Updated 12/05/2012 10:07 PM
City hopes report will continue to spur economic growth
In an effort to bolster Binghamton's economy, the city is starting from within. Downtown development has been a major focus of Mayor Matt Ryan's administration and as YNN's Chris Whalen tells us, a new report is serving as a road map to revitalization.
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BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- A drive into downtown Binghamton might not seem any different than it used to, but city officials say if you take a closer look, you'll notice the changes.
"We want to make sure that Binghamton becomes the best city it can and it's well on its way, so many people are making investments already. We see the results of the economic resurgence of downtown," said Binghamton Mayor Matt Ryan.
New shops, restaurants and infrastructure are cited as examples of growth that's already taken place and in order to continue the path of redevelopment, the city is using a new report as a guideline.
"We had people who had a stake in downtown and were committed to its success all participate, all come together and talk about what is the best way or what are the best ways, that we can improve our downtown economy," said Downtown Binghamton Development Co-Chair Sean Massey.
What the study found was those who live, work and visit downtown think the area has the elements necessary to make it a destination, but must also continue to add a variety of options for residents.
"They want a vibrant nightlife, they want stores to be open later, so they can shop in the evening if they want, so that they can go seek some entertainment, go to the Forum, go to the Arena, go to a play and then be able to go out after that," said Binghamton's Director of Economic Development Merry Harris.
Partnering with Binghamton University and retaining its students continues to be a goal of revitalization, that's why the city enlisted the help of BU for much of the research for the project.
"Since I live in the City of Binghamton now, I really feel that there's a lot of potential in building the community and bringing success back to the community," said BU graduate Jeremy Pelletier.
Despite it being a 'final report' on economic development, those involved say it's just the beginning of an on-going process that they believe will continue to grow.