A New Jersey man is working to improve part of a blighted area near a Main Street gateway into Johnson City.

Ben Locke has plans to renovate a vacant three-story building at 6 Main Street Terrace. The renovated structure is expected to include three one-bedroom, three two-bedroom and three three-bedroom apartments. Work to gut the interior of the building recently began

The east side of a vacant building at 6 Main Street Terrace on January 12, 2023. Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News
The east side of an empty apartment house at 6 Main Street Terrace on January 12, 2023. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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Locke had intended to demolish a neighboring three-story structure at 78 Main Street. But he now is looking at the feasibility of saving the building. He said engineers will inspect it to determine if it would be possible to rehabilitate it and make several more apartments available. If that structure can't be renovated, it will be taken down to provide parking for the tenants in the adjacent building.

Locke said he also has just acquired another nearby property. The vacant building at 29-31 Carhart Avenue is to be removed to provide parking.

This structure at 29-31 Carhart Avenue is to be demolished to provide a parking area. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
This structure at 29-31 Carhart Avenue is to be demolished to provide a parking area. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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The total cost of the project now is estimated at $375,000. The goal is to develop market-rate apartments that would be attractive to professionals who work in the area.

Locke has acquired and renovated apartment buildings in Binghamton in recent years.

This vacant building at 78 Main Street will be evaluated by engineers. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
This vacant building at 78 Main Street will be evaluated by engineers. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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Johnson City Mayor Martin Meaney said he believes the project will be good for the village. He noted that area has "been blighted for some time."

A long-time business next to the Johnson City apartment project site also is making plans to spruce up the exterior of its building. A representative of Shaul's Appliance at 72 Main Street said work on its renovation project should start in March.

WATCH: A walk through the area of the planned work off Main Street in Johnson City.

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Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com or (607) 545-2250. For breaking news and updates on developing stories, follow @BinghamtonNow on Twitter.

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