, and to hear input from the community.
Kraham said, “For more than twenty years, the owner has, on numerous occasions, publicly alluded to efforts to revitalize and redevelop the Binghamton Plaza, but to this day, no real or significant progress has ever been made.”
The first being a public park expansion of the City’s adjacent Cheri Lindsey Park, that would revamp 2.2 acres of the proposed site.
His second proposal is to create new and enhanced access to the Riverwalk, located along the Eastern bank of the Chenango River, constituting approximately 9.5 acres of the site. Adding more trails and green space to the North Side.
After Kraham delivered his proposal, members of the public were invited to speak about the plan, and the state of the plaza as a whole.
One Northside resident, Ron Borgna said that there is already enough green space in the city, he wants to attract more businesses to the area.
“I’d like to know, what is the economic development department in Binghamton do to encourage and entice these businesses to come to Binghamton? Everybody goes all around Binghamton, and nobody wants to come to Binghamton. Like, what’s the problem there? Too many ordinances, too many fees for applications, what is it? I’m tired of seeing all these places go everywhere else.”
Borgna said that back in the 70’s he used to spend every Saturday at the plaza, and he could make a day out of it.
Galesi Realty of New Jersey, which owns the plaza, has vehemently opposed having the property seized.
It says it has plans to revitalize the structure and even wants to place a veterans center there.
Mayor Kraham said that the city will finalize its decision 90 days after today’s hearing.