The Agency officially broke ground on a new office building on the southeast entrance of the SUNY Broome campus earlier today. The Agency was joined by state and local officials and partnering organizations including the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce, the New York Business Development Corporation and Visions Federal Credit Union.
The Business Center at FIVE South College Drive is the first building to be constructed in Broome County for the purpose of collocating business and economic development organizations. This project is fully funded through a $4,350,000 New York Economic Development Assistance Program grant secured by the late Senator Tom Libous.
The Agency will be the owner and anchor tenant of the new building that will also house the Alliance for Manufacturing & Technology, the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce, Visions Federal Credit Union and the local offices of the National Development Council and the New York Business Development Corporation. The Agency has also included space to relocate its small business incubator, currently located in downtown Binghamton.
Discussion on a “one-stop” facility is not new to Broome County and in the past, there have been many attempts to create a single location for economic and business development in Broome County, but none have gone so far as to construct a brick and mortar facility. Agency representatives feel that this proximity is necessary for partnerships and collaboration.
“I think there is a great benefit to organizations like ours and the others simply by being near each other every day,” said Kevin McLaughlin, executive director for The Agency. “We all have different tools and resources and I think that this center will enable us to utilize our strengths and work more closely on driving economic and business growth in Broome County.”
Terry Kane, board chairman for The Agency acknowledged that this project will bring years of efforts to house business and economic development in a single location to fruition. “The idea of a one stop was on the table long before I became involved in economic development. It has taken nearly 30 years to get it done and now it is before us. This is not the end of the effort to bring so many together. It is the culmination of much work and many people coming together. Our hope is to use this as a tool for the community to once again reach its potential and provide for the residents of Broome County.”
The Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce will be an anchor tenant and active partner in the new center. A new move fits in well with the Chamber’s plan to rebrand and offer an array of new services for businesses in Broome County. “This groundbreaking is not only the celebration of a new building. It is the celebration of a collaboration between business partners to create business growth in the Greater Binghamton region,” says Jennifer Conway, President & CEO of the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce. “Experience shows that a regional approach to economic development offers the most advantages in building a vibrant and prosperous community. Our partnership with The Agency and the other economic development partners will be an incredible asset to our region – not just from a physical location of being located under one roof, but also what we can do together outside this facility to grow business in the Southern Tier.”
This project provided a unique opportunity for Visions Federal Credit Union to open a satellite branch at The Business Center and identify new partnership opportunities. Visions will work with SUNY Broome on opportunities to utilize student internships at their location. “Visions is excited to support the vision of The Agency and be part of the new location,” said Ty Muse, president & CEO of Visions. “We see this as a great way to expand collaborations with the tenants, Chamber members, and SUNY Broome.”
"We’re thrilled to partner with The Agency on its one-stop economic development center for Broome County, right here on our campus,” said Kevin Drumm, president of SUNY Broome Community College. “This makes it the first of its kind in New York at a community college and one of the few in the nation to be located on a community college campus. But it's a natural fit for the college, as all community colleges are essential to the economic development of their regions. The center will provide great opportunities for our students, our faculty, area employers and industry and Broome County’s workforce as a whole. It’s a win for everyone."
State and local leaders were on hand to celebrate the groundbreaking and stress the importance of having a central location to drive economic and business development opportunity.
“I would like to thank The Agency for all of the hard work they have put into the planning and building preparation for The Business Center,” said Senator Fred Akshar. “Making it easier for our local businesses to pursue the opportunities and assistance available to them will help speed up our economic recovery efforts overall."
“Creating real, lasting jobs for our region is one of my biggest priorities,” said Assemblyman Cliff Crouch. “The new Business Center will help foster job creation immediately with the placement of half a dozen new tenants in the building, one of whom, the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce, will also help continue to foster economic development to create even more jobs down the line. Working together with Senator Libous, SUNY Broome and the Agency, I am very pleased that we are finally breaking ground on this vital community asset.”
“This is one more step that is being taken at all levels of government to make it easier for people to start and grow their businesses,” says Broome County Executive Debbie Preston. “Having everything under one roof will save time and energy for the small business person so they can focus that time and energy on their business.”
“The Town of Dickinson is proud to be the Host Community to The Agency and we look forward to working with this very important organization as well as with the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce, Visions Credit Union, and Alliance for Manufacturing & Technology and all of the tenants in the building,” said Mike Marinaccio, supervisor of the Town of Dickinson.
The Business Center at FIVE South College Drive is approximately 17,500 square feet and will include two stories. It will be will be located at the southeast corner of the SUNY Broome Campus at the corner of Front St. and Lt. VanWinkle Drive. The building was designed by Delta Engineers and Fahs Construction will serve as the Construction Manager. Construction will begin on October 18. The Agency anticipates the building will be open in the summer of 2017.