Thoroughly updated at 1 pm
Vic Christopher -- who owns The Confectionery with his wife, Heather LaVine -- says they plan to turn a small building in the back of the 207 Broadway property into a private party space, along with another bathroom and a garden. It would also provide a second entrance for the "landlocked" Confectionery building. The goal is to have the expansion finished by mid summer.
Christopher says they've been turning down large groups because the just didn't have the space for them. The expansion will allow them to host groups of 20-50 people without compromising the cozy feel of the current space.
The Confectionery expansion is part of a larger plan for 207 Broadway.
Christopher says it was always their intention to eventually acquire the parcel directly behind the Confectionery building, which had been acquired by the owners of 207 Broadway in the 60s. And along the way they fell in love with the 10,000-square-foot Broadway-facing building around the corner.
"Everyone who looked at the building was considering it for a parking lot," says Christopher. "It would be a damn shame to see this building knocked down."
The building, built in 1876, is in rough shape. And the back wall recently collapsed. Christopher says he talked with a representative of a development company who said they didn't want anything to do with the property because of the condition. But he says there was a silver lining to the situation.
"If it wasn't in that state, we wouldn't have this opportunity," he says. So, with an eye toward preservation -- and getting control of a neighboring property -- they made the jump, buying the property for $80,000 -- in cash, according to Christopher.
The first phase of the plan is to stabilize and close up the building. Christopher says they'll then beautify the exterior and work on renovating the street level for possible retail space. (The only current tenant of the building is Broadway News, which has been there since 1934. Christopher says they hope the newsstand will be there for decades to come.)
The next phase of the project involves possible conversion of the upper floors for residential space. That would be a big project -- both in terms of work and funding -- and Christopher says they're looking for a developer with which to partner. He's optimistic there will be demand for residential because of the walkable location, especially if it's done with style.
"When people come into the Confectionery, they say, 'I wish my apartment looked like this.' ... So , it occurred to me: Why don't we do apartments in the same reclamation style?"
LaVine and Christopher opened the Confectionery just this past November. They did a great job renovating the space, incorporating found or reclaimed objects. It's gorgeous inside. So it will be interesting to see how this project works out.
But the residential part of it is still down the road a bit. The first step is stabilizing 207 Broadway and completing the Confectionery expansion. Christopher says to expect to quick progress on both.
There are more photos and a rendering in large format above -- click or scroll to the top of the page.
207 Broadway photos provided with announcement
The Charles F. Lucas Confectionery
12 2nd Street
Troy, NY 12180
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