New Life For Old Bresee's Department Store

By Lindsey Nesselbush

July 22, 2010 Updated Jan 17, 2008 at 11:25 PM EST

The city of Oneonta is breathing new life into a piece of its history.

It's renovating the former Bresee's department store, here on Main street.

The city bought the building back in September, and received a million dollar state grant to fix it up.

Tonight, the city announced its plans for Bresee's at this informational meeting.
The department store that was prominent in Oneonta for over a century, will become new retail, commercial and residential space.

"It was the life blood of a very vibrant downtown area. It's been totally vacant for close to a decade. And I think the turnout tonight shows how enthused people are at the prospect of rejuvenating the site," says Oneonta Mayor John Nader.

"I think it would build the economy up. I mean people would be coming back to this area. And if you have apartments there, you've got people more than happy to shop downtown," sasy Molly Swain of the Greater Oneonta Historical Society.

The state grant is part of Governor Spitzer's City by City plans to boost upstate economies.

Oneonta will also use city and county funds to pay for the project.

It will start looking for possible developers next week, and hopes to choose one by March.

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