SCHENECTADY -- Construction work for a $3.5 million housing project on Barrett Street for which ground was broken last July will soon be put out for bid, according to one of the project's developers.
David Buicko, CEO of Galesi Group, which is one of the 16 investors involved in the Live-In Schenectady project, said the plan to build affordable townhouse-style homes is moving along. But not much has happened since ground was broken for the effort.
That was intentional, Buicko said. The hope was to start pouring concrete foundations before the winter came. Since that didn’t happen, Buicko said project managers delayed construction to avoid working on the development in the winter when construction costs are higher.
“In a perfect world, we should have started last month, but we all have real jobs, too,” Buicko said. “So, with stuff going on at Mohawk Harbor and stuff like that, we decided to start pushing it this month.”
The Barrett Street parcels on which Live-In Schenectady will be built were seized by the city for unpaid taxes. Many of the homes were either burned or demolished.
The project is expected to be done in phases, with the first phase comprising 15 new homes. The second phase will include another 10 residences built on the opposite side of Barrett Street.
The land for the project was purchased by a group of investors: HB Housing Group, Friend of the Community, Galesi Management Group, Civco Live in Schenectady, NBT, Neil and Jane Golub, DRL Schenectady Housing, Re4om Architecture, Precision Industrial Maintenance, Schenectady Hardware & Electric, Jackson Demolition, Capital Region Gaming, Northeastern Fine Jewelry and LeChase Construction.
Union College has put money into the project, but only as a donor, not an investor.
The Daily Gazette Co. is also an investor in the project, and five banks are involved in financing the work, including Capital Bank, NBT, Ballston Spa National Bank, Pioneer Bank and Kinderhook Bank.
Mary D’Alessandro-Gilmore and Joseph Farry of Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices-Blake Realtors will be working together to market the properties.
D’Alessandro-Gilmore said the delays with the project were necessary in order to make the homes affordable. The plan is to keep the homes in the $200,000 price range, and D’Alessandro-Gilmore said there have already been inquiries by people looking to purchase.
“We want to make it perfect,” D’Alessandro-Gilmore said. “So, in order to do that, sometimes it takes longer.”
Buicko said the building plans have been submitted to the city and are awaiting approval. The project has also been submitted to the state Attorney General’s office for approval, since the project will include a homeowner’s association, but Buicko said that won’t delay building the homes. The homeowner's association approval is only necessary to sell them.
The hope, Buicko said, is to start pouring the foundation for first six of the units in the next couple of weeks.