Some preliminary work is underway at a downtown Binghamton property where a commercial and residential building has been proposed.

Developer Mark Yonaty was at the city-owned site at Court and State streets Tuesday as crews began digging for tests needed before construction can start.

It's been nearly six years since Yonaty submitted a plan for a five-story building on the vacant southeast corner of the intersection.

Despite delays in getting the project moving, Yonaty indicated he remains committed to the project, which could include space for commercial tenants and apartments.

Mayor Richard David said he gives Yonaty "a lot of credit for sticking with this project" despite some of the challenges posed by the site.

Speaking on WNBF Radio's Binghamton Now program, David said not all of the debris was removed when the old O'Neil Building was demolished more than a decade ago.

A rendering of a building proposed for a site at 70 Court Street in Binghamton. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

The mayor said some of the material was left in the basement of the structure and covered with soil. He said the digging now going on is being done to ascertain exactly what's in the ground at the site.

David said with that information, the developer can break ground later this year on a $5 million 20-apartment building.

The mayor said he's "confident this will move forward."

Developer Mark Yonaty, left, at the site of a planned commercial and residential project in downtown Binghamton on February 25, 2020. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

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