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Binghamton Phoenix: Former hotel re-remerges from fire with 37 affordable housing units

 

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the opening of the $12.3 million “Binghamton Gateway,” a 37-unit affordable housing development located in Binghamton’s First Ward. Located on Front Street, the development includes 37 affordable units available for low-income New Yorkers, six of which are designed to support people who have physical disabilities.

“Affordable housing is much more than just four walls – it provides a safe and secure place for vulnerable New Yorkers to call home,” said Governor Cuomo. “The ‘Binghamton Gateway’ will help breathe life back into this area while at the same time promoting stronger, more resilient communities across the Southern Tier for generations to come.”

The project rehabilitated 11 buildings on Front Street and constructed a new mixed-use building with two commercial storefronts and 10 residential units on the site of the former Lincoln Hotel at 168 Clinton Street, a local landmark that was destroyed by fire. The project features storm water management infrastructure, reinforced bracing for exterior walls and the elevation of mechanical and electrical systems to keep them secure in the event of flooding. The Southern Tier Independence Center will provide supportive services for tenants with disabilities.

Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner James S. Rubin said, “Our ability to combine our financing mechanisms into a single source provides a powerful benefit for communities and developers that are seeking to jumpstart worthy projects. For Binghamton Gateway, a sustainable and storm resistant apartment complex, we congratulate and thank our development and government partners for the crucial part they played in creating these new affordable homes.” 

Through its Unified Funding program, New York Homes and Community Renewal, which oversees the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery, provided nearly $7 million of federal Community Development Block Grant– Disaster Recovery funds; $4.8 million of tax credit equity through Low Income Housing Tax Credits; Weatherization funds; and a loan from the Housing Trust Fund Community Investment Fund. Additional funding for the housing was provided through Binghamton RESTORE funds and a $496,975 Empire State Development grant. The tax credits were syndicated by Enterprise Community Investment, Inc. and M&T Bank is the investor.

Senator Charles E. Schumer said, “The completion of the ‘Binghamton Gateway’ provides 37 individuals and families with affordable housing and an opportunity to rebuild. Access to affordable housing is essential for the health and economic strength of our communities. The 37 rehabilitated units, along with storefronts and a multi-function building, have remade this section of Binghamton’s First Ward and established it as a neighborhood on the rise after the devastation of Tropical Storm Lee. I am very pleased by the project’s completion and will continue to fight for quality affordable housing for those in need.” 

Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chairs Tom Tranter, President & CEO of Corning Enterprises and Harvey Stenger, President of Binghamton University said, “Tropical Storm Lee was devastating for many in the Southern Tier. Supporting the rebirth of distressed neighborhoods like this one is among the Council’s greatest priorities. This multi-purpose housing and commercial enterprise will go a long way to support the economic efforts that are already under way which are aimed at re-energizing Binghamton. Thanks to Governor Cuomo’s vision and commitment to generating economic growth in the Southern Tier, we can look forward to true economic progress for years to come.”

Governor's Office of Storm Recovery Executive Director Lisa Bova-Hiatt said, “Damage caused by severe storms is not limited to the State’s coastlines. The Southern Tier took a powerful hit from Tropical Storm Lee. The CDBG-DR funds enabled the new and rehabilitated Binghamton Gateway buildings to be more resilient to severe weather and help people who were displaced to remain in or return to the community.”

Executive Director of the First Ward Action Council (FWAC) Jerry Willard said, "The project is a real home run: providing attractive housing, removing blight on a main route into town and helping to create a better environment for business. It’s been a lot of work, but we have had a lot of help from Governor Cuomo’s housing and economic teams, financial institutions, government officials, and the many consultants and contractors who helped us to put Binghamton Gateway Homes together."

Tom Eastman, vice president of syndication at Enterprise Community Investment said, “Binghamton Gateway Homes is another crucial step in making the First Ward and even more vibrant community. It builds off earlier projects that have strengthened this community, makes well-designed housing affordable for dozens of additional households, and continues the neighborhood’s revitalization. We’re excited to continue our partnership with the State of New York and First Ward Action Council to create homes that improve the lives of people in Binghamton.”

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