Newswise — BINGHAMTON, NY – The long-awaited Binghamton University MarketPlace will officially open for business Monday, Jan. 27, following an 18-month, $8-million renovation. A reception to celebrate the completion and opening will be held from 3-5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 21, at the University Union.

Starbucks (We Proudly Serve location) and Red Mango anchor each end of the new 15,000 square-foot facility, which includes 12 food stations and seating for at least 500 people. The Binghamton University MarketPlace is primed to become a true gathering place for students, as well as faculty and staff. The MarketPlace provides a variety of seating options, including a lounge area that features a two-sided fireplace that can be seen from outside the building. 

“The University Union and Dean of Students Office are anxiousto work with students to develop different ways to use the MarketPlace to make it an enjoyable destination for all members of the campus community,” said Binghamton Vice President for Student Affairs Brian Rose.

In addition to Starbucks (We Proudly Serve) and Red Mango, Binghamton University Dining Services by Sodexo will offer Café Spice, New York Street Deli, Garden Toss, Mein Bowl, Pandini’s, SubConnection, The Diner, Wholly Habaneros, and Close to Home with a pancake and egg menu for breakfast and a rotating lunch menu, as well as a Convenience Store inside the MarketPlace.

“Customers will be able to see their food being prepared with fresh ingredients,” said Binghamton Director of Auxiliary Services Pete Napolitano. “The dozen food concepts will provide variety and will be customer-focused.”

Once the new Atrium opens later in the spring semester, the University Union and University Union West will become fully integrated, connected spaces, said Rose. “The MarketPlace will lie at the natural hub of the entire facility and we look forward to it becoming a true community gathering, dining and meeting place in the image of great marketplaces everywhere.”

The MarketPlace also features 32 large-screen TVs, multiple Ethernet connections, WiFi-enabled and multiple charging stations, and touch-screen soda fountains featuring over 140 different Coca-Cola drink products and custom flavors.

How students, faculty and staff use the MarketPlace will determine how it evolves over time, said Rose. “We’ll see what is popular, how the seating works and how the students actually use the space,” he said. “We’ll make adjustments in operating hours and in other ways, if necessary, to maximize the number of visitors and increase the value it brings to the campus.”

In addition to the MarketPlace, the Binghamton University Bookstore by Barnes & Noble has undergone a renovation to include new signage at the entrance, a school spirit area, soft seating, new book return and buy-back area as well as a display window with enhanced LED lighting.