Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What Gossips Missed

While the voice of Gossips was working the special election at St. Mary's Academy last night, checking in Second Ward voters, former mayor Rick Scalera was making a presentation to the Common Council about a scheme to build a new facility for the Hudson Police Department and the City Court at the corner of Fourth and Columbia streets. The notion of building a new police and court building on that corner has been promoted before, back in 2005, when Scalera, then mayor, wanted BBL, the design/build firm that brought us the county office building at 325 Columbia Street and the central firehouse at 77 North Seventh Street, to build a police and court building there. This time, there's a new wrinkle. The four-story building, which will be built for the City by the Galvan Initiatives Foundation, will include 33 units of "permanent housing for formerly homeless adults." 

It sounds like Galvan is recycling the Starboard idea, pitched to the Common Council two years ago by Eric Galloway's other not-for-profit, the Lantern Organization, and withdrawn when it ran up against very vocal opposition from the community. This time, instead of putting the 33 units of permanent supportive housing over retail space on Warren Street, they're proposing putting those units over a municipal building on Columbia Street and sweetening the deal by solving the City's decade-old problem of having to improve its police and court facilities without having to spend a few million up front. One wonders, however, if solving this fiscal challenge by creating more low-income housing and having to lease the police and city court building from the Galvan Initiatives Foundation for the foreseeable future may not in the long run be too high a price to pay.

For details of this project, which is called "Civic Hudson," see the Galvan Initiatives Foundation blog.  


  1. This Property is owned by Lantern Group
    The Project at top says sponsors
    GaLvan Initiatives
    Lantern Group
    The Name at the bottom of proposal is
    Lantern Organization.
    109.44-3-28 Lantern Group, The 50,100 50,100 50,100 0 330 1 13800
    SWIS: 100600
    Tax ID: 109.44-3-28
    Status: Active Roll Section: Taxable
    Address: 25 Fourth St N
    Property Class: 330 - Vacant comm Site Property Class: 330 - Vacant comm
    Site: Com 1 In Ag. District: No
    Zoning Code: R4 - Bldg. Style: Not Applicable
    Neighborhood: 01021 - School District: Hudson
    Total Acreage/Size: 0.41 Equalization Rate: ----
    Land Assessment: 2012 - Tentative
    2011 - $50,100 Total Assessment: 2012 - Tentative
    2011 - $50,100
    Full Market Value: 2012 - Tentative
    2011 - $50,100
    Deed Book: C449 Deed Page: F1118
    Grid East: 684922 Grid North: 1246208

    Scalera must recuse himself on any vote
    on this project as he is on the
    but Scalera is not on Lantern Group Board or Lantern Organisation.
    This is a fiscal disaster for the TAX PAYER and a windfall for the land and building owners.
    Beware of pretty pictures.There is no grass across the street.
    There is River Studio building and Cannonball Factory Etsy
    on Columbia
    on the other pictured Grassy lawn
    is a residential home next to Helsinki.
    All of the frontage and proposed police garage
    is on dangerous trke RTE 23B/9G
    the DSS Housing will enter on Long Alley,
    across from entrance of elementary school on State St.
    The $551 rent per recipient,is what is allotted for shelter by State

    Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance ,Contract and grant Opportunities

    but each of those recipients will bring in far more money a month.

    This is Lantern's Group,or Lantern Organizations forte.

  2. This is disgusting. Get out the word so we can stop this disaster.
    Supportive housing (drug addicts, sex offenders, alcoholics and unemployed people---ie dangerous losers) crammed above a police station and court room?
    Beyond stupid. Reckless. If I were the owner's of Helsinki, I'd bring an injunction against the City of Hudson and Galvan, immediately.

  3. Is GaLvan, with no help from our taxes, going to build this civic multiplex with their own money
    completely on spec?
    Then there are the are the multitude of grant
    monies opened up involving City,County,State and Federal involvement for GalVan

    Not the taxpayer..
    For instance GalVan mentions
    breaks like
    New Markets Tax Credit Allocation Support

    New Markets Tax Credit Program which provides tax credit incentives to investors

    for equity investments in certified Community Development Entities.
    These complex, but lucrative, federal incentives can result in nearly $1 million of free equity to the project
    of free equity to the project sponsor for every $5 million of project costs..

    What is the lease to the city going to be?How long
    How much a year will GalVan take from DSS &.State
    Office of Temporary Disability Assistance Program?
    If this is a Pilot on private property,now on tax roll
    it will be taken off.
    So we Tax Payers will pay for a building to be built

    on private property
    and pay for a lease and GalVan conglomerate just makes money
    Did anyone just see the amount of money just made by Anthony Concra from DSS

    over 20yrs and counting at that dump at 25 RR and paid no school or property taxes?
    Why not empty the 1st four floors of Bliss towers
    and put all this in there?

    If Hudson will not re-purpose a building WE already own
    The least Hudson could do is build this on land WE already own

    that is already off the tax roll

    so we are not paying GalVan to lease to our own police dept and courts ,which is already a huge part of our taxes.
    Why would we hand over our tax dollars to Lantern Group,Lantern Organization GalVan Initiatives Conglomerate.

    I thought Lantern's

    mission under the" guise of GalVan" was to help Hudson

    GalVan had better be the ones that paid for those proposal drawings
    of absolutely no substance,that appeared this Tuesday after 500 PM 3/20

    and was brought before

    Common Council later Tuesday3/20 by Scalera

    What Hat was Scalera wearing at this presentation?

    GalVan had met with Mayor(Hallenbeck) and CC Pres Moore last week

    A week?

    after all these years and all the money wasted on any one of these projects

    this had to have been quietly in the works for a while.

    No wonder so quiet on HAVE INC. shelter proposal

    or is Lantern going to make money on both?.
    Common Council better be on its guard

    5th Wards and Mayor will want to push this through for sure

    Probably Moore given

    his track record,
    will push this

    Stewart and Patrilla

    were annoyed

    that Senior Center wasn't just pushed through regardless of LAW

    and Attn Roberts probably has all the papers drawn up.

    That just leaves a few Councilmen to

    make sure this doesn't just get steamed rolled

    and protect the interests of citizens ,neighbors ,


    and the LAW.

  4. low class sleeze - all of it - just so special - NOT

  5. The prostitutes of hudsons past had more self respect than this band of gangsters.

  6. Hudson may now be entering its Gilded Age of the Industry of Poverty with the titans of the business, GalVan. The problem with this kind of development is that once in place it will effectively never go away. Doesn't help what the new arrivals and New York Times writers call the Hudson Renaissance in my view.

  7. You hit the nail on the head, Jock--"once in place it will effectively never go away." If people improve their lot and no longer qualify for this income-based housing, they have to be replaced by people in the same straits, thus maintaining the status quo of poverty in Hudson.

  8. In the pantheon of terrible ideas foisted upon cities by rapacious developers, this takes the cake. When Scalera says cities across NY will look at this project, he's right, but they won't be doing anything but laughing at our expense.

  9. I responded to this on the post above, Of Interest. One understands that Scalera is on Galvan's payroll to "grease the wheels" but his lack of knowledge about what works and what doesn't work and to bluster that this is a model is alarming. Swope as the face of Galvan needs to get up to speed as well. Also of concern is the fact that Galloway, facing major opposition in the past, hopes to mute community opposition by staying in the background and letting Scalera/Swope be his public face(s). Neither has any first hand knowledge of what a "model" program for the formerly homeless looks like in 2012. There are many nonprofit housing developers in NY with proven track records and programs that have met rigorous evaluation criteria. Why on earth is Hudson/Columbia County sinking so much into one developer that has really bad press?

  10. Since I cannot post an image,if you go to
    GalVan Initiatives Foundation
    in Carole's Blog
    and look at Civic Hudson presentation ,fact sheet page
    Tuesday, March 20, 2012
    A plan to create a new Police Station
    and City Courthouse for Hudson
    and then go to
    Gossips Archives
    Sunday ,April 11,2010
    Not to Be Missed
    and( Click) on "flier "for the Starboard project
    You will see that the document fact sheets are identical ,except for photos of
    drawings have been changed
    and commercial space on 5th & Warren
    is replaced with Police Station and Courts
    Almost everything else is just recycled.
    Also of interest is Donald Moore&Eileen Halloran's" memo",which you can( click )as well
    as is Jamie Larson's article in that morning's Register-Star online about the building
    being proposed by the Lantern Organization for the corner of Warren and Fifth streets:(click)
    "Officials wary of proposed low-income housing development."
    GalVan does not mention anywhere, but I presume there will also be holding cells,
    lock up, contained in this Civic Multiplex ,somewhere.

  11. It is appears that the Common Council may go ahead and approve this project without asking important questions of Galvan/Scalera. Or, maybe they have asked those questions and citizens are not aware of the answers. They should be. For instance, has the Common Council requested a preliminary estimate of hard and soft costs? It appears that Galvan is asking for a $100,000 lease for 30 years. Based on what? What are the non cash resources and what percentage is it of full development costs? Construction costs are the highest of these endeavors. What is the per unit cost of construction? What is the local industry standard for these costs? Would a for profit be less expensive than a nonprofit (they often are). Next largest cost is acquisition followed by developer's fees. Per unit costs? Architect fees? Construction company cost? Most important -- what are the actual per unit costs in total? Who will syndicate the tax credits? It can take up to 10 different funding sources to finance these projects? For profits don't usually face those challenges. It can take up to three years to get such a project off the ground. Not so for for profits. Are there sufficient public subsidies to support this project, whatever it is? Will Columbia County provide a standard of reasonable guidelines for development costs or allow the developer to set the standard? Since Columbia County seems to think they need what Galvan is offering one hopes they do not shirk their civic responsibility to be heavily involved in following the money.

  12. I am an Alderman, Kate, and the first I heard of this proposal was Tuesday night. Im asking as many questions as the incomplete and seriously flawed MOU provides me the guidance to ask. A quick look at the numbers, the builders track record, the police departments opposition, the location, and this buildings violently incongruent programming, makes it appear to me that it doesnt serve anyone it purports to serve, except for maybe GalVan

    But here we are, on an accelerated schedule, so GalVan can make a grant proposal due April 1. I guess GalVan comes before the citizens, the council, and the police. I urge members of this community who can see this proposal for what it is, to write their Alderperson, the Mayor, and the Common Council President. We need to make our voices heard, or the oppurtunity to do the right thing, with one of our most important Civic structures, will be squandered.

  13. David, I remain unclear about the nature of the housing being provided. Is it affordable housing for working singles or is it permanent supportive housing for people with special needs? This seems to change depending on who is doing the talking. The NYS Consolidated Plan for 2011-15 has a goal of providing 540 units of supportive housing throughout the entire state/city/long island during during each of the five years of the Plan. Good luck with that! I assume that the State and the County have done a thorough needs assessment on the number of people that require permanent supportive housing in Columbia County. They are required to do so. Who are the formerly homeless who need this level of housing and care? What disability? Which entity will refer them to the housing? Who will manage the supportive services? Who will manage the building? The goal with all housing is to integrate people into their community. A shelter does not do that. Permanent supportive housing is not likely to do that. Involve the community wholeheartedly in a plan and there is buy in. Lack transparency and throw NIMBY around and citizens react negatively. Even though this project appears to be going ahead I continue to wonder why only one housing developer is in the game. None of this looks good.