Since Binghamton University’s completion of the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (SOPPS) in fall 2018, the Johnson City Revitalization Project has torn down old properties and replaced them to expand the Health Sciences Campus. LOFTS@JC, a new apartment building, is the latest building to pop up.
Praveen Kamath, founder and managing member of AOM Investments, purchased property in 2017 with the plan to tear down the then-existing dollar store and construct a new luxury apartment complex for young professionals, predicting that students at the new Health Sciences Campus would want housing closer to their classes than the heavily student-populated areas of Downtown Binghamton and Binghamton’s West Side.
The apartment building, LOFTS@JC, will be located at 128 Grand Ave., about a five-minute walk from the Health Sciences Campus, and is expected to open in August 2020. Kamath wrote in an email that he picked the location to serve students’ needs while revitalizing the area.
“I picked that location … in order to create a close, safe, secure housing complex for BU students and staff to reside in [and] to expand the oasis of modern development in the heart of the rejuvenation of once-desert Johnson City,” Kamath wrote. “I have spent the last several years focusing exclusively on servicing the housing needs of BU students, and plan to leverage my experience in Downtown Binghamton to provide the top end service, management, luxury and functionality that BU students have come to expect and demand.”
Kamath is a licensed attorney and broker who received his real estate finance certification from the New York University Schack Institute of Real Estate. After a career including practicing at a Wall Street law firm and later acting as executive vice president of a New York City real estate company, Kamath started his own company, AOM Investments, which is comprised of several investors from New York and New Jersey who pool their investments to fund projects, including LOFTS@JC.
The preexisting dollar store was demolished last May, and construction on the new building has begun. The apartment complex will consist of 24 units — a total of 54 beds. There will be six one-bedroom units, six two-bedrooms and 12 three-bedrooms. Each bedroom will come with a private bathroom. Kamath wrote that amenities and other services are being included in the new living space as well.
“Additional amenities include a planned fitness center, study lounge and storage area in the building,” Kamath wrote. “The building will provide a top-notch living environment, including stainless steel appliances, full furnished with couches, a dining area, 55-inch Smart TVs, bedrooms with full-sized beds and mattresses, desks [and] chairs, closets, an in-unit washer [and] dryer and more.”
In addition, Kamath said LOFTS@JC will provide building-wide internet, Wi-Fi and Stream TV, key fob entry systems and a secured, gated on-site parking.
Julia Napoli, a second-year graduate student studying pharmaceutical sciences, said most of her classmates currently live across the Triple Cities area, ranging from up the block from classes to Vestal and Downtown Binghamton. Napoli said she thinks the building will be a great and necessary option for students and faculty who attend the Health Sciences Campus.
“Having this housing option open, which is not even a minute away from our pharmacy building, seems like the perfect way to keep students connected, engaged and close by,” Napoli said. “Although I am not sure of the price of the building yet, if this is an affordable option for students, I definitely think that many of us will choose to take advantage of this optimal location.”