Paulus Development, LeChase Construction Services, The Community Preservation Corporation, JPMorgan Chase, and Partners Celebrate Groundbreaking of $40 Million Transformation of Former Endicott-Johnson “Victory” Shoe Factory

Revitalization of historic Endicott-Johnson Victory Building Project will create a mixed-use development, with 156 market-rate lofts and commercial space

Historic rehabilitation to create new beginning for the iconic industrial asset, helping to improve the connection between Binghamton University’s Health Sciences campus, UHS Wilson Medical Center, and the area north of Main Street in Johnson City

JOHNSON CITY, NY (March 3, 2022) Today the Village of Johnson City celebrated the groundbreaking of the Endicott-Johnson Victory Factory, hosted by Paulus Development, LeChase Construction Services, The Community Preservation Corporation (CPC) and JP Morgan Chase. The transformation of this historic and iconic industrial building will create 156 new market-rate lofts and new commercial space.

In attendance were: Johnson City Mayor Martin Meaney; Harvey Stenger, Binghamton University President; Jason Garnar, Broome County Executive; Daniel J. Reynolds, Chairman, Broome County Legislature; Stacey Duncan, Executive Director, Broome County IDA; Harris Weiss, Communications Director, Office of Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, and other esteemed partners and supporters of the project.

“This is a very exciting time in Johnson City.  We have been so very fortunate to have Binghamton University choose Johnson City to be the home of its Health and Science Campus. Now, with Paulus Development to come in and redevelop the Victory factory is a great victory for Johnson City,” said Johnson City Mayor Martin Meaney. “ This building is of great historical value not only to Johnson City but to the entire community. This will play a major role in the revitalization of our downtown area. While the transition from blighted property to a historical building filled with life is occurring, people will see that Johnson City is once again the “Home of the Square Deal”. We want to thank Matthew Paulus and all at Paulus Development for having the vision to save this important piece of our Village’s history.”

“Paulus Development is honored to participate in this historic community effort to transform the region’s most underutilized asset”, said Matthew Paulus, President of Paulus Development. “We believe the redevelopment of the Endicott-Johnson Victory Factory will further illuminate the tremendous economic investment and economic opportunities available within the Southern Tier Health Sciences and Technology Park.  We value our relationship with this community and look forward to contributing towards its future while honoring it’s great past.”

“The EJ Victory Building has a proud place in Binghamton’s history. We’re excited to partner with Paulus Development on this transformative project that will honor that past, but give the building a new life and purpose within the community,” said Bill Goodrich, CEO & Managing Partner, LeChase.

”As a nonprofit finance company, CPC is focused on investing in housing projects that make an impact in communities. The Victory building and other projects we’ve partnered on with Paulus Development help bring housing, economic opportunity, people and pride back to communities,” said Nicholas V. Petragnani, Jr., Senior Vice President at The Community Preservation Corporation. “Redeveloping our old legacy buildings helps expand high quality housing in communities, connects our cities with their historic pasts, and acts as a catalyst that draws new opportunity and new investment to the Southern Tier. My thanks to Paulus Development, LeChase Development Services, tax credit investor Chase, our lending partners at NBT and PathFinder banks, and to our elected officials for their support of this important project.”

The Endicott-Johnson Victory Shoe Factory was built in two stages in 1919 and 1920 for the Endicott-Johnson Shoe Company, one of the largest shoe manufacturers in the world responsible for nearly all the shoes and footwear for the U.S. Army during World War I and World War II.  The “Victory” Factory was named to celebrate and commemorate the U.S. victory in World War I. The 275,000 square foot Victory Shoe Factory was designed and built by Thompson & Binger, Inc. of Syracuse and New York City.

Having sat vacant for more than 40 years, Paulus Development and LeChase Construction Services will transform the significant legacy site into an anchor for the community’s revitalization.  The redeveloped Victory Building will recognize and celebrate the community’s historical importance in manufacturing while directly investing in region’s fast-growing educational and medical economies.

“This is a very good day for the Village of Johnson City. Since the days when the Victory Building produced thousands of pairs of shoes a day, it has become a very visible eyesore. I’d like to sincerely thank all of the private and public partners who came together to re-use this historic building for much needed housing,” said Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo.

“Binghamton University is delighted to see the historic “Victory” Shoe Building being renovated to meet the needs of the Johnson City community. The Victory Building Project is the next step in Johnson City’s renewal and continues the progress that was started by New York State and Binghamton University investing in our Health Sciences Campus. This undertaking will accelerate the transformation of Johnson City into a vibrant and forward-looking community, while respecting our region’s history and traditions. I look forward to seeing the completion of this visionary project,” said Harvey Stenger, President, Binghamton University.

"The redevelopment of 59 Lester Avenue is a massive victory for Broome County. Once a symbol of economic prosperity when it helped Endicott-Johnson produce millions of shoes, this property has become one of the community's biggest eyesores. Along with a number of other great projects happening in the village, the transformation of the Victory Building is a key component of Johnson City's revitalization. I appreciate Paulus Development and LeChase Construction for their commitment to helping Broome County breathe new life into historic properties like this," said Jason Garnar, Broome County Executive.

"Over the many decades that the Endicott-Johnson Victory Building has been vacant, it's become a terrible eyesore in our community," said Dan J. Reynolds, Chairman of the Broome County Legislature. "We're pleased to be able to partner with Paulus Development to restore this building in a manner that recognizes its historic role in the community and make it a part of the exciting revitalization happening in Johnson City. Thank you to Matthew Paulus and all of the partners who have come together to get this transformative project off the ground."

“Paulus Development continues to find beauty where others see blight. We are so grateful for their continued commitment to Broome County’s historic buildings, recognizing that you can preserve the heritage of our community while moving us forward into a new future. We can’t wait to work on the next building!,” said Stacey Duncan, Executive Director, Broome County IDA.

The redevelopment will contribute towards the Southern Tier Health Sciences and Technology Park regional initiative led by Binghamton University and United Health Services Wilson Medical Center to strengthen the economic collaboration and opportunities between the region’s medical, research and economic institutions. The investment into the community will bolster the region’s economy by creating an estimated 200 construction jobs, retaining and strengthening workforce talent in the community and encouraging economic growth in the future.

The new 156 loft apartments will include, indoor parking and new amenities - enclosed parking with additional surface parking available on the first floor. In-unit amenities will consist of energy-efficient, all-electric appliances, including in-unit washer/dryer. Shared amenities will include a fitness center, community room with outdoor patio, business technology center, pet station, storage,  commercial laundry areas, outdoor courtyard with grills and seating, expansive green space, and electric car charging station. On-site management and security will be provided.

CPC has a long history of serving the housing and community revitalization needs of cities and towns throughout New York State, and provides 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. In early 2020, CPC joined Paulus Development to celebrate the company’s revitalization of the Ansco Camera Factory, a historic property in Binghamton, 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.

CPC, NBT Bank, and PathFinder Bank are providing $31.6 million in construction financing. CPC is also committing $3.8 million in Brownfield Bridge financing, as well as $22.7 million in permanent financing. The project is receiving $9.7 million in Historic Tax Credit equity through Chase Community Equity, LLC. Broome County Local Development Corporation is providing $1.5 million in grant funding, and the Village of Johnson City and the Broome County IDA approved a PILOT and other tax exemptions to assist in the financing of the project.

 # # #

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 LeChase Construction Services, LLC
Established in 1944, LeChase prides itself on offering the capabilities of a large firm while maintaining the personalized service of a small firm. Today, the company ranks among the nation’s top contractors – providing general construction and construction management services in a wide range of industries and on projects of all sizes. With a dedicated team of talented professionals striving to deliver excellence, the firm has earned a reputation for quality, safety and integrity. In addition to serving customers from its operations across the East Coast, LeChase can provide resources to meet the unique needs of clients no matter where they are located.

About The Community Preservation Corporation (CPC)

CPC is a nonprofit multifamily finance company that was founded in 1974 to provide financial resources to stabilize and revitalize underserved communities. Today, CPC uses its unique expertise in housing finance and public policy to expand access to affordable housing and drive down the costs of housing production, advance diversity and equity within the development industry, and impact the effects of climate change in our communities through the financing of sustainable housing. Since its founding, CPC has invested over $12 billion to finance the creation and preservation of more than 220,000 units of housing through its lending and investing platforms. CPC is a carbon neutral company and has been rated AA- by S&P. Visit CPC at communityp.com, and on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.