Monday, June 8, 2020

About the Benjamin Center Study

Since this morning, I've had a chance to read the Benjamin Center study of the PILOT proposed for the Galvan project on North Seventh Street. I was disappointed that the study seemed more intent on demonstrating the reasonableness of the requested PILOT than analyzing its potential cost to and impact on the city, but perhaps what I was expecting was not what the Benjamin Center had been tasked to do.

Some interesting information is contained in the report. An example is that, when it was initiated in 2010, the current PILOT for Hudson Terrace amounted to $705 a year in taxes for each of the 168 units in the development. In 2018, according to whatever rate of increase was written into the PILOT agreement, Hudson Terrace paid $167,404 in property taxes, which works out to $996.45 for each unit. 

The study reveals that the promise to maintain the building proposed for North Seventh Street as affordable housing for fifty years--ten years beyond the duration of the PILOT--is not an example of Galvan largesse. Rather it is a requirement of the New York State Department of Homes and Community Renewal, the expected source for much of the funding for the project. 

The study also reveals that private investment in the project will be satisfied in thirty years, at which time "the developer's uncommitted income from the project will increase substantially." Instead of recommending that the PILOT should only be for only thirty years, the study recommends that "it is likely in the City of Hudson's best interests to grant a longer PILOT duration"--perhaps as long as fifty years--because "once all private investment in the project is satisfied, it would be within the rights of the Galvan Foundation to apply for tax-exempt status, which it would likely receive."

Someone in a comment on an earlier post about this study asked how many units of subsidized housing Hudson already has. The answer, not counting the unknown number of units in the seventeen tax exempt properties once owned by Housing Resources of Columbia County and now owned and managed by Galvan Asset Management, is 525. How this number compares with other cities of comparable size to Hudson is a matter for another day.


  1. Thank you for this, Carole. One of the most egregious omissions--with the caveat that I read the report quickly--is its failure to disclose the fact that Galvan paid for it!

    1. Well, this is not unlike studies--traffic studies, environmental impact studies, etc.--ordered by the Planning Board that the applicant must pay for. The Common Council--if I'm not mistaken, in the persons of Tom DePietro, Rebecca Wolff, and Jane Trombley--requested the study, and Galvan paid for it.

  2. Isn’t this workforce housing? Isn’t this right out of the famous Hudson Housing Strategic Plan? It’s no secret Hudson needs housing good grief.