(BINGHAMTON, N.Y.) — Mayor Richard C. David on Thursday visited 1 Duke St. on the South Side to kick off a wave of 14 demolitions targeting blighted, flood-prone properties in the City.
“These demolitions are part of our broader strategy to build stronger neighborhoods by removing blight and making our community more resilient to flooding,” said Mayor David. “This project will transform sections of our City and better prepare them for natural disasters, at no cost to the local taxpayer. I thank Senator Chuck Schumer for securing Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funding and his support of this project.”
A FEMA grant, awarded to the City in 2016, will cover the purchase and demolition of the properties, plus all other related costs. All of the properties are located in flood hazard areas. Related costs include relocation assistance, closing fees, appraisals, land surveys and asbestos abatement.
Demolition work will be completed by LCP Group, of Vestal, at a cost of $466,356. The total project cost is an estimated $1.5 million.
Following the demolitions, the properties will become permanent open green space to enhance flood hazard mitigation. The City will lease several of the parcels to VINES, the Binghamton-based nonprofit focused on urban gardening and access to local foods, to expand its downtown Urban Farm.
Thursday’s demolition of 1 Duke St. is the first demolition of the project. Thirteen more are scheduled to follow in the coming weeks:
- 20 Carroll St.
- 24 Carroll St.
- 133 Susquehanna St.
- 14 Tudor St.
- 17 Tudor St.
- 23.5 Tudor St.
- 21 Tudor St.
- 25 Tudor St.
- 1 Valley St.
- 7 Valley St.
- 9 Valley St.
- 7 Varick St.
- 6 Vermont Ave.
The City expects to close on another First Ward property in the coming weeks, bringing the total number of buildings purchased and demolished under the grant to 15.
Property owners participated in the FEMA buyout program on a voluntary basis and were paid fair market value for their properties. The City worked with landlords, tenants and several non-profit partners to find and secure quality housing for all tenants affected by the project. Partners in the relocation effort included Family Enrichment Network, Continuum of Care, Broome County Department of Social Services, Opportunities for Broome and the Broome County Urban League.
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