BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- Two former Binghamton University students have announced a $2.5 million residential housing project, which will include a 20,000 square foot renovation of the historic 73 Court Street building.

More student housing has been added downtown through the years, but in the meantime, many Binghamton residents have wondered if any options would be built for them.

"Are these sorts of units and housing opportunities available for everyone else? And for a long period of time, the answer generally was no," said Mayor Rich David, R-Binghamton.

But that will soon change. Developers hope this project will help keep Binghamton growing, and increase its population.

"We're offering something that hasn't been offered at this scale before, and if we do that and we do that correctly and we execute at the level that we aim to, we aim to bring an entirely new set of individuals to downtown Binghamton," said Syed Ali, Fortress Development Co President.

The project will include 12 state-of-the-art apartments, featuring everything from in-unit movie theaters to built-in audio systems. 

Developers say Binghamton is thriving and they want to contribute to the growth.

"We're very thrilled to be a part of this wave. It's one which holds great meaning for the City of Binghamton, the Southern Tier at large, and one that we don't anticipate will be slowing down any time soon," said Adam Ibrahim, Fortress Development Co President.

A recent study by the New York Minute showed students who travel outside of their hometown to attend school are 80 percent less likely to live there after graduation. However, Ali believes the creation of City Center Lofts is a big step to changing that trend.

"It'll contribute greatly towards bringing in the right individuals that will contribute to hitting the critical mass to make Binghamton's downtown a thriving urban core," said Ali.

Renovations are scheduled to begin in September. The current space has sat vacant for more than 40 years, but developers plan on having it ready by early 2016.