Binghamton Regency Hotel and Conference Center sold

Binghamton, N.Y. — Binghamton Hospitality & Conference Center has bought the Regency Hotel and Conference Center for $3.625 million, a move Binghamton city officials hope will reinvigorate the troubled downtown business.

The new ownership team is headed by Alfred Weissman, whose real estate firm Alfred Weissman Real Estate Inc., also owns 20 Hawley Street, a distinctive black-steel-glass structure located next to the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena that the firm is developing as student housing.

The deal for the hotel was announced Wednesday at a news conference, about an hour after the city and the Weissman firm closed on the purchase agreement.

The 205-room hotel will have a new name — Binghamton Riverwalk Hotel and Conference Center — and undergo an extensive renovation, said Weissman, company president.

Under the agreement, the Weissman firm will make an initial payment of $1 million to the city. The firm will then make structured payments through 2014, Mayor Matthew T. Ryan said. The city filed a deed in April to resume ownership of the hotel after the former owner, NJDV Hospitality, embroiled in bankruptcy proceedings, did not make a final payment to the city.

The sale price is about $3 million less than the $6.5 million NJDV Hospitality was set to pay on the hotel before filing for bankruptcy in October 2009. The price reflects the reality that the hotel market has deteriorated over the past several years, Ryan said.

Binghamton had "several offers" but chose Weissman because of the firm's good track record in redeveloping other properties, and its plan to spend money to renovate the old Regency into "a first-class hotel," Ryan said