|Photo: John Carl D'annibale|Times Union|
The first time around, in 2016, Sustainable Community Associates (SCA) was the chosen developer, and the plan was to create a mixed-use development that included residential, retail, co-working office and live/work spaces, "designed to LEED Gold standards, utilizing geothermal or other high-efficient heating, and maximizing passive solar heating and natural ventilation." Early in 2017, despite a visit from Chuck Schumer in December 2016 to announce his help and support, that plan was put on hold and ultimately abandoned.
A new RFP was issued in early October 2017, and by the end of November 2017, proposals had been received from four developers: SCA (the same proposal submitted before), Redburn Development, Kearney Realty & Development Group, and Bonacio Construction. SCA withdrew its proposal early on, and since November 2017, the HDC Board has been vetting the remaining three developers, assessing their financial security and viability and visiting projects they have completed in other cities. This vetting process, despite a show of little or no confidence from the community, is apparently continuing.
HDC has tried to reassure the community that the selection of a developer will be followed by six months of community-driven planning before a final plan is developed, but people aren't feeling reassured. They want to see up front renderings of what the buildings will actually look like. They want to feel comfortable that the development of this site won't have a negative, character-altering impact on the city.
HDC seems confident that the DRI (Downtown Revitalization Initiative) process produced enough public input to inform the development of this site, but members of the community clearly think otherwise. Perhaps we, like Troy, need a three-day planning workshop to create a plan that will then be presented to developers instead of issuing an RFP that defines "development goals" and leaves it to the developer to come up with the plan.
COPYRIGHT 2018 CAROLE OSTERINK