In a press conference on Monday, City of Binghamton Mayor Jared Kraham announced that the city would provide funding for a new VINES office in downtown Binghamton.

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VINES is a non-profit organization with a focus on helping people gain access to locally produced, healthy food. The 4,000-square-foot office will be located on two vacant lots at 157 Susquehanna Street and 1 Fayette Street, which VINES acquired from the City in 2020.

In addition to the office space, the building will have a large open community programming space and will be the first net zero energy building in the City of Binghamton. It will also be the first known commercial structure in the northeast to use straw bales for insulation. The site is also just blocks away from VINES' urban farm.

"VINES' new downtown headquarters will revitalize an important part of Binghamton's urban core and grow the organization's impact on low-income neighborhoods and their access to healthy, locally produced foods," said Mayor Kraham. "As a model for sustainable development, this project will also shine a spotlight on our City's leading role in advancing green solutions for the future."

The project in total will cost $1.8 million. The City of Binghamton will provide $300,000 of American Rescue Plan Act funding with the additional funding coming from Foundation Grants, Empire State Development Grant, NYSERDA Grant, and Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo's State and Municipal Facilities Program Grant. VINES' Executive Director Amelia LoDolce expects to break ground on the project in the Spring of 2023 and for the project to be complete in 18 months.

"VINES is grateful to have the City of Binghamton's support in building our new headquarters on Susquehanna Street," said LoDolce. "This neighborhood has been home to our first community gardens and to our urban farm for now 15 years. We're excited to further invest in the neighborhood and construct a Net Zero energy office and community building that will serve as a model in green construction."

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