There's been a string of residential conversion projects -- both completed and planned -- in Albany over the last few years, mainly concentrated downtown and in the Warehouse District. But the latest project of this type is planned for the Hudson/Park neighborhood.
Here are a few details.
The project is planned for the Long Energy site on Myrtle Ave near the intersection with Swan Street. The site includes three buildings along Myrtle, which total almost 60,000 square feet.
Here's the real estate listing for the site.
The project backers are Daniel Odabashian and Eric Moses, who own and manage about 300 rental units under the name A Team Property Management. Odabashian told us this week they have a contract to buy the property from Long and hope to close by the end of this year. He said they're estimating the project will have a total cost of $12 million.
Odabashian said they were drawn to the project because their units in the area have a 99 percent occupancy rate and the buildings offered the chance of adding a large chunk of apartments, a rare opportunity.
"There's so much demand in the neighborhood," he said.
The name of the project is "At Hudson Park."
The plan is to convert the three buildings on the site into approximately 78 apartments. The units would be mainly studios and one-bedroom units. There will also be 55-60 parking spaces.
Two of the three buildings are currently garage spaces, and the third is an old stable building that Odabashian said Long uses in part for its offices.
"It's going to be a little tricky," he said of the conversion, "but it's pretty raw space now ... it's nothing our architects can't handle."
Odabashian said they'll be working with 3t Architects on the project.
What still needs to happen?
There are still a bunch of steps between now and construction.
Odabashian said they've been working on the project for the past two years. Given the site's history as a heating oil company, much of that time has been spent doing investigation of potential contamination issues at the site -- what he called a "very comprehensive and expensive" environmental study. But Odabashian said they ended up being pleasantly surprised by what they found -- such was the lack of contamination that the project won't qualify for the state's brownfields program.
"We wanted to be 110 percent sure it was going to be a clean site," he said.
The next step will be getting the property rezoned. Because of a quirk of Albany's outdated zoning, even though the site currently hosts a heating oil company, it's actually zoned for one and two-family row houses. (Yet another example of why officials are looking forward to revisions from the Rezone Albany project.) There's a public hearing scheduled at Monday's (June 6) Common Council meeting about changing the zoning to a multi-family medium-density residential district.
Odabashian said they expect the proposed zoning change will get a relatively warm reception from the city. "We're taking an industrial site out of the neighborhood ... It makes sense to have apartments there and not 40 trucks driving around."
If the zoning change goes through, the project will also have to go through the regular approvals process such as the planning board.
Odabashian said if things fall into place as planned -- with the necessary approvals, and closing on the deal with Long Energy, and construction -- units could be up for rent by the spring of 2018.
"We're really hoping it's going to be an anchor for the neighborhood."
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