Schenectady’s Joe Allen apartments to open in October

A roughly $18 million project
Construction on the Joseph L. Allen Apartments is expected to be completed by August.
Construction on the Joseph L. Allen Apartments is expected to be completed by August.

Developers are targeting an Oct. 1 opening for the Joseph L. Allen Apartments in Schenectady’s Hamilton Hill neighborhood, and what is expected to be a competitive application process will open up in June.

Representatives from DePaul Properties, Inc., the Rochester-based developer responsible for the Allen apartments, provided information on the complex’s opening dates, applications and services during a meeting Thursday night at the Harmony Fellowship on Albany Street. The roughly $18 million project will provide 51 affordable housing units, and has been highlighted as a main development in efforts to revitalize Hamilton Hill.

Located at 780 Albany St., between Schenectady and Hulett streets, the 52,500-square-foot facility will offer one studio apartment, four two-bedroom apartments and 46 one-bedroom apartments. Developers are expecting tenants to be able to occupy the building starting Oct. 1.

The property is named after the late Joseph L. Allen, an advocate for minorities and under-represented communities, and Schenectady’s first black city councilman. A lifelong resident of Hamilton Hill, Allen died in 2015 at age 79.

Construction is expected to be completed by August, at which point interested residents can get tours of model units, said Melissa O’Geen, DePaul’s director of operations.

Rent ranges from $575-$800, depending on unit size, and includes basic cable, WiFi, on-site laundry, exercise equipment, a community space and other amenities. The building is non-smoking, and will only be accessible to residents, or guests if a resident buzzes them in. There’s an occupancy limit of four people per unit, and staff will conduct quarterly inspections, O’Geen said.

In addition, DePaul is partnering with the Schenectady Community Action Program, which provides residents with an array of social and supportive services. The two organizations will help connect tenants with medical, clinical and technical services and programs, and a select number of units will be set aside for those who require SCAP services.

DePaul will accept applications during a two-week period, beginning June 1 and ending June 14 at 5 p.m. Those interested can find applications on the company’s website, or at the SCAP office on Albany Street.

The facility targets low-income individuals and families, and applicants must pass a background check and meet certain financial requirements to be eligible to rent at the Allen apartments.

O’Geen said the company won’t automatically disqualify applicants based on criminal history, but rather will review them on a case-by-case basis, with the exception of sex offenders.

Officials are anticipating a large volume of applications, and as a result, will conduct a lottery to determine which 51 applicants get an apartment.

Gillian Conde, vice president of DePaul Properties, encouraged people interested in an apartment to apply even if they aren’t one of the first 51 people selected for a unit, since prospective tenants might be disqualified based on income or a failed background check.

The company refreshes its waiting list every six months, officials said, giving those locked out the first time around another chance to move in if there are openings.

The company is looking to hire a property manager, O’Geen said, and a maintenance specialist, to start later this summer.

About a dozen residents in attendance were eager to learn more about the development. One woman said she hoped the Allen apartments would avoid the fate of Summit Towers, located just down the block on Albany Street. The complex was nice at first, she said, but later fell into disrepair.

“That building will look in 20 years the way it looks now,” Conde said, pointing in the direction of the Allen apartments. “We want to spur investment in the community. And the only way to do that is to keep [the complex] beautiful.”

Rent breakdown

  • Studio: $575 per month
  • One-bedroom: $650 per month
  • Two-bedroom: $800 per month

In order to meet financial requirements, an applicant must not exceed the following gross income limits. Applications will still be reviewed if an individual is slightly over the threshold:

  • One person: $34,440
  • Two people: $39,360
  • Three people: $44,280
  • Four people: $49,200

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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