Three varied housing projects considered in Niskayuna

A local developer proposes to demolish this former medical office at 2147 Eastern Parkway in Niskayuna and replace it with a three-story mixed-used building.
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A local developer proposes to demolish this former medical office at 2147 Eastern Parkway in Niskayuna and replace it with a three-story mixed-used building.

NISKAYUNA — Three housing proposals are working their way through the review process in Niskayuna:

The same developer building dozens of upscale houses off Balltown Road in the Harmon Grove development wants to build 138 apartments nearby.

Twenty townhouses are proposed behind the CVS on Balltown Road.

A developer seeks to demolish a vacant medical office building on Eastern Parkway near Congregation Gates of Heaven and construct a three-story mixed-used building.

All three were on the agenda for discussion at last week’s Planning Board meeting.

EASTERN PARKWAY

Developer Lou Lecce said the existing structure at 2147 Eastern Parkway would need extensive overhaul to put back into use. He seeks instead to demolish it and replace it with a three-story, 15,000-square-foot building.

The second and third floors would have four apartments each; the ground floor would have two apartments and two professional offices.

The building is only 36 years old, but “It’s in dire need of renovation,” Lecce said. 

The prior occupant moved to the Albany Medical Center building nearby on Union Street (also a Lecce project) and Lecce envisions medical tenants in the offices at the new building on Eastern Parkway.

The Upper Union Street retail district is one of the busiest in Schenectady and it flows into Niskayuna. It is an attractive and mostly well-maintained area, but Lecce thinks it could benefit from some new facades and new tenants.

“It’s just a great area,” he said. “I’m trying to get more people to live on Upper Union.”

With town approval, Lecce hopes to undertake demolition this fall.

Rents in the new building would be about $1,500 a month, he added.

The project has been under review for a few months, with suggestions and objections mostly along aesthetic grounds.

BALLTOWN ROAD

Niskayuna RB Holding Co., LLC proposes 20 single-family townhouses at 1356 Balltown Road, on a 5.3-acre lot that stretches back to Van Antwerp Road.

An agenda statement notes that the owner submitted a proposal for 50 apartments and a small commercial space on the lot in 2017 but withdrew it in the face of neighbor opposition. 

The applicant subsequently determined it could be subdivided into 17 single-family home lots but determined 10 buildings containing two townhouses each was a better use of the site.

There would be one driveway each on Balltown and Van Antwerp roads. A traffic engineer predicted 10 vehicle entrances or exits during the morning peak travel hour and 14 during the peak evening hour.

HARMON GROVE

Amedore Homes is proposing Harmon Grove Apartments: 138 units in nine buildings plus a community building on 21.5 acres off Reilly Way, which runs west off Balltown Road north of Trinity Baptist Church.

The buildings would average 35 feet tall and their tenants would have 154 garage parking spaces and 138 outdoor parking spaces. A half-mile walking fitness trail is indicated on the plan.

The project would entail trading 0.33 miles of town parkland for 0.85 acres of private land.

Construction is currently underway on several houses in Harmon Grove, a 69-unit single-family development with listing prices ranging from $456,000 to $663,000.

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