COVID-19 has changed the fabric of daily life in America, reshaping our communities and how we think about the future.
The rise of remote work means people, increasingly, can live anywhere.
So when it isn’t a job that drives a person’s decision on where to live, what is it?
In Binghamton, we’re seeing those answers play out. People relocating to our community are drawn by a vibrant, affordable city with a lively downtown and inviting neighborhoods.
Public and private investments are raising Binghamton’s appeal as an ideal place to live. At Binghamton’s City Hall, we’re advancing projects to make our downtown more walkable and attractive, build quality housing for people of all ages and incomes, and support the small businesses that help our city thrive. We’re also focused on the basic quality-of-life issues that drive resident satisfaction, like increased public safety, park upgrades, and new infrastructure.
Here’s a glimpse at some of those recent investments and a look at what’s on the horizon:
This spring, the City of Binghamton is putting the finishing touches on the first phase of a multi-million-dollar project to create a Downtown Arts District. Built around Artists’ Row, a part of the city known for its art galleries and monthly First Friday Art Walk, the project has transformed the area by narrowing the road, improving stormwater management, installing new sidewalks and curbs, and adding streetscape improvements like new signage, landscaping, and lighting.
The Downtown Arts District is anchored by the Forum Theatre, home to Broadway in Binghamton and the Binghamton Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as popular restaurants like 205 Dry, a 1920s style speakeasy, and Social on State, a staple on the street celebrating its 10-year anniversary this year. Shops like Old Barn Market, offering gluten-free baked goods and local meat and produce, and the Artisan Gallery, selling wares from local artists, attract people from across the area. This makes the Downtown Arts District a one-stop shop for dining, entertainment, and retail activity.
With phase one complete, we are looking ahead to phase two, which will expand the bounds of the district and encourage additional private investment in this important node for culture and entertainment.
A short walk from the Downtown Arts District is Mirabito Stadium, home of minor league baseball’s Binghamton Rumble Ponies. Fans have recently seen greats like Max Scherzer and Brett Baty — stars of the Rumble Ponies’ major-league parent, the New York Mets.
The City of Binghamton recently completed a Stadium District master plan for the area around the public ballpark and is advancing plans to reimagine the neighborhood. Design will begin soon on a road diet and improvements to make the area more pedestrian-friendly. We are seeking to realize the vision of a walkable, connected city with convenient and pleasant access to the ballpark and nearby attractions such as Amici’s, an intimate pizza and pasta restaurant, and DiRienzo Brothers Bakery, a family owned and operated deli and production bakery.
The city’s emphasis on the Stadium District is already attracting private investment, with a $24 million mixed-use Stadium Lofts housing project in the works and plans for a local food-truck festival to move adjacent to the stadium this summer.
Beyond major investments, Binghamton is also moving the needle in small but impactful ways that improve the lives of residents and visitors. Whether it be the launch of a $500,000 program to support local businesses in improving their storefronts, investments in youth sports facilities at our many beautiful parks, or a taskforce to improve downtown refuse pickup, the City of Binghamton is constantly looking to make investments that raise our community’s profile.
Part of the draw of the Greater Binghamton area has always been its central location at the intersection of major interstate highways and its proximity to several major metro areas. But now more than ever, the appeal is Binghamton itself, with everything that makes it a great place to live and work.
Mayor Jared M. Kraham was sworn into office as Binghamton’s 51st mayor — and at 30 years old, the youngest mayor in city history — on Jan. 1, 2022. He had served as deputy mayor since 2014. Contact Kraham at MayorKraham@cityofbinghamton.gov.