Preliminary work is underway to develop a $44 million apartment complex on Court Street in downtown Binghamton.

Helio Health of Syracuse acquired the former Sheltered Workshop property for about $2.2 million in 2022.

Kathleen Gaffney-Babb, Helio Health president and CEO, said the project will provide affordable housing for those at 60% of the local median income threshold.

A front entrance of the former Sheltered Workshop building on Court Street in Binghamton. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
A front entrance of the former Sheltered Workshop building on Court Street in Binghamton. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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The 111 apartments will include 23 studios, 70 one-bedroom units and 18 two-bedroom units for small families. Gaffney-Babb said some of those units will be allocated for a Helio case management program for those with a substance use disorder and some will be designated for veterans.

Gaffney-Babb said Helio Health has been working for the past four years to develop this type of project in the Binghamton area.

In recent days, workers have started the process of removing furniture and other items that were left in place at the site when the Sheltered Workshop shut down in 2011

Fencing now surrounds the perimeter of the future Helio Health project in downtown Binghamton. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
Fencing now surrounds the perimeter of the future Helio Health project in downtown Binghamton. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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Gaffney-Babb said Helio Health is taking steps to preserve some historical elements that remained in the building, including IBM clocks and other items.

The building's old loading dock will be torn down and a new three-story addition will be constructed in its place.

Fencing recently was erected around the project site. Asbestos abatement and containment work will start when all of the unneeded items in the building have been hauled away.

A glimpse inside the vacant Sheltered Workshop building at 200 Court Street on September 12, 2022. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
A glimpse inside the vacant Sheltered Workshop building at 200 Court Street on September 12, 2022. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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Gaffney-Babb said the new housing complex could be ready for occupancy in about 18 months.

Much of the financing for the project is being provided through state grant and tax credit programs.

VIDEO: Items from the old Sheltered Workshop site are being removed ahead of a planned $44 million redevelopment project.

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Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com. For breaking news and updates on developing stories, follow @BinghamtonNow on Twitter.

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