ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) -- Construction work is starting to get underway in the two vacant buildings on Baldwin Street in Elmira. 

The $1.5 million project is in the works to be transformed to both apartment and commercial space. There are technically two buildings included in the project. Property developer, Capriotti Properties, is just beginning the first stages of construction, which is mostly demolition on inside. 

"we're going to be removing certain walls, preserving a lot of the walls but removing some of the walls, taking down plaster, taking out all the stuff that kinda fell down with the roof leaking, and kind of preparing it for reconstruction," says Jim Capriotti, Owner of Capriotti Properties. 

While there had been some activity in recent years on the first floors, the upper levels haven't been used in over 60 years. Those will be turned into 11, larger-sized, market-rate apartments, with one and two bedroom options available. 

"The unique thing about this building, the distinct advantage of it over other properties is the fact it opens into the parking garage, when you exit the back of the building you actually enter into the East Town parking garage, so that's a nice feature," Capriotti says. 

A structural engineer has deemed the property sound, however, there is still a lot of work which needs to be done. 

"It is a historical tax credit project which means we have to keep a lot of the interior features that exist now, moldings, doors, location of most of the original walls are going to have to be in the same place so that's a challenge in and of itself," says Capriotti. 

The lower level space is designed for commercial use, with some ideas to create boutique options in one of the buildings. Right now, the timeline for construction has the project set to be completed by late summer of next year.