Ribbon Cutting Celebrates $25 Million Transformation of Ansco Camera Factory in Binghamton, New York

Historic factory now a mixed-use property with 100 new market-rate lofts and 35,000 square feet of commercial space

Paulus Development, a Syracuse-based real estate development and management firm, Hueber-Breuer Construction, the Community Preservation Corporation (CPC), a leading nonprofit affordable housing and community revitalization finance company, and Empire State Development (ESD), today celebrated the completion of the revitalization of the Ansco Camera Factory, a historic property in Binghamton, New York that has been transformed into a mixed-use development. The Ansco Camera Factory offers 100 new market-rate lofts and nearly 35,000 square feet of commercial space on the building’s ground floor.

The building was opened in 1928 by the General Cigar Company and purchased in 1937 by the Ansco Camera Factory who operated out of the building until 1977. The Ansco Camera Factory was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2012. The redevelopment of the factory preserved its historic, recognizable features including its custom oversized factory windows, steel beams, and building signage.

Matthew Paulus, President of Paulus Development said, “At Paulus Development, we believe, ‘Great places are born out of great history.’ The former Ansco Camera Factory is one of many buildings in this community with great history. Not only have thousands of people in this community worked at this building over the course of its life, but it has also served as the manufacturing hub for two of the most notable industries in Binghamton history. When we learned about this great history, we wanted to help preserve and chronicle it for the community. For us, as a community developer, that meant going the path of a public-private partnership and using historic preservation. We are grateful for the opportunity to come into this community and preserve this building and for all the public and private institutions that have played major roles in helping us make this project come to fruition.”

“This development has rehabilitated a historic landmark and created a First Ward neighborhood anchor to support existing businesses and attract and retain young professionals. Matthew Paulus had a vision for this building when others simply looked past it. On behalf of all residents of the City of Binghamton, we congratulate Paulus Development on completion of this transformational project. The City was excited to be a partner and devote resources to make it a reality,” said Mayor Richard C. David, City of Binghamton.

 “CPC invests in projects that help bring new life into neighborhoods through housing, while honoring their significant history,” said Nicholas V. Petragnani, Jr., Senior Vice President and Regional Director at CPC. “Historic and former industrial buildings can once again be hubs of activity bringing new housing and economic opportunity to revitalized towns in New York. We are grateful to Comptroller DiNapoli and our partners at the State’s Common Retirement Fund, Empire State Development, Mayor David, and Broome County leadership for their collaboration and support.”

"The state pension fund's partnership with the Community Preservation Corporation is helping revitalize the historic Ansco Camera Factory and transforming this Binghamton community," said State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. "This joint partnership not only creates sound investments for our pension fund's more than one million members, it also benefits communities throughout New York state."

Erik Kulleseid, Commissioner of New York State’s Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation said, “It is rewarding to see these organizations come together to breathe new life into the historic Ansco Camera Factory. With the assistance of the Historic Tax Credit program, New York State is leading the nation in transforming underutilized buildings such as the Camera Factory to create much-needed housing and business opportunities, revitalize downtowns and preserve local heritage.”

 “The Ansco Lofts has brought new life to the former Binghamton Ansco Camera Factory. Redeveloping this snapshot from our past is the latest example of our efforts to reimagine former industrial sites as new community anchors. I’d like to express my sincere appreciation to the developers for keeping the Ansco memory alive,” said Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo.

 “This redevelopment of this massive building in Broome County with a ton of history is incredible,” said Broome County Executive Jason Garnar. “ANSCO Lofts are attracting young professionals to our area, helping fill jobs and making Broome County a place where people want to be. Thank you to Paulus Development for their commitment to our community and for being a great partner with Broome County.”

 “We are thrilled to have been part of the Ansco Camera Factory project,” said Broome County IDA/LDC Executive Director Stacey Duncan. “Ansco is a demonstration of public-private partnerships at their best. With this project, we’ve addressed a critical need for modern and professional housing, redeveloped a building that has contributed to a rich history of innovation, and spurred what we believe will be new investment in the city’s First Ward.”

 “NYSEG is proud to partner with Paulus Development and other community partners on this new and exciting mixed-use redevelopment project,” said Joe Rizzo, Manager of Economic Development for NYSEG and RG&E. “This project represents a transformational vision that honors the history of Binghamton’s past, while investing in its future. I’m proud that we were able to support this project and help make this dream a reality.”

The building’s new market rate lofts feature exposed wood ceilings and custom oversized factory windows allowing abundant natural light in each loft. Additionally, the lofts have hardwood kitchen cabinetry, hard-surface countertops, contemporary stainless-steel appliances and ceramic tile bathrooms. All floors are served by two building elevators, three stair towers and two separate entrances for residential tenants. Onsite amenities include underground and surface-level parking, a 24-hour fitness studio, a private community room, bike storage, state-of-the art security system and energy-efficient appliances and design. Additionally, this is a pet-friendly community.

CPC provided a nearly $20 million construction loan for the redevelopment. Empire State Development provided a $2 million Southern Tier Soaring Upstate Revitalization Initiative grant, and the project received an equity investment from Chase Community Equity, as the project qualified for Federal and State historic rehabilitation tax credits.

CPC has a long history of serving communities throughout New York State, providing construction financing for all multifamily housing types, including downtown revitalization, adaptive reuse, affordable and supportive housing, acquisition and rehabilitation of distressed properties and ground-up construction.

About Paulus Development

Paulus Development is a Syracuse-based real estate development firm that develops and manages authentic urban assets specializing in historic preservation, urban revitalization and adaptive reuse. Paulus Development believes enduring craft and high design inspire our communities to be creative and innovative and investing in underutilized urban properties can be a catalyst for change. Paulus Development is dedicated to the constant quest for excellence in our products and communities. Visit Paulus Development at paulusdevelopment.com.

About The Community Preservation Corporation (CPC)

Established in 1974, CPC is a nonprofit affordable housing and community revitalization finance company that believes housing is central to transforming underserved neighborhoods into thriving and vibrant communities. The company, which currently carries a AA- issuer rating from S&P Global, provides a full suite of capital products through its construction lending, Agency lending, and equity investing platforms. Since inception, CPC has provided more than $11 billion to finance over 196,000 units of housing, and is currently one of the largest Community Development Financial Institutions in the country dedicated to investing in multifamily housing. Visit CPC at communityp.com, and on FacebookTwitter  and LinkedIn.

Accelerating Southern Tier Soaring

Today's announcement complements “Southern Tier Soaring the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $4.6 billion in the region since 2012 to lay for groundwork for the plan – attracting a talented workforce, growing business and driving innovation. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Binghamton, Johnson City and Corning as a destination in which to grow and invest.

Now, the region is accelerating Southern Tier Soaring with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 10,200 new jobs. More information is available here.