If you've been wondering what it's like to live in downtown Binghamton, a weekend showcase might just give you a taste of that lifestyle. Our Melissa Kakareka tells us what we might see during the city's second Downtown Living Tour this Saturday.
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- Doug Camin has lived in a downtown Binghamton loft on Court Street since 2004.
"I have a very good view. Right from my window, I've watched all the different things that have changed over the years: Buildings come and go, the streets change, the kids and students as they change," said Camin.
His apartment is one of many that will be on display this Saturday when the city holds its second Downtown Living Tour. More than 200 people participated in the tour last year and city officials are hoping to continue the event's success this year.
The tour starts at 89 Court Street, where $20 tickets and directions will be available at 1 p.m. Saturday. As you walk the self-guided tour, you'll be able to see all that living and visiting downtown Binghamton has to offer and will be able to see a dozen downtown lofts and living spaces on Court Street and the rest of downtown Binghamton.
"I really think there's a lot of people who haven't been in downtown Binghamton in a long time, they have an antiquated notion of what it's like, so something like this can bring people downtown and they can see that it’s a totally different place," said Binghamton Director of Economic Development Merry Harris.
"We're very proud to have this event in our city. I think it shows people that there is really an urban revival going on," said Binghamton Mayor Matt Ryan.
Tour guides from the Preservation Association of the Southern Tier will be available at each location to discuss the history and architecture of each building. In addition to showcasing the living spaces and drawing people into the downtown area, city officials are also hoping the tour will inspire more developers to continue building apartments in downtown Binghamton.
"Part of my goal is to build up a sense with developers that there is a real market for this, for adult housing downtown, young professionals and empty nesters and in between," said Harris.
Officials say the demand for downtown living continues to grow as the city does.
Proceeds from the tour benefit the Preservation Society of the Southern Tier. People can also pre-register for the tour on the PAST website at pastny.org.