The $110 million Park South redevelopment project in Albany headed for another important point on its timeline in early March when the proposal goes before the city planning board. The project is now on the agenda for the March 6 planning board meeting.
The large-scale redevelopment in the neighborhood just south of Washington Park was a big topic of conversation late last year. The part that caught the most attention: an 800+ space parking garage that critics said is too big for the neighborhood. Prompted by the reaction, the developers heading up the project returned with new designs for the garage that fit in better with the surrounding buildings -- though the number of spaces in the garage was still held in the 800-space range. Those changes helped open the way for the Common Council to approve amendments necessary for the plan to advance.
Throughout the back-and-forth on the garage, both advocates and critics of the plan pointed to the city's planning board as another step that would shape the final project. So it's worth watching how the project is adjusted (or not) by the planning board process. It's one of the last hurdles before construction starts. (When the project plans were introduced last year, the development team indicated it had hoped to have the site demolished by now.)
The Park South redevelopment is an ambitious, unusual plan. It aims to completely clear two whole blocks adjacent to Albany Med and rebuild with a collection of buildings that would include two six-story mixed-used buildings on New Scotland Ave, a medical office building, the parking garage, and 268 residential units. It could fundamentally transform the neighborhood, the sort of project that doesn't come along very often.
Earlier on AOA:
+ Park South redevelopment plan advances
+ Two new options for Park South
+ Six not-boring parking garages
+ A bit more about the Park South redevelopment and that big parking garage
+ A big topic for the Park South redevelopment: parking
+ The big plan for residential and retail redevelopment in Albany's Park South
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