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ESD Announces Investment in Ansco Camera Factory Mixed-Use Development Project in Broome County

Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council Offers up to $2 Million in Upstate Revitalization Initiative Funding for Rehabilitation Effort

Investment in Downtown Binghamton Complements “Southern Tier Soaring” - The Region’s Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy

Empire State Development (ESD), through the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council, today announced its support for the transformative, Ansco Camera Factory mixed-use development project in Binghamton, Broome County. Up to  $2 million will be provided for the buildings’ adaptive reuse through the Southern Tier Soaring Upstate Revitalization Initiative.  The project will see the former factory repurposed into 100 market-rate lofts and it will feature 85,000 square-feet of commercial space. The $22 million historic rehabilitation will serve as the anchor development for the First Ward District in the City of Binghamton, connecting the central business district, Westside and Southern Tier Health Sciences and Innovation Park in Johnson City. The project is expected to be completed in late spring 2019.

Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “Turning a former camera factory into a vibrant mixed-use space that will become an anchor for revitalizing and connecting Binghamton’s central business district is an example of New York’s strategic approach to economic development, a lens through which we envision new uses for historic buildings in the Southern Tier and throughout Upstate.”

The four-story factory, located on Emma Street, is historically associated with two of Binghamton’s most important industries in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the cigar manufacturing trade and the camera and film industry. The building was originally designed and construction in 1927 for the General Cigar Company but it was the nationally prominent Ansco Camera and Film Company that ran its manufacturing operations in the building from 1937 until the company closed its doors in 1977. The building is a significant landmark in Binghamton with its prominent water tower a long-time feature of the skyline.

Matthew Paulus, President of Paulus Development said, “Our vision is to preserve and celebrate the great history of a community landmark in the Southern Tier. We believe the project will build upon the exciting revitalization efforts currently underway in the region.”

Paulus Development similarly repurposed the former R.E. Dietz Lantern Factory in Syracuse – a project that features loft style market-rate apartments and commercial space.  In fact, this rehabilitation project was selected to receive the award for “Excellence in Historic Preservation” From the Preservation League of New York State. The company was presented with the award in a ceremony held in New York City last month.

Southern Tier REDC Co-Chairs Tom Tranter, President & CEO of Corning Enterprises and Harvey Stenger, President of Binghamton University said, “The Southern Tier Soaring Upstate Revitalization Initiative is truly working to empower community, business, and academic leaders, as well as members of the public to develop strategic plans specifically tailored to the region's unique strengths and resources in order to create jobs, improve quality of life and grow the economy.”

Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo said, “The adaptive reuse of historic buildings like the Ansco Camera Factory preserves our local history while rebuilding our neighborhoods. It is also central to the region’s Innovation District plan, connecting the Binghamton and Johnson City iDistricts. We envisioned projects like this when the region applied for and won the Upstate Revitalization Competition. I’d like to thank all of the partners for their commitment to the Southern Tier’s efforts to reimagine older industrial sites as new community anchors.”

Broome County Executive Jason Garnar said, “The repurposing of the Ansco Camera Factory supports our efforts to build the Greater Binghamton Innovation Ecosystem through targeted, strategic investments throughout Broome County and within the iDistricts as outlined in the Southern Tier Soaring plan.  We are grateful to Paulus Development for investing in the limitless potential in the region, further strengthening and propelling our region’s growing economy.”

Binghamton Mayor Rich David said, “This development will rehabilitate a historic landmark and create a First Ward neighborhood anchor to support existing businesses and attract and retain young professionals. In Binghamton, we’re bringing new jobs and economic development by investing in neighborhoods and creating new housing options. We thank Governor Cuomo, Empire State Development and our state partners for their belief in this transformative project. The City, County and State all worked together to make this plan a reality.”

Accelerating Southern Tier Soaring 

Today's announcement complements “Southern Tier Soaring the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $4.6 billion in the region since 2012 to lay for groundwork for the plan – attracting a talented workforce, growing business and driving innovation. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Binghamton, Johnson City and Corning as a destination in which to grow and invest.

Now, the region is accelerating Southern Tier Soaring with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 10,200 new jobs. More information is available here.



Shari Voorhees-Vincent | [email protected] | (585) 399-7055

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