Friday, August 11, 2023

Not Good News

For everyone who hoped that the plan to demolish the ill-fated "shopping center" in the first block of Warren Street and replace it with a market rate apartment building, as proposed by Benchmark Development in February 2021, would eventually happen, this is not good news. 

Today, Matt Murell, chair of the Columbia County Board of Supervisors, announced that the county intends to buy the property from Galvan for $3.35 million "to solve [the county's] infrastructure concerns that have arisen in recent years." Galvan bought the building from COARC in August 2014 for $1.575 million. What follows is the press release issued by Murell today:
The Columbia County Board of Supervisors at its Wednesday, August 9, monthly meeting voted to purchase the building located at 11 Warren Street, Hudson, in a move that is expected to solve infrastructure concerns that have arisen in recent years.
The property at 11 Warren Street sits on a .94 of one acre and is zoned Central Commercial, for professional, governmental, or business use. It offers 18,622-square-feet, all on one level, with 30 onsite parking spots. The building was erected in 1985. [Gossips correction: The building was built it 1975.]
With a purchase price of $3,350,000 and anticipated renovations and contingencies, the overall projected project cost of 11 Warren Street is $8,715,500.
“This is a positive step for Columbia County and I’m excited about this opportunity,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell, who noted that with the high cost of commercial construction, the sum required to put up a structure that would solve the needs under consideration makes that option virtually prohibitive.
“11 Warren Street solves a multitude of issues,” he said.
Among those issues, outlined Department of Public Works Commissioner Ray Jurkowski, are space and storage concerns with the Board of Elections at 401 State Street, an aging county building at 610 State Street, as well as other space questions. “11 Warren Street is a unique opportunity, with a number of features that make it attractive to the county,” he said.
Commissioner Jurkowski explained that “610 State Street, a building that dates to 1886, has been identified as an issue in the county infrastructure. The purchase of 11 Warren Street means the county will not have to make a significant investment in upgrades and renovations to that building.”
At this time, 610 State Street is home to the Probation Department, the Public Defender’s Office, and the 911 backup call center. The latter will be decommissioned when the new 911 center at Commerce Park is complete, at which time the 911 center in use at this time in the county public safety building becomes the backup call center.
A long-term third-party building condition estimate to maintain 610 State Street, conducted in 2019 and adjusted for inflation, stands at $5,090,400.
The county Board of Elections is currently housed in the county building located at 401 State Street, where its new voting machines are stored in the basement. That’s a situation Commissioner Jurkowski described as “not the best. The machines are a big investment and there are concerns with storing them in that environment.”
Further, a county Board of Elections is required by state law to maintain its offices within the limits of the county seat. A ballot initiative would be needed to move it out of the county seat.
“I stand strongly behind the purchase of 11 Warren Street–it’s a no-brainer,” said Austerlitz Town Supervisor and county Deputy Chairman Rob Lagonia. “It’s a huge game-changer for the county. I’m very excited about it.”
“It’s a home run for the county,” added Livingston Town Supervisor and county Deputy Chairman and Finance Chairman James Guzzi, who pointed to 11 Warren Street’s open floor plan, with no interior load bearing walls, as a “good fit in terms of its simplicity. It allows us to move office space around in different ways. 11 Warren Street is in good shape and it fills a void for the county in a good way.”
In addition, when the move out of 610 State Street is complete, it can be placed on the market and ultimately restored to the tax rolls.
It will be interesting to see how the five Hudson supervisors voted on this issue, but the minutes of this meeting have not yet been made available.  


  1. I’m curious to know why this was done completely sub rosa. I’m also dying to know how the Hudson delegation voted on this stupid idea. Why would the County vote to maintain a nonperforming piece of property on the most commercially important street in the county. It smacks of at least thoughtlessness and at worst a meanness that is both shortsighted and serves no one’s best interest (except of course Eric Galloway’s).

  2. Sure, someone might want to buy 610 State and spend several millions to rehab it and try to rid it of mold and whatever else is going on in there, but probably not. More likely, it will sit vacant and become an eyesore and remain off the tax rolls for a long, long time, if not forever. And the sidewalks surrounding the building will remain a mess. A perfect complement to Galvan's neglected and 2 rotting houses next door at 618 State and their insulting mess where the old orphanage once stood at the corner of 7th and State.
    Well, this is the drawback of being the County Seat, I suppose. Whatcha gonna do?

    1. Word is Galloway is buying 401 State (I think that’s the address you meant - the current county office building). They’ll do a swap and the he will own the north side of N. 4th Street from Warren to it’s end. That’s not a drawback of being the county seat — that’s a drawback of having venal and essentially corrupt supervisors scratching each others’ and their friends’ backs. Watcha gonna do? There’s a reason Columbia County is understood to be the most corrupt of NYS’s 62 counties.

    2. Bill was referring to 610 State Street, the former Sixth Street School, where the Probation Department and the public defender's office are located. It's adjacent to the Galvan "Depot District," just like 401 State is adjacent to Galvan's North Fourth Street holdings.

  3. This is great, probation, the DA and who knows what else down on lower Warren, a perfect compliment to hundreds of new apartments being planned over at Bliss Towers. Seems like a plan to sabotage the business district.