Binghamton,NY (WBNG Binghamton) Work has begun on the demolition of Ellis Brothers Contemporary Furniture Store. The building caught fire three weeks ago and has since been awaiting answers for its future.
Peak Environmental, based out of Owego, is heading the demolition and was on site Friday afternoon.
Friday's first steps marked the beginning of a nearly week-long process.
Crews prepared for what's called "hand demolition," which is a way to take portions of the building down in a controlled manner.
Demolition involving heavy equipment could start as soon as Monday.
The only business on Water Street that will need to temporarily close is Nirchi's Pizza, due to possible safety issues as the building comes down.
City of Binghamton Mayor Rich David said he has high hopes that the Ellis family will rebuild its business in the city.
"They have expressed on a number of different occasions they want to stay in downtown Binghamton. Certainly their original hope was to rebuild and repair the building," David said.
Water Street will remain closed from Court Street to Henry Street until the demolition is complete.
After heavy demolition is complete, the opposite lane on Water Street, from Henry to Court, will open on the Boscov's side of the street.
The city said the demolition should take about a week and it will take roughly three weeks for all debris to be cleared from the area.