Old DMV building may be turned into Jamaican-style restaurant

By Conor Mooney
By Perry Russom

May 7, 2014 Updated May 8, 2014 at 5:42 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Broome County legislators are considering a resolution to sell the vacant building and adjacent parking lot at 181 and 185 Clinton St. to a Brooklyn-based business, called Nash Reid Inc.

The resolution was voted out of committee on Thursday. Next week, the vote goes to the floor of the legislature.

According to a McKinney Real Estate agent on Thursday, the prospective buyers would turn the building into a Jamaican-style restaurant. The business would also house a full bar.

If the sale goes through, both plots would cost the buyers nearly $185,000, $35,000 higher than what was approximated in the county's budget.

Democrat Dan Reynolds, minority leader in the legislature, said $185,000 is closer to the fair market value of the property.

On Wednesday, before people knew the building could potentially be turned into a restaurant, some were worried that the buyers would turn it into a bar. Reynolds said people have expressed concern that the Clinton Street area already has enough bars.

"I understand that we're looking to make revenue here," said Broome County Legislator Tony Fiala (D). "I think though, the bigger picture, we have an obligation to our residents, our neighbors and our citizens to be very picky of what we'd like in there."

Now that legislators and the public know the potential business would be a restaurant with a full bar, feelings may change.

Broome County Executive Debbie Preston highlighted the positives of the likely sale.

“Not only are we getting more money than we anticipated for sale of the building, we are putting another property back on the tax rolls," Preston said in a statement.

The Republican added, "That increase in revenue, plus the fact that we won’t have to pay to maintain the building any longer, is a huge benefit for County taxpayers.”

Fiala said he plans on sending a letter to neighbors to keep them informed of what’s going on.