Regency Sold

Binghamton, NY (WIVT Binghamton) The Binghamton Regency has a new owner and name.

The City of Binghamton signed a roughly $3.6 million deal with Binghamton Hospitality and Conference Center LLC today. The company is owned by Alfred and Alan Weissman who are based out of New York City. They are the same developers that are turning the former Marine Midland building at 20 Hawley Street into student housing. The city says Weissman is a good choice because he has the interest to restore the hotel, which will now be called the Binghamton Riverwalk Hotel and Conference Center. The Weissman's have already hired additional staff and promise to improve the quality. For instance, before the deal had been signed, they started renovating the grand ballroom. Soon the lobby and rooms will be made over and a state of the art fitness facility will be installed.

Alfred Weissman says, "It's a very substantial obligation that we've taken on to remove the residue of years and years of neglect. We commenced our work prior to our taking ownership this morning because we wanted to get a head of all the work that needs to be done."

The city thought it had sold the hotel twice before, but those deals fell through. Binghamton Hospitality and Conference Center is paying a million dollars up front and will spread payments out to 2014. Mayor Matt Ryan says it's a tough real estate market due to the recession. He believes the price is fair and allows the city to get out of the hotel business. "I think what really helped was seeing what kind of progress is being made on the 20 Hawley Street property. We knew he was somebody who would put his money into the property, which it sorely needed. This is a great hotel with great bones. It's been neglected for some time. We didn't have the money to put into it. We have an owner now who obviously is putting money into it."

The $3.6 million still won't cover the entire HUD loan bill from when the hotel was built and the city guaranteed it. The difference is a little less than a million dollars. Ryan says he'll be negotiating with HUD to give the city more time to pay off the loan, which had come due earlier this year before the agency extended the deadline.