Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Hints About the Future

More than fifty years ago, Urban Renewal altered the pattern of streets in the Second Ward. Chapel Street, which once ran between Columbia and State streets, was obliterated to make way for the large housing projects that are Schuyler Court and Bliss Towers and Columbia Apartments. 

Detail from 1888 Beers Atlas
Google Map
The street pattern in this part of the city may change again in the redevelopment of the Hudson Housing Authority properties.

At the Hudson Housing Authority Board of Commissioners meeting last night, John Madeo and Eu Ting-Zambuto from Mountco, HHA's development partner, presented preliminary concept designs that involve extending First Street from Columbia to State and "pedestrianizing" State Street between First and Second. 

They are proposing that construction start on the site directly across State Street from Bliss Towers, and the new building could be used as a relocation resource during the demolition of Bliss Towers and new construction on that site. Toward that end, five studies of the site are being undertaken:
  • soil study to determine the stability of the ground
  • topographic study
  • appraisal
  • environmental studies
  • site suitability study to determine if it is a suitable place for people to live
The results of the studies, as well as more specific drawings of what is being proposed, will be presented at the September meeting of the HHA Board.

Madeo reported that in meetings with tenants it had been suggested that the new buildings include a YMCA, a grocery store, and space for after-school programming. Onsite parking was also discussed. There is currently one parking space for every two households. Tenants suggested that there should be one space for every household. Madeo indicated that accommodation for parking would drive how many residential units could be provided. He spoke of creating at least 135 residential units along with space for the desired ancillary services. He also mentioned 160 to 170 as the possible number of new units. There are currently 132 units in the buildings operated by HHA.

Jeffrey Dodson, HHA executive director, shared his observation that most of the current parking spaces were empty most of the time and commented, "If we make a bunch of parking, it's taking away space for housing." He said it was his goal to double the amount of public housing in Hudson and cautioned that it was a tradeoff: more space for parking and ancillary services meant less space for housing.    

It will be interesting to see what the new soil studies reveal. In 2018, a plan to construct two buildings on the north side of State Street, on the same parcel now being considered, was abandoned. The explanation given was that the soil was not stable enough to support what was being proposed.


1 comment:

  1. I would hope that as ideas on the " redevelopment " become more refined a day care center should be given serious consideration.