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March 20, 2014

Former Bresee's site is transformed

“It’s a great day for downtown,” said Oneonta Mayor Dick Miller on Wednesday at the start of an open house at the apartments at Klugo’s Parkview Place. About 75 people were on hand Wednesday for the event at 155 Main Street - the former Bresee building.

“It was the most challenging project in my life,” developer and owner Charles “Chip” Klugo, of Klugo Oneonta LLC, said. “This building will be a vibrant asset to the community.”

It was the first time that the 12 apartments on the top three floor of the building had been seen by the public. Tenants can start to move in Friday. Two of the three commercial spaces on the first floor of the building were occupied last year. A ribbon cutting was held for that phase of the project in October.

Several of those at the event were either renting or helping those who were — all who were interviewed were pleased with what they saw.

Barbara Markowicz, 90, is currently living at the Plains at Parish Homestead. She is looking forward to moving into her second floor apartment.

“This is beautiful,” she said when she saw her new living quarters. “It was so much more than I expected.”

One of the reasons she is moving is to be closer to downtown activities.

Looking around at the wood floors and the washer and dryer behind closet doors, “it’s fantastic,” she said.

Also on the second floor was Starr Hobb, 66, who, like the others, was seeing her apartment for the first time. She is a human ecology teacher at SUNY Oneonta and currently lives at Wilber Park Apartments.

“I can hardly wait,” she said about the move to Main Street.

Mary Beth Joseph was checking on the top-floor three bedroom apartment her in-laws will be moving into soon.

“I love it,” she said. “The whole thing is beautiful.”

She was looking forward to the many family dinners that will be hosted there.

Klugo said each apartment is unique and offers something different. The rents range from $800 for one bedroom, to $1,800 for the top floor three bedroom apartment. The tenants range from young professionals to retirees. Oneonta acting community development director Jeff House said he has been involved since the project’s beginning. It was very helpful that the state was so supportive of the project, he said.

“I’m extremely impressed by the craftsmanship and amenities,” he said. Listening to comments today, “I think it exceeds expectations. “

Miller said there is a tremendous demand for this kind of development.

“The city is working hard to find the funds” for further projects, Miller said.

The state provided about $5 million for the $6.14 million project. The effort began when title was transferred from the department store to the Otsego County Development Corporation in 2007. Klugo Enterprises became involved with the work in May 2011. The building was sold to Klugo Oneonta LLC for $400,000 in Feb. 2013.

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