The Agency was joined by Broome County and Town of Union officials on October 20, 2022 to announce the demolition of the former IBM Country Club located at 4301 Watson Boulevard in the Town of Union. LeChase Construction, Delta Engineers and Gorick Construction will oversee the demolition of the extremely blighted property. Demolition of the property is expected to take eight-to-ten weeks and will make ready the site for a new affordable housing project by Conifer / LeChase. The team of Conifer / LeChase was selected by The Agency in 2021 following a request for proposals. Agency officials selected the LeChase Construction to oversee the demolition project including consultation with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) to obtain the proper approvals to move forward with the project.
“While we greatly value the history of the former IBM Country Club, it is time to create a new future at this site,” said Stacey Duncan, CEO of the Leadership Alliance which includes The Agency. “I’m grateful for the support of Broome County and the Town of Union as well as SHPO to recognize that we needed a collaborative approach to advance this much needed redevelopment.”
As part of the year-long process to receive the necessary approvals from SHPO, The Agency and LeChase identified opportunities to preserve as many artifacts as possible from the former country club. Several items were salvaged and donated to the Endicott Heritage Museum. The Agency and LeChase successfully worked with Broome County and the Town of Union to offer a “get a brick” day on November 17, 2022 for community members who would like to keep a piece of the historic Crocker Homestead. The remaining bricks are to be incorporated into the final project.
"For many years, the IBM Country Club was a place where families could gather and where longtime friendships were formed. Many of us made memories there that we will carry throughout our lifetimes," said Broome County Legislature Chairman Dan J. Reynolds. "Unfortunately, flooding and years of neglect decimated the facility and it became dilapidated, dangerous and one of the worst eyesores in Broome County. This demolition will pave the way for a new high quality affordable housing development that will represent the resilience of our community for years to come."
"Today marks the beginning of a new chapter for a place that has sadly become one of Broome County's biggest eyesores. Thousands of families in our community have fond memories of the former IBM Country Club and with the work that is about to start here this will once again be a place we can be proud of. Thank you to our partners on the County Legislature, Town of Union, the Agency, LeChase, & Conifer for working with us on this important project," said County Executive, Jason Garnar.
“The Town of Union is pleased to see this blighted area given new life. While we recognize that we are losing a piece of our history in the demolition of this building, we are beginning a new history for this area. Our preceding days will live on in our memories, but we are making a conscious decision to move into the future rather than dwell in the past,” said Town of Union Supervisor Rick Materese
Projects such as these would not be possible without the support of public-private partnerships. The Agency purchased the building in 2021 and Broome County and the Town of Union are supporting the project with $2 million in funding for the demolition, which is often a cost-prohibitive barrier for development efforts. The redevelopment of the former IBM Country Club will address a long-term goal shared by both the County and The Agency by providing the area with high quality affordable housing to support the growth of our communities. A groundbreaking for the housing project with Conifer/LeChase will be planned for late spring 2023.