In 2008, the New York State Housing Trust Fund Corporation’s Office of Community Renewal (NYSOCR) awarded over $8.5 million in NY Main Street Program funds to assist communities across New York State in addressing Main Street and downtown revitalization efforts. On August 7, 2008, the NYSOCR awarded $200,000 of these grant funds to the Binghamton Local Development Corporation. The purpose of the New York Main Street Grant was to encourage local partnerships in order to help stimulate investment to expand commercial and residential development, affordable housing, provide job opportunities, and create a sense of place to improve the quality of life for community residents. In receipt of these grant funds, the BLDC has been able to effectively carryout these objectives by placing a strong emphasis on the revitalization and economic development of downtown Binghamton.
Through the NYS Main Street Grant Program, the BLDC has made a significant impact in the historical revitalization of commercial and mixed-use properties along the target area of this grant: Washington between Hawley Street and Court Street (Gorgeous Washington Street) and the intersection of Main and Front Streets. These revitalization efforts include: nine commercial building façade improvements, thirteen commercial interior renovation projects, five residential interior renovations projects, and streetscape improvements (three information kiosks/signs). As a result of utilizing the entire $200,000 in NYS Main Street Grant funds, the BLDC was able to leverage an additional $459,972.07 in private investment. These projects represent an effective collaborative partnership among property owners, local contractors, engineers, design companies, and interdepartmental staff within the City of Binghamton. Collectively, these projects have helped to improve the aesthetic of the downtown area of Binghamton, thereby, creating a sense of community pride, produced over a dozen jobs for local construction companies, engineers and design companies, and paved the way for opportunities to obtain affordable housing and increased capacity for economic development.