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Big Lots on North Side in Danger of Collapsing

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The empty Big Lots Plaza on the north side of Binghamton is collapsing and the city is trying to redevelop the property with the help of Broome County.

The plaza has been empty since 2012 and the Broome County Land Bank planned to allocate part of an $805,000 grant from the Attorney General's office to the renovation. But after getting recent reports of the mold and ceiling damage in the plaza, the Broome County land bank would like to use the funds to help other projects. Binghamton Mayor Rich David approached the county about selling the property to the city for $1. The legislature will take up the matter at it's session later this week.

"We had required property assessments performed on the building. The findings came back and the results were surprising for all of us. We felt that moving forward with this project is not the best use of the grant funds for the Attorney Generals office," said Margaret Scarinzi, the executive director of the Broome County Land Bank.

"I thought it's just better now to consolidate and have the city move forward and work with the developers since we are the ones that identified this project, found the developers, and the county has been very supportive in our decision to move forward to make it a reality," said Mayor David.

The Mayor said the project would cost 3-4 million dollars to rehabilitate the grocery store. The Broome County land bank is waiting to hear from the attorney general's office how much of the $800,000 grant can be used to rehabilitate the Big Lots site.