Dozens of Apartments Planned for Binghamton Office Building
A Broome County man has outlined a proposal to convert the upper seven floors of a downtown Binghamton office building into a residential complex.
The potential project would reinvent the property at 59 Court Street which for decades was home to Sisson's Department store. After the retailer closed in January 1964, the lower level of the building was used by various businesses, including banks.
The first floor and basement space now are occupied by WNBF and four other Townsquare Media radio stations.
James Slocum of Conklin told members of the city planning commission on November 15 that he was seeking a special use permit to redevelop the building in three phases.
When completed, Slocum said there would be 66 dwelling units with a total of 87 bedrooms. He said the project would include various configurations of one, two and three-bedroom units.
One planning commission member expressed concern that the plan presented by Slocum included no provisions for parking spaces for people who would reside in the building. The member noted "parking downtown is already a nightmare."
Slocum said efforts would be made to work with existing parking garages to secure spaces "wherever we can." He said under city zone regulations, no additional parking would be required for the proposed project.
Slocum said "we believe a lot of the offices aren't going to make a full comeback after Covid." He said there are no plans to push out any current building tenants but many already have changed the way they use their existing space.
The first phase of the redevelopment project would involve the top three floors of the eight-story building. Slocum said that part would consist of 18 units and 24 bedrooms.
The planning commission scheduled a public hearing on the proposal for December 12. That session was tabled.
Slocum declined to discuss the status of the project on Wednesday and the reason action on the plan was delayed this week. But he said it's "something we still hope to do." He said he hoped details could be worked out in time for the January planning commission meeting.
The building is owned by John Maczko of Vestal. He acquired the property in January 2013 for $600,000.
On Tuesday, Maczko said the initial presentation to the planning commission had been made prematurely. He indicated it was too early to talk about the specifics of a possible residential project.