Latham’s Century House to remain in operation as new owners seek to build apartments on site

FILE - Jesse Holland, founder of Sunrise Management and Consulting
PHOTOGRAPHER:

FILE - Jesse Holland, founder of Sunrise Management and Consulting

LATHAM The Century House restaurant and event center has a new owner who plans to build apartments alongside the Route 9 landmark.

Sunrise Management & Consulting, headquartered not far away on Route 7, said this week that its investment arm had purchased the 14-acre Century House property for $6.5 million.

Sunrise’s plan, subject to town approval, contains two phases:

Sunrise will build two buildings totaling 82 apartments adjacent to the restaurant, event venue and hotel, which the previous owners will operate as tenants.

If and when the operators of the existing business retire, Sunrise will demolish the restaurant and event venue and build a 48-unit apartment building as Phase II. 

Sunrise is a rental housing consulting, management and development firm that currently owns and/or manages 1,200 units.

Sunrise President Jesse Holland said Thursday that despite the significant number of rental projects being developed across the region, there is no glut of apartments.

“Pretty much across the Capital Region we’re finding that it’s not saturated,” he said.

Reasons for this include delays resulting from shortages of materials and labor, Holland said.

“A lot of projects being proposed aren’t happening,” he said.

Meanwhile, the sticker price for single-family houses is high and the interest rates on mortgages are rising, both of which price some would-be buyers out of the market and force them to continue renting.

At Sunrise’s own properties, which include the former Draper School in Rotterdam, the average time to lease is minus 60 days, Holland said — the next occupant signs a lease two months before the current tenant leaves an apartment.

From a more locally focused perspective, there isn’t much rental housing in the neighborhood surrounding the Century House, and demand for it has increased since financial services firm Ayco set up its headquarters nearby.

“For the past decade, people have contacted us wanting apartments at The Century House,” Colin DeMers, managing partner of The Century House, said in a prepared statement. “Our location is ideal for residential development, particularly with all the new companies surrounding us, including the neighboring headquarters for Ayco.”

Sunrise, he said, clicked right away as the right partner.

The Century House dates back to 1949, when DeMers’ late uncle and aunt, Jim and Dorothy O’Hearn, bought a century-old farmhouse on what was then the main north-south highway route in eastern New York.

The farmhouse would be restored as part of Phase II.

Holland said approvals could take a full year to obtain, and Phase I construction would likely take one to two years more.

The price tag is a moving target, Holland said, and will be determined by the details of the plans the town approves. Phase I could run $7 million to $10 million and Phase II could cost $5 million to $7 million.

BBL Construction Services is the design-build general contractor chosen for the project.

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