Monday, January 23, 2017

Last Week's News

The Common Council Economic Development Committee met last Thursday night. It was an eventful meeting, but Gossips didn't get around to reporting on it before the news of the meeting was eclipsed by the inauguration and the Women's March and Gossips' own seventh anniversary.  Today, we correct that.

Tom Rossi of Redburn Development was there, at the invitation of committee chair Rick Rector, to provide an update on the progress of The Wick, the hotel being created at 41 Cross Street. In introducing Rossi, Rector said he had taken a walk through the building with Rossi and declared it "just phenomenal." The interior of the building is "much bigger than you would think," said Rector.

Rossi reported that they closed on the building in September and started the interior demolition and asbestos removal at that time. They had now completed the structural reinforcement, the roof was almost redone, and the engineers and architects were finalizing the interior design. He told the committee that the project "was turning out even better than I had hoped" and they were working toward a summer opening. 

The plans for the hotel go beyond the building itself. A "high-level conceptual plan" for the streetscape on Cross Street with expanded sidewalks and "historic" lamp posts and for improvements to the Second Street stairs has been discussed with Mayor Tiffany Martin Hamilton. Rossi also said he wanted to see the Kaz warehouse buildings demolished before the hotel opened and indicated that Redburn Development has offered to pay for a partial demolition of the buildings. "There are big windows at the back of the hotel," he told the committee. "You can see the Catskill Mountains . . . and then the Kaz building."

Tom DePietro, chair of the Planning Board, was also present at the Economic Development Committee meeting, at the invitation of committee member John Friedman (Third Ward). When Rector asked asked for an update "on where we are on the Planning Board and the haul road," DePietro said there was "not a lot new to tell you." He repeated the information reported here before that everything received by the Planning Board relevant to the proposed haul road is either on the City website or in a box at City Hall where it can be viewed without making a FOIL request. "We are waiting to find out all the facts," DePietro said, "and then we make a decision." He went on to say that the Planning Board was "limited by what's the law, what's the process, and what's the city zoning law" and asked that "people in government show support by acknowledging this is [the Planning Board's] responsibility and support whatever decision they make."

When Gossips asked if the Hudson Planning Board was accepting the Greenport Planning Board's and Colarusso's position that the dock was not part of the project and would not be considered in the SEQR process or if the board was still challenging that position, DePietro said the issue was "still under consideration."

Photo: Andi State
Another person asked to be present at the meeting was Nick Zachos, now chair of the Waterfront Advisory Committee tasked with revising the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP). Zachos told the committee, "We've reorganized; we've got funding for a consultant to help us." He noted that "the point of an LWRP is that it is a community document" and promised "robust public outreach," with planning meetings and charrettes, would inform the revision of the document. He said he was now working on the RFP (request for proposals) for a consultant and suggested that Randall + West, the consultants who have been hired to assist the Conservation Advisory Council in their open space and natural resources inventory, might be a good choice to help with the LWRP since "what they are doing for the CAC has a lot of redundancy with the LWRP." According to Zachos, Randall + West have done four or five LWRPs. When asked how long it would be before the revisions were completed, Zachos speculated, "At some point in 2018, we could be submitting [the LWRP to the Department of State for review]."


  1. Question that has been nagging me: who is responsible for the Second Street stairs from Allen St. to the Wick? The report above implies it is the city. Is that true? Do the stairs sit on city-owned land?

    1. The stairs, which have been there since the 1850s, are maintained by the Department of Public Works. Unlike sidewalks, which are the property owners' responsibility, the Second Street stairs seem to have the status of a street. Old maps show Second Street continuing south from Allen to Cross. The Robert Taylor House has a Second Street address. I suspect that entire swath down the hill--the original width of a street--belongs to the City of Hudson. If I am incorrect in this, I hope our DPW superintendent will set me straight.