Ribbon cutting marks another milestone for new Bresee's building

By Matt Porter

October 15, 2013 Updated Oct 15, 2013 at 6:28 PM EDT

Oneonta, NY (WBNG Binghamton) It's been almost 20 years since the well-known Bresee's Department Store shuttered its doors, leaving a hole in the city's downtown.

Developers said at the building's ribbon cutting that the new space will feature 12 new apartments ranging from 650 to more than 2,000 square feet.

The upper floor apartments will also feature rooftop decks.

The more than $6 million project received $2.2 million in funding from the state's Restore New York grant program.

New York State Senator James Seward (R-51st) said the investment into the property has more than met his expectations.

"This has taken a downtown anchor department store which has been closed since 1994," Seward said. "And to see it get new life, restored. Just as the name of the program says, restore not only this building, but the entire downtown region in Oneonta."

Oneonta resident Dick Breuninger said he's glad to finally see something done with the dilapidated property.

"The sadness was it sat here for several years, I've lost track of how many. It just sat here," Breuninger said. "And that was a big hole here on Main Street."

Developer Charles Klugo said he already has many of the apartments rented.

He said he has already seen his investment spread through the downtown.

"We're seeing some other investments on the street that are starting up. And this is what I wanted to do is to create a ripple effect for quality housing," Klugo said.

New retail space has already begun opening up and residents will be able to move into the apartments in March 2014.