Thursday, January 13, 2022

Hudson's Latest Hotel Plan

For close to twenty years, Richard Cohen, operating as Harlem Hudson Organization, owned the buildings on the northeast corner of Warren and Fourth streets and for most of that time tried to keep alive the notion that he was developing them into a luxury hotel. During all that time, nothing of a positive nature happened. In 2006, the building that stood at 406 Warren Street was demolished, without a certificate of appropriateness from the Historic Preservation Commission, because Cohen wanted the site cleared so he could construct the entrance to his proposed hotel there. In 2013, one of the three Greek Revival town houses along North Fourth Street was demolished. The reason for the demolition was given as "public safety," but the site of that building, too, figured into Cohen's fantasy hotel plans. There was to be a porte-cochere there, where cars could drive in to an interior loading area. 


Cohen's grand plan never came to fruition, and the buildings sat moldering--an eyesore on a prominent corner of the city. Last April, the Galvan Foundation announced it had acquired the buildings, with the intention of developing its own hotel to be called "The Hudson Public." The press release issued at the time made these statements:
Galvan is developing the hotel in response to the growing need for centrally-located hospitality options, resulting from the City of Hudson's Short Term Rental Law. The Hudson Public will also function as an "artist's residence" for artists performing in Hudson. 
The Hudson Public will be among the first minority developed, owned, and operated hospitality venues in the city of Hudson.
The proposed hotel's function as "an 'artist's residence' for artists performing in Hudson" takes on new significance in light of the Galvan Foundation's announcement in November that the Community Theater building, also owned by Galvan, was to be redeveloped as a regional theater for plays, musicals, and concerts.

On Tuesday, the plans for the Hudson Public were presented to the Planning Board. The architect for the project is Don Petruncola from Liscum McCormack VanVoorhis in Poughkeepsie, and the plans have evolved considerably from what appeared in the image that accompanied the announcement of acquisition back in April 2021, reproduced below.

The original drawing suggested that the missing town house on North Fourth Street would be replaced by an infill structure closely resembling what was lost. The renderings presented to the Planning Board on Tuesday show a rather imposing infill structure with a mansard roof in this space, marking what will be the main entrance to the hotel. 

The missing building at 406 Warren Street will also be replaced, with a building that will house a "two-story bar component" of the hotel. In addition to the bar, the hotel will have a restaurant and a commercial kitchen, two retail spaces fronting on Warren Street, and thirty guest rooms.

The plans involve altering the roof of 402-404 Warren Street to make it a hip roof and constructing additions at the back, facing Prison Alley, to accommodate elevators. In the plans, these additions have siding and gambrel roofs.


Dan Kent, Vice President of Initiatives for Galvan, noted that the proposed design would have to be reviewed by the State Historic Preservation Office and the Historic Preservation Commission, because the building is located in a National Register historic district and a locally designated historic district. He also mentioned that the project would be going to the IDA (Industrial Development Agency), no doubt seeking tax abatements in the form of a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes).

Planning Board member Larry Bowne brought up the issue of parking. Kent explained that no parking was included in the proposal, but they would be addressing the issue by providing a parking study, to be done by Creighton Manning.

Regarding parking, it should be noted that Galvan owns a vacant lot at Fourth and Columbia streets, not half a block from the proposed hotel. 

In 2003, before there was a Galvan Foundation, Eric Galloway acquired the lot at Fourth and Columbia streets. Over the years, there have been a couple of plans for development there--a new police and court building in 2005 and a new building for the Department of Social Services in 2010. Obviously, neither was pursued. It is currently on the short list for development in the city's recently completed Affordable Housing Development Plan.  

Gossips predicts that, in the discussion of parking for the proposed hotel, a twelve-year-old idea for parking may resurface. Back in 2010, the plan for relocating DSS to the northwest corner of Columbia and Fourth streets being promoted by then mayor Rick Scalera involved building a multi-level parking garage across the street, at the northeast corner of Columbia and Fourth, where there is now a parking lot owned by Columbia County. 
COPYRIGHT 2022 CAROLE OSTERINK

17 comments:

  1. And Galvan's other buildings, with WORK IN PROGRESS signs on them never have anyone working on or in them. 5th and Union, the Alger House, one on lower Warren, etc. Then 2 perfectly good houses of theirs, long vacant, on 5th at Prospect. What the hell?

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  2. It will be interesting to see if the Social Justice Warriors try to impose the same set of ridiculous contingencies on this Galvan project that they did on the Pocketbook Factory.

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  3. What is this obsession with parking? All I see is an abundance of open spaces in the lots and on the streets. Every new project that is proposed the immediate response is "what about parking?"

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    1. Couldn't agree more. Apparently everyone thinks they should have a spot right in front of the house, apartment, store, restaurant, etc that they are going to. Having to walk a little way is so terrible!

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    2. The Planning Board engaged Alta Planning to consult on the Galvan project at N 7th & State.

      The document includes a map of the City's parking, along with some overall recommendations.

      For those who would question the credibility of this document, please keep in mind that Alta Planning has been around for 24 years. And, in this document, the City of Hudson benefited from the expertise of Lindsay Zefting who was the project manager on the 750-mile Empire State Trail.

      It might be on the city website, but you can read it here:
      https://www.dropbox.com/s/0z5on0kdit26a70/Galvan%20On-street%20parking%20recommendations_Alta.pdf?dl=0

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    3. Hudson desperately needs a Planning Department with a salaried director!

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  4. Wait, what?! I thought Galvan was all about affordable housing? How does turning multiple, multiple-use buildings into STRs promote affordable housing?

    This seems to be nothing but another amateur real estate move by a guy who has all the business moxie and discipline of a trustafarian. "Hey, I see some folks have invested in hotels in Hudson, we should, too!" Getting in late in the game is the mark of the true amateur especially in a market, like RE development, where the actual development time is measured in years and almost guarantees that coattail riders get crushed by the eventual collapse of a glutted market.

    I could be wrong -- perhaps there are free tax dollars for hotel development in small Northeastern cities already having multiple hotels serving them. If there are, I'm sure this group of bloodsuckers will have sniffed them out.

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    1. How much does Galvan charge the county for a bed in the Galvan motel? That's guaranteed income when they import the homeless problem from other communities to Hudson at a rate few hotels can expect in the off-season or during the week.

      There is almost zero chance the performative outrage directed at the Pocketbook Factory by the very shady Hudson/Catskill Housing Coalition and whatever other 'group' they made up on the spot was just about Pocketbook Factory. This includes the demand they take homeless vouchers.

      This 'hotel' is an effort to import poverty to Hudson, and anyone who trusts a word out of Dan Kent's mouth hasn't been paying attention.

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    2. i think the per bed charge is $ 3000.00 per month in the galvan motel. the numbers were in the proposals. there are additional charges also.

      the hotel benefits the community more --
      more jobs for locals, more business for local businesses, more sales taxes.

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    3. if it is a real hotel.

      however, if it is more SRO hotel rooms, woe is Hudson.

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  5. Monica Byrne submitted this comment by email:

    The Short Term Rental law has done (and will do) nothing to help the affordable housing issue, but it has made way for hotels, which have mushroomed this past year. The STR law has eliminated the only affordable lodging for visitors to Hudson, making it more of a destination for the wealthy than ever. Instead of helping to bridge the income gap, and help Hudson be more livable for all people, it has hurt the community. I know I sound like a broken record on this, but it’s just all so shortsighted. And… for anyone paying attention, a huge amount of anti STR research and lobbying is done or paid for by the Hotel lobbyists, and trade groups. Looks like they are getting their money’s worth…..

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    1. And this was said before they passed the STR law, but no one listened. They should name the neighborhood from the hotel over to the John L Retirement home and the new City Hall (under a 100K study), "The Doofus District."

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  6. I wonder if a lot of the conversation about housing issues is missing the larger point, which is that most people just aren't making enough money? The national economy is so heavily skewed toward the 1% and the corporate sector that it's near impossible for working people to get by. So we look for solutions to the housing challenges faced by many, but perhaps the underlying issue is that most personal incomes are not adequate. Corporate CEO's are now making an average of 430%x the salary of their employees. The Kroger grocery store chain just raised the compensation of their chief executive to $22 million per year, while workers in the company can't even afford healthcare, and thus are now on strike. So I'm thinking that housing issues might be symptomatic of a much deeper problem-- the game has been rigged to benefit those at the top of the economic pyramid.

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    1. Yes so much is the greater economic picture.

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  7. I wonder if Galvan will rename the neighborhood around their new hotel, as they did further east in their so-called Depot District. I heard our Mayor mention that term at his swearing in. Apparently he is fine with a developer naming a neighborhood, making it appear official, and perpetuating Galvan's "we own Hudson and do as we please" behavior. The mayor's office will crow about the hotel and how it is another of their "accomplishments." B Huston

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    1. As long as the mayor gets that good good discount on rent, he'll crow about whatever Eric tells him to.

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  8. Another Galvan boondoggle. The powers that be will roll out the red carpet for this one too, while his other properties stagnate.

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