Ground is broken for a new housing and commercial development on the North Side of the City of Binghamton on a plot that many had hoped would have a future grocery store for a neighborhood that’s considered a “food desert.”

Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News (file)

The former Big Lots Plaza is to become Canal Plaza, featuring 48 low-income apartments, a quarter of those providing supportive services for people with mental health issues.  The plaza also has room for 3 commercial suites.

Catholic Charities of Broome County is signed on to house its Encompass Health Home program at the site to help families with chronic health conditions work through the healthcare and insurance system.

The $20.5 million on West State Street is being funded, in part, by $4.7 million in New York State tax credits, $1.1 million in community development block grants, $12.8 million in tax credits from the state Homes and Community Renewal Fund, environmental and energy grants and a $100,000 grant from the City of Binghamton.

Mayor Richard David says the City is currently talking with parties interested in the other half of the four acre site that is still open.

Canal Plaza is projected to be open in 2020.