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The Arcade Building is at Broadway and Maiden Lane in downtown Albany.

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Katie's apartment.

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Open_House_Arcade_Building_kitchen.jpg

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One of the building common areas.

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The building's gym.

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The building lobby.

Apartment living in downtown Albany

Arcade Building exterior

The Arcade Building on Broadway

By Nicole Lemperle Correia / Photos by Paul Gallo

Within the past few years, the downtown Albany apartment and condo options have multiplied. And within the past year, more of my friends have moved farther downtown, closer to the Hudson River than to Lark Street.

Katie both lives and works on Broadway in Albany -- her home and her office are just a block apart. We talked about her reasons for moving downtown, what it's been like so far, and what she hopes to see downtown in the future.

Photos

There are large-format photos above -- click or scroll all the way up.

Interview

What part of your city/town do you live in?

I just recently moved to the "downtown" area of Albany -- the Arcade Building on Broadway.

How long have you lived here?

I've lived here for about four months. I was one of the first renters in the building.

What brought you to this corner of the Capital District?

I moved to Center Square when I was 23 and I loved living in a neighborhood where many of my friends lived. It was fun, but as I started to get older I was beginning to age out of the Center Square social scene. Downtown is a bit quieter, with larger apartments, plentiful parking, and it's very close to my office. Many of my friends have moved further downtown as well.

What is your neighborhood like?

The new living options downtown make the neighborhood very up and coming. Recently, many developers have renovated old office buildings and lofts and converted them into luxury apartments. And as more people are moving down here, new restaurants and shops are opening.

A great new grocery store has opened, The Steuben [Street] Market. It carries items from many local food producers. You can go there to grab fresh produce, meat, and everyday grocery items as well as make your own six-pack of craft beers and GROWLERS! It is really also a great lunch spot. Having places like that give the neighborhood a residential feel amid the offices and businesses. The area really reminds me of the Financial District in NYC.

There's also a small park next to the building and the pedestrian bridge and bike path along the river across the street -- so plenty of outdoor space nearby, even though it's downtown.

What's your favorite part of your home? Have you had any challenges living here?

The décor of this apartment is my favorite. I really sprung for new furniture in this place. All my other apartments had furniture I had acquired from my parents' house and other hand-me-downs. I looked at this place as my "grown-up apartment." (While still staying on a budget -- meaning there was a lot of DIY!) I bought a few things new and I found some pieces of furniture on Craigslist and at antique shops. I painted them with chalk paint and re-upholstered the fabrics to jazz it up.

Open House Arcade Building apt dining room composite

This is my first time living in a true apartment building rather than a divided brownstone. I really love the modern and sleek look of this building, rather than the more traditional moldings and accents. I'm from Long Island and the building's style reminds me of NYC in a way.

The building itself has everything you could need -- laundry downstairs, a game room, garage parking, and a full gym. There is a Starbucks around the corner, too! It's a great set up and I haven't had any challenges. (Yet! Stay tuned).

Has anything interesting or unusual happened in or around your home while you've lived here?

The building is still brand new so not all the apartments are filled up yet and they aren't always locked. So sometimes I like to go browse at the other options and floor plans in the building. I'm pretty sure I've looked into every unoccupied apartment. So maybe that makes me the unusual happening?

What is the best thing about the space (street/neighborhood/you pick) around your home?

I absolutely love this apartment, and the best thing about it is I work a block away. Center Square parking was a challenge. It's nice to be in a central location and I'm loving the new restaurants that are popping up down here! Ama Cocina is my current favorite.

What would you change about your home (or neighborhood or city) if you could?

I would love to see more people move down to this area and see the neighborhood really expand. My building is an old arcade that apparently used to be a popular spot in Albany for shopping. There are plans for retail space on the first floor, so hopefully it can become a shopping destination again. There's so much potential for new businesses serving both downtown residents and workers.

What would you say to someone thinking of moving to your area?

If you are looking for a change from Center Square but not ready for the 'burbs, this is the place to be!

This interview has been lightly edited.
____

Nicole Correia writes at her website and is on Twitter as @nicorreia. | Some of Paul Gallo's photos are at No3rdW.

More Open House:
+ Erica and Christian's Albany Sears Kit Home
+ Living with kids in a Center Square row house
+ A family home in the country

Comments

Interesting information about the Arcade Building in this article. But when I follow the link to the Arcade Building's beautiful website, there is no mention of whether the building is rental, co-op, or condo.

That seems to me to be a colossal fail. A lot of money was undoubtedly invested in the renovation of that building. It's time, perhaps, to up the marketing game. A lot.

What is a ballpark on the rent?

One year lease? Longer?

How much are the apartments?

What sizes do they offer? The author says she has seen most of the units that are unoccupied.

What is the lease structure?

Do they accept pets? If so, why kind.

Most of that area is metered parking. Where do you park?

Other than the boutique grocery store, where else do you shop for food, home supplies and the like?

Is it quite there? Do you or are you anticipate hearing your neighbors?

Why didn't they include laundry in each unit?

Is there central heat and air conditioning?

What is the average monthly bill?

Can you open your windows?

Is there roof or deck access?

Hi @Cyril -
Wow, lots of questions! This piece isn't intended to be an ad or promo for the building, but I can answer a few of your questions.
Apartment details like size and price can be found on the Arcade Building's website: http://www.arcadebuilding.com/

The rent includes one parking spot in the Columbia Street Garage across the street.

Laundry is in the basement (several washers/dryers).

Central heat and a/c, yes.
Katie's windows do open.

Katie can pop on and answer more if she'd like, or you can contact the building manager.

@Dot that is a legitimate critique of the building's website!
Currently all of the units are rentals, as far as I know. The unit discussed here is a rental.

Did I miss the pricing on rent somewhere in the website? I couldn't seem to find it.

I understand it's not an advertisement, but one needs to paint a complete picture when penning a story.

I did visit the website and it's written as if they actually don't want to rent out the apartments at all. There couldn't be less information. A few wider than life photos and 3 diagrams does not an informative website make.

Now before you go all harshing on my comments, please know that I've worked in real estate, particularly market rate apartment rentals so I don't think that asking these questions is out of line.

Thank you for your time and comments.

PS: Basement laundry is for students. Even the Art Haus in Troy has a washer and dryer in each unit and they are advertised as modest income apartments.

Looks like a nice place. Actually, trhere are some benefits to shared basement laundry rooms - no worries about leaks and odors and it's a good way to meet your neighbors.

there is a fine LOCAL coffee shop also around the corner

Basement laundry? I read that rents are as high as $2000 for some units. When you get to a certain age, and you're paying a certain amount for your rent (a lot), communal laundry just does not cut it. A lot of what I have read about these downtown apartment developers indicates that they're hoping to attract young professionals and older couples looking to downsize (and perhaps return to the city from the suburbs). These kinds of renters don't want communal laundry. What a bummer -- especially because the other two newly- renovated "luxury" buildings on Broadway offer that convenience.

On another note, great job with decorating to Katie!

Apartment owners might be worried about individual dryers in each apartment not being maintained ,and causing fires? IDK?

Basement laundry is better than laundromat laundry - which is what you'd get at many brownstone apartments in Albany. I'd agree with Bullwinkle and mg that it was probably done to prevent potential water / fire hazards, not as a cost-cutting measure.

Having seen this building, I'd say the basement laundry is not an issue. Schedule your workout or a hang in the game room / shared lounge with massive television around your laundry duties... or use the elevators to shuttle stuff back to your apartment. Plus, it's not like the washers are coin-operated. If this is dorm living, you guys lived in some fancy dorms.

In your series of pictures you have one that shows the lobby of this building. There are three steps to the hallway. Is there a ramp? Why is it not in the picture?

Any renovation of an existing structure, any change of usage requires that it be made accessible for people with mobility impairments and who use wheelchairs, especially in common areas that are open to and usable by the public. If this has been accomplished, please show it in the pictures. If this has not been accomplished, the property owner and the building department official who approved it may be liable to civil action. Discrimination on the basis of disability, whether or not it was intended, is a violation of federal law.

Accessible housing in an old city like Albany is very scarce. This can only be remedied by building more of them in all market segments. Most of what is available is in public housing, which has long waiting lists. People who need it don't have time to wait, and not everybody wants to be in public housing.

Mike, as far as I remember from my visit during one of the open houses, the lobby opens off the main hallway of the arcade, which if I remember correctly, does not have steps leading in. (I believe the floor of it even slopes.) This part of the building is not yet finished, so it probably isn't going to make the early photos that are up now.

I may be in the area this afternoon and will try to peek in and confirm or correct these details.

Dang, "Mike in Albany" is up on his soap box about what AoA MUST do with the photographs! Any other demands, Mike?

In the time it took you to write that rant you could've picked up the phone and called the place instead. Better yet, you could've offered some helpful knowledge to others about the handicap accessibility of this building after the call. And lastly, assuming you're handicapped or have special interest in accessibility issues at large, you should educate yourself more on accessibility codes and regulations and focus your angst towards those that oversee and govern them (like the building department that would have had to approve and inspect the renovations).

Such a lot of complaints. Why don't you address them to the management of the building, instead of someone who rents there and probably feels she's being ganged up on.

Mike- you're going off on a small rampage because one picture of the building lobby does not happen to show a ramp.

[This thread has strayed far off the path. These features about people's homes and why they chose them. That's it's. And while some of the tangential issues raised here are important, they're beyond the scope of this feature. Let's please stay closer to the central topic. If you have concerns or story suggestions please send them to editors@alloveralbany.com.]

What an awesome building and redevelopment.... The developers should be applauded.....what a cool place to live......retail would be the perfect finishing touch.....20 more developments like this and Albany will be an awesome destination for small city living.....keep it up!!!!

>I'd say the basement laundry is not an issue

Until Sunday afternoon hits and everybody swarm at the laundry machines

>Schedule

If I'm paying quadruple-digit rent I expect not to schedule my life around neighbors' laundry

Another positive development for downtown. I appreciate that condos, especially developed through rehab, are an expensive endeavor, even more so because many of the traditional tax breaks can't be applied towards them, but feel this is the missing link thus far.

In terms of basement laundry (at the risk of annoying folks), I strongly prefer this. More environmentally friendly, safer, and on my end convenient in terms of maintenance (I may just be not he wrong side of things, just had to replace my washer and drier, after blowing $200 on the old drier in an attempt to get more mileage out of it). I can see some older empty nesters balking at such a layout, but the beauty of all the development downtown is that there are now a diverse number of living options. Want your own washer/drier, there are units for that; prefer it in the basement, yup, we now have units for that.

I like reading and seeing about where folks live and why. And in the end, we need to keep in mind that, sometimes, an apartment is just an apartment.

Hi Everyone,
My name is Katie and this is my apartment that is being featured for the blog. I appreciated everyone’s spirited conversation regarding the building but I do believe the comment section has taken a drastic negative turn from what was intended to be a public interest story about the expanding/developing neighborhood.

I would like to redirect everyone’s attention to the initial intent of this article and that is to feature new developments that are exploding all over Albany and enhancing neighborhoods thought-out the Capital Region. When I was first asked to feature my apartment I was excited to share WHERE and WHAT I have chosen to make my home. With that said, I believe I gave you a personal invite into my home and Nicole and Paul presented it in the most amazing way possible. I am sorry to hear that people are disappointed with the lack of information but again that is a question directed at the building management that is accessible through the link listed above.

I want to address some of the most controversial comments and commentators:

• Each apartment is equipped with a washer/dryer hook up. It is up to the discretion of the rent to purchase a unit or use the laundry room that is located in the basement. And does include a laundry lounge with a 62’TV to pass the time away. And as someone suggested just hop into the gym next store and get a healthy workout in. If anyone feels basement laundry is for students when you sign your lease at the Arcade you can spring for your own unit!

• The apartment comes with heat (A/C) and hot water, wifi, and basic cable. The renter is only responsible for their electricity. In my apartment the electric varies from $30-40 a month.

• The lobby does have a ramp that is located next to the stairs and follows behind the wall where the clock is located.

• The building has studios, 1 bedrooms, and 2 bedrooms. The rent varies from $1,100 and up.

• All the windows open and close. No roof access.

• The basement also has a bike rack.

In closing, I believe that this building and the developers have only added value to this neighborhood and have begun to pave the way for many others. Let’s keep the positivity and hope alive that other neighborhoods throughout the Capital Region will continue to grow and thrive.

Thank you for reading and thank you to All Over Albany!

First, I just want to say thanks to Katie and the folks from all over albany for doing this. Katie, your apartment is beautiful and you've done a great job decorating it. I wish that my apartment looked like that.

Everyone else, whoa! What's going on? You all should try to chill out. If you've got specific questions, then take them to building management and the leasing people. I agree that the website doesn't do a great job of providing details about the apartments, but jeez. Not such a big deal.

PS to Bob: an apartment isn't just an apartment. These types of developments have far reaching affects from revitalizing cities, to allowing for a walkable lifestyle, all the way to decreasing a carbon footprint and to increasing the tax bases of our cities and towns. America is rife with completely random-dare I say hideous-development that contributes to increased consumption of fossil fuels, to obesity, and to a general malaise in our built environment. I can't commend the developers of developments like this enough. So the statement that fours walls are just four walls really has no meaning. There are far reaching consequences to how we chose to build an live.

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