The Hudson Industrial Development Agency (IDA) meets this Wednesday, December 8, at 1:00 p.m. The public hearing on the proposed redevelopment of the Pocketbook Factory took place last Tuesday, so it is likely that at Wednesday's meeting the members of the IDA will vote on whether or not to grant the financial benefits sought for the project. The investment being made in the redevelopment is estimated to be $25.6 million. The benefits being requested amount to just over $1.3 million: sales tax exemption on materials used in the project ($800,000); mortgage recording tax exemption ($478,979); PILOT agreement ($112,500).
Neighborhood asks (For the neighborhood) (4)
- Engagement process with neighborhood, separate from city-wide communication; developing clear channels for addressing problems or requests. This includes clear communication to neighbors (not digital) about construction schedule--any anticipated inconveniences re: traffic, noise, dust, roadblocks will be outlined and communicated to neighbors. Problems will be resolved through a formal community accountability system, a Community Advisory Board of 5-7 longtime residents of the adjacent blocks.
- Commitment to minimize other changes/impact in neighborhood, including withdrawal from parking lot plans across street. The hotel should not become a driver for other adjacent changes. This includes the area across the street. The hotel will commit to preserving the existing neighborhood and/or will campaign for a full environment assessment of toxic dumping/known asbestos issues near 7th street lot.
- Sound limits/time limits for outdoor PA system
- [db(A): 7am-7pm=60, 7pm-10pm=55, 10pm-7am=50]
- Amplified sound off after 10 PM outdoors
- Help instituting a residential parking permit system
- Literature provided to guests basically laying out what is residential [and] what is not
- Co-sign legislation that addresses the permit system
Use of Space asks (Retail, Event space, offices, Yard) (4)
- Limit on number of large events given the foot/car/catering etc traffic impact in residential neighborhood
- Tenant applications for retail spaces also go through PBF Community Advisory Board (see above)
- Retail businesses must be locally owned and operated
- Provide indoor or grounded covered outdoor space to campers at Oakdale in the event of avoiding a rain cancellation.
Employment-related asks (3)
- 50% percent hiring from Hudson city-proper
- Housing support provided for a certain amount of local hires (direct or subsidized)
- Protection of workers to organize - unionize
- Promote car-free tourism and use of city through shuttle system and networking with other hotels
- Visitor impact communication with guests and clients - how can PBF educate people staying at their hotel about contemporary housing issues in Hudson?
City Improvements (5)
- Help make surrounding area more pedestrian friendly: level sidewalks and paths around Oakdale
- Fund created to offset real estate tax increase for long time home owners in the area
- 10% of income from hotel and restaurant goes towards the Hudson Housing Trust Fund
- Donating money to rebuild the Oakdale playground
- If the HYC does end up doing paid Oakdale beach passes for tourists, the hotel would purchase a limited number of passes to maintain predominant use of the beach by locals
Cousin concluded that approval of the project was inevitable, there was no point in trying to stop it, but these "asks" were being presented for the IDA's consideration.
Kaya Weidman of Kite's Nest, Suzanne Snider, a neighborhood resident, and Quintin Cross of the Hudson/Catskill Housing Coalition, all expressed their support for the "set of commitments" outlined in the letter. Weidman said it was important "to offset the negative impacts" on the community. She reiterated the request made by Cousin at an earlier IDA meeting that the proposed hotel accept homeless vouchers "to enable homeless people to stay in the community."
The link to the recording of the public hearing, which lasts for 36 minutes, can be found here.
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