A $10 million improvement project is planned at Boscov's department store in downtown Binghamton as part of a deal to keep the retailer in the city for another decade.

The renovations and ten-year lease extension were announced Monday afternoon.

Mayor Jared Kraham said the five-story 250,000-square-foot building at Court and Water streets will be renovated. Key building systems - including electrical, plumbing and HVAC - will be upgraded.

The project will be funded through $5 million in state money, along with $2.5 million from the city and $1 million from Broome County. The city and county money is coming from funds received through the federal American Rescue Plan Act.

Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, Broome County Executive Jason Garnar, Boscov CEO Jim Boscov and Binghamton Mayor Jared Kraham on November 20, 2023. Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News
Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, Broome County Executive Jason Garnar, Boscov's CEO Jim Boscov and Binghamton Mayor Jared Kraham on November 20, 2023. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

Kraham said Boscov's will spend $1.5 million for other in-store upgrades, equipment and fixtures. He said the department store chain has agreed to a long-term lease extension with the Binghamton Local Development Corporation, which owns the building.

Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo said she was pleased she was able to secure state funding for the Boscov's project. She said Binghamton is "very, very lucky" to have a downtown department store.

Broome County Executive Jason Garnar said the agreement keeping the store in Binghamton represents a big victory for both the city and the county.

Jim Boscov, chairman and CEO of the Reading, Pennsylvania, company, outlined some key changes coming to the Binghamton store. He said the escalators will be replaced by three high-speed elevators.

Sales space on the fourth floor will be eliminated with plans to consolidate sales space on the building's lower three floors. Boscov said the fourth floor will be used for offices and stockrooms. He said the changes will be made "without losing a single square-foot of selling space."

Boscov said he believes customers "are going to find that much more convenient." He said the new configuration will be "a much more efficient operation for us."

The Binghamton department store opened in August 1984 after an aggressive campaign by then-mayor Juanita Crabb to convince Albert Boscov to set up shop in the former Fowler's building.

Boscov's officials had been working with city, county and state officials over the past several years to obtain funding for much-needed building repair work. The company had approved a series of one-year lease extensions as efforts to finance the improvements continued.

VIDEO: Jim Boscov, department store company chairman and CEO, talked about the future of the Binghamton operation on November 20, 2023.

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Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com. For breaking news and updates on developing stories, follow @BinghamtonNow on Twitter.

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