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Several Binghamton Main Street Buildings Get A Facelift

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Driving through the intersections of Main Street and Front Street in Binghamton, motorists may have noticed that things look a little different. Seven buildings in that area by the Court Street Bridge are in the process of being renovated with the help of a $500,000 New York State Home and Community Renewal Grant and $1 million in private investments.

"When I turn down this street instead of wincing when I come to this intersection," says Bob Murphy, Executive Director of the Binghamton Local Development Corporation, "It's kind of exciting. It's starting to really come to life."

The project includes 4 and 6 Main Street, two buildings that sit right next to the bridge. #4 is the building closest to the river with a deck on the side.

"Used to be covered in Tyvek, construction material for probably a better part of a decade," says Murphy.

Now, #4 has a fresh coat of paint, new light fixtures, and awnings. Murphy says there are tentative plans for it to be a BBQ place with live music. Inside the building, a loft was constructed looking down on the main floor, in the style of southern line dancing and music venues. Next door, #6 is retail space.

"We took out the storefront, tore it all out, rebuilt it to what it was originally," says Donnie Fry, a finisher with Tokos Contracting, who are doing the work on the project.

Fry says when they were cleaning out the former store, workers uncovered tin walls and ceilings. Those were restored and put back in place.

On Friday, crews were working in the upper stories of Peterson's Tavern. The second floor will be event space for the tavern, with the third floor being renovated into apartments. From the windows of Peterson's, you can see #13 Main Street, which is on the opposite side of Front Street. Murphy says the plan for that is to turn it into a rooftop bar and restaurant.

Other parts of the project include exterior work on Tai Time and the law offices of Paul Price. 

Fry says passerby frequently stop while he and his co-workers are on the job to say how much better the area already looks. Murphy says it's not just locals who have noticed. The Red Jug Pub, a popular hangout in Oneonta, Cortland, and Brockport, is opening a fourth location in the former Binghamton Optical building which is right next to all of these renovations. Murphy says the business was drawn to the area when they saw the investments in fixing it up.

The work is expected to be complete by the end of the summer.