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Renovation of Bresee building in Oneonta coming along

By By JOLEEN FERRIS

ONEONTA, N.Y. (WKTV) - After years of paperwork and results that the average person can't see, the massive renovation of Bresee's Department Store in downtown Oneonta is finally kicking into high gear.

"We're just now getting to the point where we're actually seeing construction, deconstruction, demolition and reconstruction so now is the exciting time," says Community Development Director Jeffrey House.

The plan is to restore the front facade of the building to the way it looked back in 1906. A Cincinnati developer is doing the work; more than two million dollars in government grants are paying for it.

Officials plan to start demolishing a 30-thousand square foot portion of the rear of the building in late August or early July. A partial roof collapse a few weeks ago means added, unexpected work. Workers will also have to remove some asbestos from the building. By next fall, city officials say it will be filled with life once again.

"We're looking at between seven and eight thousand square feet of retail space on the first floor and approximately 17 to 22 units of residential use in the upper floors," says House.

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