BU Impacts Downtown Binghamton
7/10/2012 (Updated 7:01:46 PM)(Source: Jason Weinstein)
This family is looking at more than just exercise equipment during today's open house at the Twin River Commons student housing complex.
It's looking, some would say, at a brick and mortar example of Binghamton University's impact on the downtown economy.
This 373-bed complex, as well as another at 20 Hawley Street are both set to open this fall. A third planned for Court Street is in development. Combined - the developments could change the complexion of downtown.
"We really want to complement the Downtown Center next door. So it really creates a downtown campus here that really adds a dynamic here," said Jeff Smetana of Newman Development Group, the owners of Twin River Commons.
"Yeah, it's going to be pretty vibrant in the next couple of weeks, different than it was 12 months ago," said BU President Harvey Stenger.
Binghamton University is building more dorms on campus, but none are expected to be completed this fall - this despite 500 more students coming to the school.
In all, BU expects to add 2,000 more students over the next four years.
"A lot of the growth that will be coming from the University will be graduate programs and advanced programs. And those area the kinds of residents I think we'll accommodate really well," said Smetana.
"I think the fact that the Downtown Center is reopening and we'll have the Community and Public Affairs college here, and their students will want to live downtown. It will make those housing units more popular," said Stenger.
Stenger also says the school is close to getting approval from the governor for funding for a new smart energy building at BU's Innovative Technologies Complex. He would also like to develop a high-tech incubator downtown.
"It could really help us bring maybe 10-15 new companies downtown, building some of the technologies we develop right at Binghamton University. Some of the best employees you'd have for a startup company are the students who worked on the project in the laboratory," said Stenger.
****In Binghamton, Jason Weinstein, FOX 40 News.****
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