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BUILDING destroyed by OKC bombing reborn close by

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Fotis Bargeliotes' route to rebuilding the culmination of his life's work has been a circuitous one.

Bargeliotes had only been in The Athenian, a three-story office building he purchased after years of renting, for about three years when an April 19, 1995 bomb blast destroyed it and the nearby Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

``I put everything I had in that building,'' said Bargeliotes, who ran the popular Athenian restaurant as he renovated the 23,700-square foot building. ``My first tenant moved in January 1995. The bomb was in April.''

Since then, Bargeliotes has been trying to get his new office building constructed.

In 1996, looters stole checks from the rubble of The Athenian and began cashing them. Later, the City Council put off giving him $1 million in federal bombing recovery money after he received a $450,000 insurance settlement.

He eventually received the grant but the bombing memorial took the land on which his building stood.

Bargeliotes' new building is located not far from its original spot and stands three-stories tall with 30,000 square feet of space. It's new neighbor will be the new federal campus, which is under construction.

Bargeliotes and his wife, Fofo, decided not to resurrect their bistro in the new location. The time it took to get money to rebuild and the long hours it took to run the business convinced them not to, Bargeliotes said.

The new $3 million Athenian will have space available by early fall, said Ron Greenfield of Citi-Commercial Real Estate Co., which is handling the marketing and leasing.

The building will provide fiber-optic telecommunications capabilities and the latest security systems, Greenfield said.

Bargeliotes owns two other properties in downtown Oklahoma City.

The new Athenian ``will add to the looks of downtown and add to the revitalization of the area,'' he said.
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