Mayor: State Bailout Needed for Binghamton Boscov’s Building
Binghamton's mayor said keeping the Boscov's store downtown is going to require state government money.
Seven months ago, city officials announced Boscov's had agreed to a one-year lease extension to continue operations at the Court Street site.
But Mayor Richard David warned then that the building's condition remained a key issue to keeping the department store open.
The mayor on Tuesday repeated his concern about the state of the structure. Speaking on WNBF Radio's Binghamton Now program, David said "that building is literally falling down and crumbling around the store."
The mayor said Boscov's officials are saying "we want to stay but we can't stay in a building that doesn't function."
Although Boscov's has occupied the site since 1984, the property is owned by the Broome County Industrial Development Agency.
David said efforts are continuing to secure state funds to make the repairs that would be needed for Boscov's to agree to a long-term lease extension.
The mayor said state assistance is "the only way that this is going to happen." He didn't say how much help from Albany will be needed to keep the store open.
David compared the Boscov's situation to the recently-announced deal in which the state provided $2.5 million for stadium improvements to keep an Eastern League baseball team in Binghamton. He said with Boscov's, "we want to do something similar."
The lease extension announced on April 30 was for one year.
Over the past couple of years, there has been growing concern that Boscov's officials may be considering moving out of downtown Binghamton to available space at the Oakdale Mall in Johnson City.
Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: firstname.lastname@example.org
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