City Orders Everyone Out of Historic Binghamton Office Building
The owner of a landmark building in downtown Binghamton says a city condemnation order for the property is "total nonsense."
Isaac Anzaroot says the action following an inspection at the former First National Bank Building at 95 Court Street is "an attack on me."
Notices stating that the "structure is unsafe" and "has been condemned as unfit for human habitation" have been posted at the building's entrances. The notices were dated May 11.
The city has cited issues with the fire alarm system and other hazardous conditions observed during an inspection.
The notices state people must vacate the building "within 72 hours." The Broome County Council for the Arts and law offices are among the tenants.
Attorney Mary Jane Murphy, who has space on the second floor, said she found the city's action "odd." She said "it's a nice building." She said Anzaroot has "really done a lot" to improve the property since he acquired it more than three years ago.
Murphy said she hopes she isn't forced to leave the building, which was constructed in 1929.
Anzaroot said "it's unfortunate the city doesn't want to work with me." He said he's spent about $2 million to improve the property since he bought it. He noted the place had been empty for several years before he acquired it and made renovations.
Anzaroot said: "If they want another vacant building, so be it."
Deputy mayor Jared Kraham said the city's directive is focused on the building's fire alarm system. He indicated the system must be functioning properly if the building is occupied.
This story was updated to include comment from Binghamton City Hall.
Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: firstname.lastname@example.org or (607) 772-8400 extension 233.
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