Funds to give new life to Johnstown mill

The city will receive a $420,000 grant for a public-private partnership with H & K Realty to redevel

The city will receive a $420,000 grant for a public-private partnership with H & K Realty to redevelop the former H & J Leather Corp. site on North Perry Street and Collingwood Avenue.

H &K Realty managing partner Brian Hanaburgh said his company plans to use the grant money to build three 2,800-square-foot duplex buildings on the site. He’s already received approval from the city Planning Board to combine three foreclosed parcels at 17 Collingwood Ave., 312 N. Perry St. and 314 N. Perry St. and then slice them up six ways so he can eventually sell six deeded parcels to the people who purchase the duplexes.

The money is coming from the Restore New York program.

“We still have a phase two environmental certification to have verified to show the site is ready for construction and habitation. Once we get that, which we hope will be in the very near future, we’ll start construction,” he said.

In a news release from the city, officials said the process of redeveloping the property on which the old leather mill was located has been a long one of tax foreclosure, environmental investigation and cleanup and demolition and site cleanup. Placing six single-family homes on the site is consistent with the city’s comprehensive plan and will increase the property tax rolls.

Expanding the city’s property tax base recently has become more imperative after City Treasurer Mike Gifford compiled a three-year financial plan that shows the city faces three straight years of double-digit property tax increases unless it decreases spending or increases tax revenue.

Hanaburgh said he can’t comment on how much he’d like to sell the duplexes for once they are built, but he does intend to sell them and not rent them to tenants. He said if the phase two environmental process comes back positively within the next few weeks it’s possible construction could begin before the end of the year.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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