City Can Begin Eminent Domain Action on Decaying Binghamton Plaza
At a press conference on Thursday, City of Binghamton Mayor Jared Kraham announced the City can now begin eminent domain proceedings on the dilapidated Binghamton Plaza on the north side of the City.
In a previous story on WNBF, Mayor Kraham announced the City's intent to take this action was held up by the bankruptcy court proceedings of Binghamton Plaza Inc. The owners of the plaza filed for bankruptcy in 2019, staying any action by the City. The City asked the court to grant an exception to the stay, as little progress was being made in the three years the case was active.
At the time of the original announcement, Binghamton Plaza Inc. owed $400,000 in taxes on the property, which had been reduced in litigation from the original $739,000 owed. On Wednesday, the bankruptcy court dismissed the chapter 11 case, clearing the way for the City of Binghamton to proceed with their eminent domain action to take over the property.
"Yesterday's dismissal represents an early victory and a significant step towards the City's effort to gain control of the long decaying Binghamton plaza and clear the way for revitalization here on the north side," said Mayor Kraham. "The City can now move forward with the eminent domain proceeding to acquire the property for a public good."
Mayor Kraham noted in his original announcement of the eminent domain action that the process could take 12-18 months to be settled. The City will be filing the eminent domain action within the coming weeks.
The City plans to work with the other business in the plaza on the future of the property. "My message was this, this is a long process, that we want to support their business," said Mayor Kraham. "A lot of these businesses have been in the plaza for a number of years and are providing a great service to residents. We want to put them in a position to succeed. And the current conditions of this plaza, they don't deserve."
The City ultimately seeks to demolish the plaza and remove the dilapidated asphalt parking lot as part of it's goal to spur new development in the area. Mayor Kraham also plans to seek public input regarding the future of the property.