YUPPIE COUNTRY--Downstate money taking over Hudson may land in various sites including, at left, the church that Sedat Pakay may turn into a "no-alcohol disco." Center, Manhattan expatriates and Hudson real estate brokers Eric Valdina and Stephen Kingsley stroll down Warren street. Right, the home of John Ashbery.
The article is long, and I was hoping to be able to link to it in the Times Union Archive, but alas, the archive only goes back to March 1986. For that reason, I will transcribe parts of it.
Hudson? The Yuppies are taking over, of all places, Hudson?
"That's right," says real estate broker Irving Price, rocking back and forth on his heels, hands gently clasped about the chest, like a man hoping his incredible theorem will be challenged.
Call Hudson what you will--a [illegible], a blotch of urban decay, an old whaling town that later was best known for its bawdy houses and, more recently, not even that.
"Yes, you could have laughed off Hudson even three years ago," says Price. "But not today. Hudson's here, it's happening," he adds, tapping at a picture of a shabby duplex surrounded by ruin." A couple years ago you couldn't get $10,000 for a property like this. Today, it'll be a bargain at $40,000--if you can find anything like it on the market."
More typically what's in demand are Hudson's old brownstones and brick buildings in various stages of disrepair. Two years ago they would have fetched $40,000; today, they're going for $135,000--"and throw in another $10,000 if the view's good," adds Price. . . .
Everyone gains, the real estate brokers, expatriates, and businessmen say Hudson is on the edge of a boom as never before, longtime residents are watching their property values soar and, with the Yuppies here, so is business. The idea for a refinery down by the river has been dumped, the lighthouse has been restored and big things are planned for the waterfront. . . .
"Yeah, sure," mumbles John McCollough, as he chips away at ice on the sidewalk on shabby State Street. "It's great if you've got a house to sell and want to move out. But what happens to the little guy like me who was born here and lived in Hudson 49 years? They going to have a job for me? They going to pay my rent?"
McCollough says a third of the $620 he earns a month goes toward apartment rent. The building has been sold to a group of New York investors; soon it will be renovated McCollough adds, and he has been told he'll have to cough up $300 or move.
"Move where?" he asks. "Out to the sticks where the rent's cheap but there are no jobs?"
At Harold's Lounge, on the eastern end of Warren Street--the Fifth Avenue of Hudson [in 1993, Harold's Lounge was at 330 Warren Street]--bartender Hall VanWagner slowly shakes his head and sighs. "I'm fortunate. I have two jobs and can afford the rent," he says.
"All these (New York) City folk are tired of getting mugged, so they move here. They buy everything around and--whoosh--everything goes up
"Some of them just bought out the Jupiter store up the street. That's where a lot of Hudson people used to shop. It's cheap. Now they'll turn it into something fancy, and we'll have to truck on down to the Jamesway. Jamesway or to Albany.
"These City-type stores sure ain't for us," he says jerking a thumb in the direction of Willis & Geiger outfitters, where a safari jacket can set you back $175 and a hand-sewn grouse jacket costs close to $500.
"It's good news-bad news, I guess," pipes in an elderly patron. "This place was dying 'n' it was cheap. Now it's coming back. That's good. But we've got to pay the price."