A new owner is preparing to take charge of a historic downtown Binghamton building that's been vacant for several years.

The First National Bank Building at the corner of Court and Chenango streets was built in 1929.

Syed Ali of Fortress Development Group says his company is actively seeking tenants for the building.

Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News

The 29,000-square-foot office building has been owned by 95 Court Street LLC. The sale was brokered by Pyramid Brokerage Company of Binghamton.

Ali said his company in early March moved about 25 employees into office space at the site. He said the building is "drop-dead beautiful" with soaring windows and a range of special touches.

Ali said Fortress Development will be working with another local developer who has "exciting plans" to utilize the space on the street level for retail tenants.

The building housed administrative offices for Crowley Foods for several years. Some space also was used by Merrill Lynch until 2012.

Mayor Richard David said the city has pledged to support the efforts of the new owners to develop the building.

The First National Bank began operating from the building in 1929. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

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