City of Binghamton, New York

$20 Million Mixed-Use Development Planned For Historic 6 Emma St. Building

8/07/2017

— Binghamton Mayor Richard C. David and developer Matthew Paulus today announced a mixed-use development planned for 6 Emma St.

Paulus Development, a privately owned real estate development firm in Syracuse, New York, will advance a $20 million historic rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of the former General Cigar Company - Ansco Camera factory building in Binghamton’s First Ward. The four-story building will have two floors of commercial space totaling 50,000 square feet and 97 market-rate lofts above.
 
“The plan by Paulus Development to take a building with a strong past and give it a brighter future is something that has Broome County’s full support,” said Jason Garnar, Broome County Executive. “It will not only strengthen existing businesses in the area but bring in new opportunities.”
 
“This development will rehabilitate a historic landmark and create a First Ward neighborhood anchor to support existing businesses and attract and retain young professionals,” said Mayor Richard C. David. “In Binghamton, we’re bringing new jobs and economic development by creating the environment for private investment and entrepreneurship to succeed.”
 
“This project will build on the urban revitalization underway in Binghamton and Johnson City and create new economic and housing opportunities,” said Matthew Paulus, President of Paulus Development. “Our vision is to respect and celebrate the history of the building and neighborhood to develop a stronger economic and cultural future for the community. The collaboration between County Executive Garnar and Mayor David was vital to creating this development. Their focus on economic development, job creation and the community aligned with our company’s goals.”
 
Paulus Development plans to complete the rehabilitation by working with the existing commercial businesses in the building, which is currently owned by Broome County. Paulus Development plans to finalize preconstruction by the end of 2017 and commence construction by early summer 2018. The investment will create an estimated 100 short-term construction jobs. Financing for the project includes state and federal historic tax credits and a pending application to the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council (STREDC) for $4 million in Empire State Development grant funding.
 
The General Cigar Company – Ansco Camera Factory Building is a historically significant example of early twentieth century industrial architecture that is associated with two of Binghamton’s most important industries, the cigar manufacturing trade and film industry. Constructed in 1927-1928 for the General Cigar Company, the building was designed by New York City-based architect Albert Freeman. The opening of the factory in Binghamton was a tremendous boost to the local economy. After General Cigar closed during the Great Depression, the building was purchased by the nationally-prominent Ansco camera and film company in 1937. The building was the home of Ansco’s camera manufacturing operations for several decades before its decline in the post-war decades and closing as factory in 1977. In 2012, The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Place in 2012. In 2015, Broome County foreclosed on the property for back taxes and listed it for sale.
 
Paulus Development successfully completed the historic rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of the 208,000 square foot R.E. Dietz Lantern factory building in Syracuse’s Park Avenue neighborhood last week. The $27.7 million mixed-use commercial development transformed the four-story manufacturing facility into 92 lofts and 37,500 square feet of commercial space.
 
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