Sometime in March, the DRI Committee issued a request for expression of interest in developing the Dunn warehouse for adaptive reuse. Proposals were due on April 10, and it seems that only one proposal was received--from Bonacio Construction in Saratoga Springs. Bonacio was one of the three developers that submitted proposals for the Kaz site in 2018. A sense of the company and its work may be achieved by visiting its website and by reading this article about the company's founder that appeared last year in Saratoga Living: "Sonny Bonacio, President of Bonacio Construction, Wants to Make Saratoga 'Cool Again.'"
The meeting summary for the DRI Committee's May 6 meeting reports:
The Committee decided to advance discussions with Bonacio, which does not represent a commitment, but will assist in getting an idea of what is possible at the site and further the City's relationship with this firm.The meeting summary of the most recent meeting of the DRI Committee, which took place on May 20, reports that several members of the committee (Michael Chameides, Rob Perry, Tom DePietro, Peter Bujanow, along with Chris Round and Caren LoBrutto of Chazen) had a conference call with two representatives of Bonacio on May 13. The meeting summary notes:
During the call, Bonacio expressed interest in the project, but wanted greater clarification on how this project fits with other development and revitalization efforts being undertaken in this part of the City. In particular, they inquired as to the status of the KAZ project noting that this project and the completion of the Ferry Street Bridge project would be critical in addition to other projects to the successful transformation of the waterfront area.It is reported that during the call Bonacio also expressed interest in the City-owned parcels north of the Dunn warehouse and, in a follow-up call, "explained that the additional parcels would be needed to round out the Dunn redevelopment site and make a potential investment viable."
Back in 1996, before Henry Hudson Riverfront Park existed, the Vision Plan imagined a nearly solid row of buildings along the east side of Water Street, but more recent thinking has tended toward expanding the green public space of the park rather than constructing buildings. If memory serves, the buildings proposed in the 1996 Vision Plan were mixed used commercial and residential.
The DRI Committee seems willing to act on Bonacio's assessment that developing the additional parcels is critical to the successful redevelopment of the Dunn warehouse. The meeting summary reports:
The committee decided to 1) Approach the City Council regarding potential redevelopment of the City-owned properties. 2) Pending the outcome of 1) Peter and Chris will solicit responses from firms previously contacted where there was no response/interest and inform them of the potential for redevelopment of the additional parcels. . . .Among the "Next Steps" listed in the meeting summary is this: "Michael Chameides to approach the City Council on the appetite to redevelopment [sic] the three City-owned parcels north of Dunn." If this has happened since May 20, it has not happened in any public manner. The next meeting of the DRI Committee, to take place as a conference call, is scheduled for this coming Wednesday, June 3.
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