The Ellis family has owned this building at 159 Washington Street since 1931. [Bob Joseph/WNBF News][/caption]

Apartments are being proposed in two landmark retail buildings in downtown Binghamton.

A developer wants to convert the Ellis Brothers furniture store building at 159 Washington Street into a multi-unit dwelling with 13 units and a total of 58 bedrooms.

The same developer is seeking permission to convert the second floor of the Court Street building that houses a Family Dollar store to three dwelling units with 19 bedrooms. That property is owned by Mayor Richard David, who is in the process of selling it.

Developer Yaron Kweller declined to comment about his plans for the two buildings. He said he didn't want a news story about the projects.


A notice posted at 60 Court Street publicizes a public hearing on a proposed housing project. [Bob Joseph/WNBF News][/caption]

The city planning commission has scheduled a public hearing on Kweller's application for special use permits for the buildings. Kweller would not confirm that the units are to be used for student housing. The hearing is to be held in the City Council chambers at 5:15 p.m. on Monday.

Mayor David owns the building at 60 Court Street through an entity called Confluence Properties II LLC. County records indicate the property was purchased six years ago for $655,000.

David told WNBF News he's preparing to sell the property to Kweller. He said he expected the deal will close sometime next month.

In October, Richard Ellis said the family had decided to move its business out of the Washington Street building to consolidate its operations in a new store at Court and Hawley streets. That store now is expected to open early next year.


An entity controlled by Binghamton Mayor David plans to sell this building at 60 Court Street to developer Yaron Kweller. [Bob Joseph/WNBF News][/caption]

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