Downtown Binghamton is Changing
They say change is inevitable. Whoever 'They' are. I don't think I've ever met a 'They.' Regardless, the saying is correct. Nothing (well, almost nothing) stays the same.
If you are like me, the older we get, the less we like change. We're now saying things that our parents and grandparents said - "We miss the good old days." But were those "good old days" so good? It depends on what you're referring specifically to, I guess.
Downtown Binghamton did have some good old days. We've seen the pictures of downtown from decades ago when the streets were full of horse drawn carriages, trollies and vehicles. The sidewalks were full of people and all the storefronts were filled with businesses.The later decades of the 1990s and early 2000s have seen less businesses, foot traffic and busy streets.
Well if you haven't noticed, that's been slowly changing. I work downtown, and up until the past couple of years, l could park just about anywhere in the State Street parking ramp. Now, the ramp is almost full each day. That's a good sign. Yes, many are downtown workers, put there has been quite an influx of University students parking in the ramp along with people coming into town to visit all the various businesses.
We've gained quite a bit of student housing downtown, and that in turn encourages new businesses to start up or relocate to the area. For example, we have four new businesses that have put down roots in the past year right across from our radio station where the Dollar General used to be. They must see the positive transformation, otherwise, why take a chance.
New restaurants are everywhere. It's not hard to find several great places to eat for lunch and/or dinner. I like the variety of offerings from full service restaurants to deli's to places for a good slice of pizza. We have microbreweries, a huge department store (Boscovs), re-location of a major furniture store (Ellis Brothers), and the list continues to grow.
Even on weekends, where in the past it was a ghost town, I have noticed how busy downtown Binghamton has become. And of course, there's always plenty of nighttime activity, along with sporting events, concerts and specialty events at the Arena and NYSEG Stadium.
Even our owners, Townsquare Media are committed to downtown Binghamton. Our group of five radio stations have been in the downtown area for many decades, and have no interest in moving out.
If you have avoided downtown Binghamton because of its recent past, I suggest you come visit and see the transformation that's still underway. Change is good!