The shriek of a saw and other construction noises echoed through the former Bresee’s building on Main Street on Tuesday morning.
But the sounds didn’t drown out the enthusiasm of Charles “Chip” Klugo, owner and real estate developer, as he gave a tour of the $6 million project site to a visiting business group and city officials.
The project includes renovations of two buildings — 1 Dietz St. and 155-165 Main St., the site of the former Bresee’s Oneonta Department Store, which is being converted into 12 apartments and three or four commercial spaces.
“We are on pace, on schedule,” Klugo said.
Two retail tenants have been secured for the first floor of the Main Street building, Klugo said, but he withheld names until arrangements were complete and he had permission to reveal their identities. A search continues for an anchor retailer for the building, he said, perhaps in the vein of clothing retailer Tommy Hilfiger.
“We’re trying to get the right tenants,” Klugo said. Later this year marketing of the apartments will begin and include open-house events.
Klugo said at least half of the first-floor retail space in the Main Street building would be available Oct. 1, Klugo said, with other space availability to follow, and apartments would be ready in the first quarter of 2014. Commercial rents will be at “market rates,” he said.
The Dietz Street building, which will have five one-to-three bedroom apartments on three floors, will be ready for occupancy Oct. 1, he said.
The family-owned and operated Bresee’s Oneonta Department Store, a retail anchor on Main Street, opened in 1899 and closed in 1994.
Klugo Oneonta LLC has been working at the site more than a year, and the developer purchased the property from the Otsego County Development Corp. earlier this year.
The former Bresee’s building is being designed for foot traffic that can enter and exit from the Main Street front doors or the back entrances to the 50-space parking lot on Wall Street, Klugo said.