(BINGHAMTON, N.Y.) — Mayor Richard C. David on Monday announced a deal to sell the 21-acre Charles Street Business Park and adjacent cogeneration power plant in the City of Binghamton’s First Ward to Syracuse-based Bowers Development to advance a $25 million redevelopment project.
“The Charles Street Business Park has sat vacant for more than a decade and the cogeneration power plant was viewed by many as an empty, blighted relic that had outlived its economic potential,” said Mayor David. “Many years ago, I recognized the promise of each of these assets. With the City in control of both sites, we have an opportunity to advance a project that could transform the First Ward and become a large scale business anchor for the City with hundreds of good paying jobs.”
Bowers Development plans to invest approximately $25 million to upstart the cogeneration power plant and build approximately 150,000 to 200,000 square-feet in prefabricated steel buildings for future commercial use, which may include office flex space, warehousing, distribution and light manufacturing. Future development is expected to support 150 to 250 new jobs.
The power plant at 22 Charles St., which is owned by the City of Binghamton, is being sold for $500,000. The Charles Street Business Park at 30 Charles St., which is owned by the Binghamton Local Development Corporation (BLDC), is being sold for $621,342.
In 2017, the City of Binghamton accepted a donation of the former Anitec cogeneration power plant at 22 Charles St. from Wellhead Electric Company, of Sacramento, California.
In 2019, the BLDC took ownership of the 21-acre site at 30 Charles St. from The Agency (Broome County Industrial Development Agency).
“The ability to generate redundant, low-cost power onsite for tenants is a rare and attractive benefit to several business sectors with specialized needs,” said Mike Licata, Vice President of Bowers Development. “We already have generated significant interest in this location from multiple potential tenants. Based upon our current development plans, our proposed project would easily create over two hundred construction jobs and hundreds more after the project is complete.”
The site would be attractive to companies specializing in food production, food storage, distribution, logistics, data centers, cold storage and others with high energy needs, according to Licata.
Cogeneration — also known as combined heat and power (CHP) — systems like the Charles Street power plant provide on-site electric power, heating and cooling from a single fuel source. The use of cogeneration is growing at a rapid pace due to increasing demand for energy efficiency, operating flexibility, grid outage resiliency and the reduction of emissions harmful to the environment, according to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).
Following a City Council vote to approve the sale of the cogeneration power plant, the Binghamton Local Development Corporation (BLDC) will vote on the sale of the 21-acre Charles Street Business Park.
Sale terms include a 12-month due diligence period for both Bowers Development and the City of Binghamton.
“While we focus our efforts on public safety and dealing with the impact of COVID-19, we must also focus on our short- and long-term economic recovery,” said Mayor David. “Projects such as this one will take us one giant step forward to rebuilding our local economy.”
Bowers Development of East Syracuse, N.Y. specializes in the redevelopment of environmentally challenged properties. Their team is composed of Upstate New York natives with expertise in environmental consulting, demolition, deconstruction and waste disposal, real estate and marketing.
Bowers Development has a successful track record obtaining environmentally challenged properties and quickly bringing them back to a marketable state. The firm’s distinctive business model targets properties for acquisition that are generally abandoned, blighted or contaminated.
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