Broome County is New York State’s hidden gem. Surrounded by rolling green hills, our river valleys are home to an educated workforce, a low cost of living, and the fertile soil for a profitable investment. Broome County is home to Binghamton University, commonly referred to as the “public Ivy,” a top SUNY Research University and a major economic driver for our area. Accommodating new students from all around the world is an honor, not only to us, but to the developers of our new housing developments throughout our metropolitan area.
50 Front St. luxury apartments, a $31 million housing investment right just the river from our bustling Downtown Binghamton, is the largest new market-rate development for Binghamton in decades and is slated for completion in 2019. Housing a total of 122 market-rate units, residents have the convenience of a bus line, access to riverside biking trails, and the walkability of living in a downtown area that has seen a complete revitalization. Directly across the river is Binghamton University Downtown Center, which has served as a catalyst for the regenerative economic power of the local University. 50 Front St. is within five blocks of the Koffman Southern Tier Incubator, a new space for students and entrepreneurs to start their ventures in a modern co-working environment.
Another brand-new housing development is 128 Grand Ave, a $6.2 million investment featuring 24 market rate units in the downtown Johnson City area. A block away from 128 Grand Ave. is the heart of the revitalization in Johnson City. Featuring UHS Wilson Hospital, the newly constructed Binghamton University’s School of Pharmacy, and the planned Decker School of Nursing that is planned to open in 2020, the Johnson City Health & Culture District is primed to become a truly 21st century neighborhood. The post-industrial, revitalized character of the medical campus combined with the rustic appeal of the downtown area create a neighborhood that is undeniably attractive to investment and renewal.
To further accommodate our graduate students, healthcare employees, and young professionals, two iconic buildings are finding new life just across the street from Binghamton University’s new investments. Called the Century Sunrise development, the early 1900’s Endicott-Johnson shoe factories will provide a total of 104 workforce and market rate apartments, as well as 10,000 s/f of commercial space. The $28 million investment shows that in Broome County, we are not only building for the future, but bringing icons of the past into the present.
In between Johnson City and Binghamton lies another example of our area’s tenacity to revitalize. The Ansco Camera factory was once a major employer in our area, but the building stood vacant for decades. The building is being renovated into a mixed-use facility with 100 loft apartments and over 85,000 s/f of commercial space, slated for completion in late 2019. The total $23 million investment is another adaptive reuse of a historical building in our area and is yet another example of a profitable investment in our valley.
In the past decade, we have seen the transformative power of Binghamton University at work. Our neighborhoods are becoming revitalized. There are more restaurants and social spaces than ever. Our culture is looking to the future instead of the past. But one thing has not changed; affordable cost of living here in Broome County. With a diverse array of new housing options coming online, we’ve got options from luxury market rate to unique and modern options for the young professional. Accessing a vibrant nightlife, breweries, restaurants, or cafes is easier than ever before. Nestled in river valleys, the contrast of urban and organic environments creates a lifestyle that allows one to drink craft espresso in an undeniably downtown area and be hiking on a nature trail in less than 15 minutes.
The movement has started. Broome County is becoming an educational hub of the 21st century. With its low cost of living and high quality of life, it is primed to become a major destination for those looking to escape the high rents of our major cities. We have the space. We have the workforce. All we need is you.
Jacob Klieger is a student at the University of Buffalo and the marketing and communications intern at The Agency: Broome County IDA/LDC, Binghamton, N.Y.