Schenectady County

Developer seeks approval for Hamilton Hill project

The Community Builders is seeking approval for its Hillside View apartment project in Hamilton Hill.

The Community Builders is seeking approval for its Hillside View apartment project in Hamilton Hill.

The Albany-based nonprofit plans to go before the city Planning Commission this evening to get the OK to transform two former schools on Craig Street along with several blighted buildings and vacant lots into apartments with art space.

Community Builders is looking for the green light to begin construction after receiving $2.2 million from the state Homes and Community Renewal two months ago.

The $19.4 million project will add 25 senior apartments at the former Horace Mann School at 602 Craig St. and 13 apartments at the former St. Columba’s School at 400 Craig St.

Two-family houses at 702 and 708 Stanley St. will be redeveloped and a six-unit apartment building will be built at 715-719 Stanley St. with a playground and green space.

A four-unit apartment building will be constructed at 716-720 Stanley St. along with another at the now vacant 807-809 Emmett St. Also, a two-family home will be renovated at 730 Stanley St.

The apartments would be affordable with no household paying more than 30 percent of their income towards rent, according to the real estate developer.

Construction is expected to start by the beginning of next year and take about a year and a half to complete.

The former Horace Mann School will be gutted and rehabbed. Community Builders is using historic tax credits to develop the former St. Columba’s School requiring its historic elements to remain.

Community Builders plans to convert the first floor, about 8,200 square feet, of St. Columba’s into an artist maker space, according to the site plan application submitted to the city.

“This space will be available to the community to lease time on machines such as 3D printers, fabric arts machinery, wood working machinery and metal working machinery to create art which they might not have otherwise been able,” the documents state.

The space will be available for public use between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. and be operated by the Albany Barn with two administrative employees along with contract maintenance and janitorial services.

The building will come with a proposed 24 parking spaces in an off-street paved parking area across the street from the school, according to documents.

The space is now used for the Schenectady Boys & Girls Club. Community Builders plans to work with the Boys & Girls Club moving forward.

The city of Schenectady plans to provide $500,000 in federal funding previously earmarked for the demolition of the old Department of Social Services building on Nott Street for the Hillside View project.

The Joseph L. Allen Apartments are now being built in Hamilton Hill at Albany and Hulett streets. The $17.9 million affordable housing project will add 51 apartments there.

Other projects

Also on the Planning Commission agenda, the owners of a Front Street house by the Mohawk Harbor site are proposing a bed and breakfast.

Raymond Stanley Christy and Gerald F. Plante are looking to open a bed and breakfast at 227 Front St. The hours of operation would be as needed for guests, according to the site plan application.

The project would not require any construction or changes to the house, according to documents.

The Mohawk Harbor site off Erie Boulevard by Front Street is being developed by the Galesi Group with a $330 million casino, two hotels, apartments, townhouses and office and retail buildings.

Previously on the agenda but later pulled was the site plan for a cafe and art space at the former Copper Keg building at 848 Eastern Ave., which was sold to Mahmood Karimi Hakak in May. He plans to invest $100,000 and reopen it as the Cafe Dialogue.

Reach Gazette reporter Haley Viccaro at 395-3114, [email protected] or @HRViccaro on Twitter.

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