The Galvan Foundation's plans for the "Depot District" and its quest for PILOTs for the project were on the agenda of the IDA (Industrial Development Agency) at its meeting yesterday.
Gossips reported on the terms of the PILOTs sought by Galvan. For 75 North Seventh Street, the building proposed to be mixed income, the PILOT agreement would be for thirty years, and the payment in lieu of taxes would be 32 percent of what would actually be owed in taxes. It still is not clear--not to to Gossips at least--if the assessment on which the property taxes are calculated would fluctuate during the thirty years or if it would remain the same as it was when the PILOT was initiated.
|Proposed for 75 North Seventh Street|
|Proposed for 708 State Street|
At yesterday's IDA meeting, it was asserted that 75 North Seventh Street would be: "Total fiscal benefit of $4,434,030 to the City of Hudson and Schools at a cost of $2,719,284 [in forgone property taxes], representing a 1.63 to 1 benefit to cost ratio."
For 708 State Street, the following cost-benefit ratio was presented: "Total fiscal benefit of $5,888,751 to the City of Hudson and Schools at cost of $2,811,728, presenting a benefit to cost ratio of 2.09 to 1.
In the discussion that followed the presentation, Rebecca Wolff asked why a PILOT was being requested for the market rate building, suggesting that the developer was "looking for more profit." Dan Kent, vice president of initiatives for Galvan, told her they needed to demonstrate income for bank financing, but without a PILOT there would to no profit and no financing.
Wolff also asked about the commitment Galvan had made in March 2018 to create 29 units of affordable housing in ten buildings it owned throughout the city. In November 2020, when one of those buildings--356 Union Street--went on the market, a building which represented seven of those 29 units, Gossips reviewed the commitment made in 2018 and the progress that had been made: "29 Units, 31 Months Later." Not much has changed since then November except 356 Union Street now has a new owner.
Responding to Wolff's questioning, Kent said a number of them had been completed, citing 335 Allen Street a couple of times, and stressed that it had been "an entirely voluntary commitment." He promised to provide an "update on that initiative."
City treasurer Heather Campbell noted that Galvan has a large number of vacant properties in Hudson and asked: "Why is there not an effort to restore these before creating 'this housing empire'?" Kent replied: "It's a process. It's hard to do all of them at once." He assured her that the restoration of existing properties was going forward at the same time. He also said the Galvan Foundation "needs to pursue a larger scale project to support the creation of really low-income housing."
Wolff asked specifically about 501 Union, a building she said has been vacant "for a very long time." She asked Kent, "Why has that building not been pursued? . . . Why is it not on the radar when there's a housing crisis?" Kent responded by saying it was a matter of "how fast we can get something online and how much it will cost."
The building at 501 Union Street came before the Historic Preservation Commission in October 2020. A certificate of appropriateness was sought to replace the current temporary replacement windows with permanent windows, remove the fire escape, and add shutters to the Union Street side of the building. Walter Chatham, who was representing Galvan before the HPC, explained that replacing the windows was a necessary preliminary step to beginning the interior renovation, which he said involved creating studio and one bedroom apartments. Yesterday, when Wolff asked about the income mix proposed for the building, Kent said it had not yet been determined.
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