The owner of the former First National Bank building in downtown Binghamton said he sealed the structure following a series of death threats, burglaries and vandalism.
Windows on the first and second floors of the historic structure near the Court Street roundabout were boarded up from the inside of the building in recent days.
Isaac Anzaroot said he's received dozens of telephoned threats of violence directed at him and his family.
Anzaroot said the First National Bank building has been broken into several times. He said in late January, police arrested a man who was found inside the building.
Anzaroot said the man "busted down a door" to gain entry. He said the intruder damaged offices and computer equipment.
Anzaroot, who owns dozens of properties in and around Binghamton, said he was concerned about the security of the historic bank building, so he decided to board the place up.
A building at 159 Conklin Avenue which was owned by Anzaroot was ordered torn down by city officials after it was heavily-damaged by an arson fire.
Anazroot said as many as ten fires have been set in recent months in buildings he owns in Binghamton. He said he believes there's a campaign "to push me out of town." But he said "I'm not going without a fight."
A year ago, the city code enforcement office condemned the First National Bank building after an inspection found several hazardous conditions.
The condemnation notices have been removed. In an email, deputy mayor Megan Heiman wrote: "The City has not rescinded the condemnation."
All of the tenants who had occupied space in the building were forced to move out because of the city's action.
The building, which was constructed more than 90 years ago, is listed for sale with an asking price of about $4 million.
Last July, Anzaroot told WNBF News he was considering tearing down the the vacant structure. Jared Kraham, who was deputy mayor at the time, said: "It can't happen." In an email, he wrote: "There is no mechanism for demolition of a local landmark. Despite Mr. Anzaroot's statements, no demolition permit could be issued for the building."
A Closer Look at the Binghamton First National Bank Building
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