(BINGHAMTON, N.Y.) — Mayor Richard C. David today announced a series of blight removal and neighborhood revitalization efforts on the City’s North Side.
Mayor David announced the plans in front of 31 Virgil St. shortly before the property was demolished. It joins three other blighted property demolitions and one home rehabilitation project.
“Blighted properties bring down property values, attract criminal activity and cause frustration for nearby residents," said Mayor David. "Demolition is the first step in redevelopment. City officials will work with neighbors on a long term vision forthese areas and where other strategic investments can be made."
The four properties to be demolished are:
- 147.5 Bevier St.
- 96 Liberty St.
- 644 State St.
- 31 Virgil St.
Two of the blight demolitions — 96 Liberty St. and 31 Virgil St. — are within a few hundred feet of the City's Lee Barta Community Center at 108 Liberty St., set to be renovated and expanded this fall.
For 31 Virgil St., the demolition in the last piece to begin redevelopment. The City owns four contiguous properties to 31 Virgil St. and two parcels across the street. The City will work to market these site — totaling 1.13 acres — for a new development, according to Mayor David.
In Jan. 2017, the City of Binghamton acquired 96 Liberty St. from M&T Bank through a donation. After demolition, the property is planned to be sold to an adjacent property owner to expand an existing lot.
"By engaging directly with the bank that owned 96 Liberty St., we were able to cut years off the foreclosure and demolition process," said Mayor David. "We ended the cycle of blight and are providing relief to neighbors. The City had previously not pursued this strategy for bank-owned properties."
It’s not the first blighted bank-owned property Mayor David had secured for demolition. In 2015, Wells Fargo donated two properties, 10 Alfred St. and 16 Second St., along with $50,600 for asbestos abatement and demolition of the properties.
A historic property at 4 Sturges St. will be rehabilitated a part of this plan. Initially slated for demolition, Mayor David worked with the City's Commission on Architecture and Urban Design to identify other uses for the home, which was built in 1900. Asbestos abatement will be completed to allow for future renovation by a local non-profit housing provider.
LCP Group, of Vestal, is performing the demolition work at a cost of $104,600 paid for by federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding.
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