Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Intel from Yesterday's HDC Meeting

Earlier in the day yesterday, before the DRI Local Planning Committee met at 6 p.m., the board of the Hudson Development Corporation had its first meeting of 2018. A few things happened that merit reporting.

In December, HDC was all set to submit, on behalf of the City of Hudson, an application in Round 5 of the Restore NY grant program. Funding in Round 5 was specifically available for "projects involving the demolition, deconstruction, rehabilitation and/or reconstruction of vacant, abandoned, condemned and surplus properties." HDC was applying for $1 million to complete the demolition of the Kaz warehouses, rehabilitate the site, and get it ready for redevelopment. The application was due on December 15, but it couldn't be considered for funding. One of the requirements for eligibility was to hold a public hearing. The public hearing was to take place on December 11, but the Register-Star failed to publish the required notifications of the meeting, so the application was out of compliance and could not be considered.

The proposals for redeveloping the Kaz site were also discussed at yesterday's meeting. Gossips reported in November that four proposals had been submitted. Yesterday, it was revealed that one of the proposals--the one from Sustainable Community Associates--has been withdrawn. That leaves for consideration the proposals from Redburn Development, the group that created The Wick Hotel as well as adapting historic industrial buildings into apartment buildings; Kearney Realty & Development, which has built a lot of subsidized housing, mostly in Poughkeepsie; and Bonacio Construction, which has created luxury apartment buildings, condos, and mixed use projects in Saratoga, Glens Falls, and Troy. The subcommittee of the HDC board tasked with assessing the proposals will be "looking at what they've done and where they've done it" and is expected to make a preliminary report to the full board in early February. The three developers will also be called in to address the board at a special meeting. It is anticipated that by March a "preferred development partner" will have been chosen.

Related to the redevelopment of the Kaz site is the acquisition of land belonging to CSX between the site and South Front Street. After more than a year, a deal has been worked out for HDC to buy the land from CSX. Sheena Salvino, executive director of HDC, indicated that HDC will purchase the property with a loan of $95,000 from CEDC (Columbia Economic Development Corporation). There is, however, some issue over the language of the purchase agreement, which the board went into executive session to discuss.

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