Albany County

222-unit rental complex proposed near Crossgates Mall

Apartment/townhouse plan would be optimized for residents to use buses

GUILDERLAND — A 222-unit residential apartment/townhouse complex is proposed on a wooded site near Crossgates Mall.

The development would consist of two large buildings containing 98 and 94 apartments as well as three smaller structures with 10 townhouse units each. About 4,300 square feet of commercial space would be included, and 405 parking spaces: 27 each inside the two apartment buildings and 10 each in the three townhouse buildings.

Project documents submitted to the town indicate that the applicant is Rapp Road Development LLC, which has the same Syracuse address and phone number as Pyramid Management Group, owner of Crossgates Mall. 

The nearly 20-acre site is southwest of Rapp and Gipp roads and is owned by Crossgates Releaseco LLC.

The two apartment buildings would measure 64.5 by 245 feet and stand five stories tall. As such, they would dwarf the single-family houses to their west but be of a scale similar to the commercial, residential and educational structures to the north, south and east — not least of which is Crossgates, the region’s largest mall.

Documentation for the proposal suggests it is being designed so that residents of the rental complex would more easily be able to use public transportation. It would stand a short distance from the bus stop at Crossgates Mall, which is already the busiest in the CDTA network and is proposed for replacement by a new transit center that would be the terminus for an express bus to downtown Albany. Five- and 8-foot-wide walking/biking paths would be constructed to Western Avenue and the Crossgates Mall Ring Road.

The project would stand within the town’s Transit Oriented Development District, which encourages dense development with pedestrian linkages to make it easier for residents to rely on public transit. 

But for those who prefer to drive, there would be 22 percent more parking spots than town regulations require for such a development, and two driveways onto Rapp Road. A traffic study determined that the project would have no significant impact on volume of vehicles on nearby roads.

The 19.68-acre site is almost entirely wooded now. About 11.6 acres would be cleared; roughly 5.3 acres would be left as grass and about 5.7 acres would be paved.

The northeast portion of the site contains habitat for the endangered Karner blue butterfly that would remain undisturbed, according to the project proposal.

The Guilderland Conservation Advisory Council was scheduled to review the proposal Monday. The Guilderland Planning Board is slated to review a minor subdivision request Wednesday. The Albany County Planning Board is set to review the plan Dec. 20 because it stands within 500 feet of another municipality: the city of Albany. 

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