Almost a decade after it was given its initial go-ahead, the Yates Farm condominiums have broken ground.
The project was first approved in April 2007 with 50 units on the seven-plus acre Yates farmhouse parcel, located at 127 Maple Ave., by developer Chris Myers with Concord Development LLC.
The project is in a multifamily residential zone and was scaled down to 44 units in the hamlet of Alplaus, but the failing housing market prevented the condos from being constructed.
Town Supervisor Chris Koetzle said that a few years ago developer Amedore Homes purchased the property and the already-approved project from Myers came with it.
“Site plan approvals from the Planning Board don’t expire,” Koetzle said. “It’s specific to the property, not the builder.”
John Bossalini, the project executive at Amedore Homes, said the Yates condo project stalled when market conditions declined in the late 2000s.
“The market was hit hard and there was less money available for condominium construction and purchase,” Bossalini said Wednesday. “Banks became very conservative, . . . but now, obviously things have gotten better.”
Site work officially began Christmas Eve by William Schultz Construction of Ballston Spa, but Bossalini said work by full crews didn’t begin until recently when the weather improved. The site is being prepared for the buildings, he said, including putting in infrastructure, roads, a sanitary sewer and storm sewer.
“There’s a lot of earth moving that’s going on to prep for construction,” Glenville Town Planner Kevin Corcoran said Wednesday. “Even before the building permit, there’s no shortage of work to be done.”
Bossalini said Amedore Homes has recently been successful with other condominium projects in the Capital Region, including Canterbury Crossing in Colonie, and others as far north as Queensbury and west to Amsterdam.
“That’s why we decided this would be a good time to get loan mortgages for Yates Farm’s project,” Bossalini said. “It’s going to be a beautiful project when it’s done.”
Since taking the project over from Concord Development, Amedore Homes hasn’t changed the plan for the condos, as 44 are slated to be built in 11 four-unit buildings. Bossalini said the planned homes would target first-time homebuyers and empty nesters.
The historic Yates family cemetery plot is also on the parcel, but construction will clean up and make the space more attractive.
“The cemetery is being preserved, and will be open to the public, which it wasn’t before,” Corcoran said of the plan to put a decorative fence around the plot with a small parking area and walking path. “Before this, it was on private property and was overgrown.”
Site work was able to start this winter because of the site plan’s formal approval, but the developer is still waiting to get the building permit from the town, which is contingent upon the site work schedule.
“As soon as the site is ready for buildings, we’ll go ahead and get that [the permit], but there’s no set date,” the project executive said. “We’ll probably be ready for that around June 1. When the condos will be finished is market-driven, or how quickly they sell.”
Koetzle said the project’s recent revival was unexpected.
“We were just as surprised as any of the residents when work started,” Koetzle said. “Some residents definitely aren’t happy about it.”
In April 2008, the Gazette reported that a few dozen residents were concerned how construction of the Yates Farm condominiums would affect storm water runoff, the architecture of the homes and traffic.
In 2008, a $1 million project in the county’s Transportation Improvement Program upgraded Maple Avenue and its intersection with Alplaus Avenue by straightening out Maple’s former sharp bend, adding new traffic signals, improving the storm water under the street and more, so Bossalini says residents’ fears should be allayed.
“Stand and look at any of our projects in the Capital District, and look at it a year or five years later,” Bossalini said. “See what it’s done for the surrounding neighborhood. That’s what it will do for yours.”
Mike McHale, president of the Alplaus Homeowner’s Association, said he’s heard some residents continue to express concerns even though nine years have passed.
Still, he said there are positives of the project, including an increase to the tax base to the fire district and getting more members there.
“People have expressed their concerns about it [the condos], but it’s a done deal,” McHale said Wednesday. “I don’t like to speak for other people, but what I’m hearing is people are generally worried about projects like this changing the character of the hamlet.”
McHale said he invited the developer to come to the Alplaus community meeting March 31 to answer questions from the residents and discuss their plans.
“Because they don’t have a building permit yet, they might be hesitant to discuss it,” he said.
Bossalini said Amedore Homes is confident about the coming Yates Farm condos doing well in town.
“We love the town of Glenville,” Bossalini said. “It’s a great community. We like the leadership and we like the townspeople.”
Reach Gazette reporter Kate Seckinger at 395-3113, firstname.lastname@example.org or @KateSeckinger on Twitter.