Saturday, September 15, 2018

South Side, North Side

The development of the Kaz warehouse site on the city's south side, adjacent to The Wick Hotel and within view of the train station and Henry Hudson Riverfront Park, is, after two and a half years, stalled indefinitely, with no clear path forward except perhaps pursuing eminent domain to acquire the CSX property, considered critical because it gives the site access to South Front Street. Community concern about the project and its impact on the character of the city and the perceived lack of transparency in the development process being carried out by HDC (Hudson Development Corporation) brought a halt to the project back in May. 

Meanwhile, on the north side of town, HHA (Hudson Housing Authority) is pursuing its plan to construct 80 units of new housing at State and North Second streets, just across from Bliss Towers. 

The project involves two buildings: one for seniors and another mixed income building for families earning between 30 and 80 percent of area median household income. The co-developers involved in the project are Duvernay + Brooks and PRC (Property Resources Corporation). The architect of record is Peter Clements, director of design and construction for PRC. 

What's being proposed are buildings that are four stories high, which will require an area variance because Hudson's zoning limits building height to three stories. HHA executive director Tim Mattice told the board that the buildings must be "market rate quality," which apparently means each building has a fitness room and a computer room. The only concern about the appearance and design character of the buildings expressed at the HHA board meeting last Wednesday was voiced by board chair Alan Weaver who said the idea was "not to just plop down something that looks like the building we are in."

At Wednesday's meeting, the HHA board moved forward with the project, approving the terms that will be in the Master Development Agreement with Duvernay + Brooks and PRC. When HHA board member Randall Martin said he wanted more time and more discussion with the board about the terms of the agreement, Mattice told him, "That's why we have Dan. We have legal counsel guiding us." Mattice was referring to attorney Daniel Hubbell, who has been retained for the project and was present at the meeting. 

After the resolution approving the terms had been passed, Mattice suggested that a subcommittee of the board be created to carry out the project. He indicated two members would be a minimum and three would be ideal. Four members of the board volunteered: Martin, Mary Decker, Weaver, and Robert Davies, the board's new resident member.


  1. Carole,
    Thanks for reporting this alarming development.
    I've looked at the buildings that they have built, I don't think Hudson "needs" this kind of prison architecture. We need housing. We know that.
    I know that Hudsonians feel strongly about how the town develops and what kind of look and feel we use to grow a successful Hudson.
    I look forward to hearing from those who have a committed interest in what Hudson becomes, business owners, citizens, people with experience in community development and architects ( there are may good ones now in Hudson).
    What does the Common Council President, Tom DiPietro think of this?
    This seems like a ' back to the past" "just put it up" kind of town planning. Thanks for your reporting.

    1. An unelected resident of Ghent deciding the fate of one of Hudson's most important land holdings is far more in keeping with your 'blast from the past' line of poppycock than vague intimations regarding Tom's leadership.

  2. If the Basilica were swapped for the Dunn property and railbed for roadbed, the city could regain the riverfront land where the rails are now. That land is worth much more now than when it was first laid.

  3. How does that fit into planning for a vibrant community. Does it fit the Comprehensive Plan? There must be a better way. Granted there is a need for more affordable housing and more places for senior living but there must be other options than this. Did it go out to bid? Was there a community discussion?