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Local News

January 30, 2013

Developer looks to future of former Bresee's


Lewis said she hopes the community realizes the significance of the project, and that it is on schedule.

In the IDA-approved payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement, the assessment for the project is set at $1 million for 15 years, with a 90 percent tax abatement for the first and second years, then a reduction by 10 percent annually, Lewis said. The abatement, which applies to city, county and school district taxes, is zero percent in years 11 through 15, she said.

Previously, Mayor Dick Miller said the $6.2 million redevelopment of the former Bresee’s store building and property at 1 Dietz St. will be “an enormous, positive boost for downtown.’’

The Oneonta Planning Commission approved site plans for the project in September, and in October, the Common Council gave the PILOT a green light.

The family-owned and operated Bresee’s Oneonta Department Store opened on Main Street in Oneonta in 1899 and closed in 1994.

The city of Oneonta purchased the complex between Main and Wall streets in 2007 and transferred the title to the OCDC, a nonprofit economic development group with ties to county and city governments. The bulk of funding for the redevelopment project is several state grants.

A firm hired in 2008 to develop the property didn’t meet OCDC’s expectations, and its contract wasn’t renewed. Klugo Enterprises, which committed $800,000 in capital, signed an agreement with OCDC in 2011.

Some facade work in the former Bresee’s building was done last winter, Klugo said, and asbestos abatement and demolition work started in spring and was completed in September, in time to zip up the building for work this winter.

A large rectangular opening awaits an elevator that will run from the first floor to the “penthouse’’ fourth floor, Klugo said. The shaft is feet away from an original staircase made early in the last century of red oak, he said, and boasting most of its original banisters.

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