The historic Masonic Temple complex on Binghamton's West Side has a new owner.

The property at Main and Murray streets was acquired in June by AJEM Group LLC. The purchase price was $67,541.

The building was constructed in 1922. A Binghamton man - John Diehl - had purchased the site in a tax foreclosure auction more than three years ago.

Diehl had hoped to develop a performing arts center in the five-story structure. Although workers began to clean up the interior of the building, no significant renovations were made.

Developer Isaac Anzaroot of Brooklyn now is considering plans for the property. He has not been available to discuss his vision for the building since the recent sale.

Mayor Richard David said he doesn't know what might happen to the Masonic Temple complex.

Speaking on WNBF Radio's Binghamton Now program, David expressed concern about historic buildings in the city being sold at tax auctions. He noted that properties often can be acquired for "pennies on the dollar" by people who don't have solid redevelopment plans.

The mayor said he would be opposed to any effort to demolish the Masonic Temple building. He said he hasn't spoken to the new owner, so he can't say whether there's cause for optimism for the property's future.

Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News
Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News

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