Boscov’s is set to acquire the property where its downtown Binghamton store has been located for nearly four decades.
The Broome County Industrial Development Agency approved a move that would give the Pennsylvania-based company a two-year option to purchase the building at 11 Court Street. Boscov would pay a dollar a year for the option.
At an IDA board meeting on Wednesday afternoon, executive director Stacey Duncan noted that Boscov had been unable to secure state funding for necessary building improvements. .
Duncan said Boscov officials are now considering improvements to the site using the company’s own funds.
Binghamton Mayor Jared Kraham told IDA board members that he believes the option to purchase will make it easier for Boscov to secure financing to eventually purchase the building.
Although Boscov’s has operated the Binghamton store since August 1984, the building is still owned by the IDA.
For years, Mayor Richard David had said securing state aid would be crucial to keeping the downtown department store open.
David and Boscov CEO Jim Boscov met with state economic development officials in Albany in early 2019 in what turned out to be an unsuccessful attempt to secure funds for the renovations.
Last December, David said company officials held “design discussions for Boscov to acquire the building to meet much-needed improvements”.
Boscov’s operates the Binghamton store under a series of one-year leases, raising fears the company may decide to pull out of downtown.
Representatives for Boscov could not be immediately reached to discuss the IDA’s approval of the option to purchase the Court Street property.