Public meeting to gather input about 1 Monument Square future development

monument square site 2014-02-03 emptyWhat sort of development should happen at the 1 Monument Square site in downtown Troy?

The city of Troy has scheduled a public meeting for August 24 to gather public input in an attempt to answer that question. From a city press release:

[The meeting] will provide residents and city stakeholders an opportunity to participate in a community conversation regarding the future redevelopment of the vacant site and provide their input and ideas in a public setting.
"The One Monument Square site is one of Troy's more high-profile properties and an important part of the future of our downtown," said Mayor Patrick Madden. "By further engaging the public on the redevelopment of the property we can foster an important dialogue between business owners, residents, community members and public officials that will be utilized in the development of a new RFP expected to be released this fall."

There is, of course, a lot of history and drama involving the development of this site. The most recent turn was this past spring when a proposal to build a mixed-use residential project got as far as the city's planning board before meeting organized opposition from members of the public -- the developer dropped out, blaming what it said was the city's failure to properly identify underground infrastructure that complicated construction and pointing the finger at the organized opposition.

That was the third major effort to redevelop site since the former city hall was demolished in 2011.

The public meeting is Wednesday, August 24 at 6 pm at the Bush Memorial on the Sage Troy campus.


What they need to do is redevelop the riverfront from the Congress Street Bridge to the Green Island Bridge into an iconic riverfront destination that appeals to everyone.

The design of the area should also include the redevelopment of the underutilized Troy Housing Authority buildings on Congress Street.

All right, let's start the list of requirements. The building(s) that occupies this site must meet all of the following criteria:

-Authentic 19th century look. No visible modern building materials whatsoever.

-Unobstructed view of the riverfront from Broadway.

-Unimpeded public pedestrian access to the riverfront.

-Absolutely no subsidized housing units. We're trying to bring young white people with disposable income to Troy, not welfare queens.

-Space on the ground level kept vacant for use one day a week by the Troy Farmers Market. This space must meet all the requirements of the Market.

-At a minimum, an integrated CDTA bus stop with express bus service to Albany, the train station and the airport. Preferably light rail.

-A small parking garage dedicated to car sharing services.

-Include a full-service grocery store, preferably a locally desired chain like Wegmans or Trader Joe's.

I'm sure I'm forgetting many requirements. Perhaps others will remember and share.

^ Seconding the above. Make it iconic, accessible, and affordable. No point in putting out an RFP that'll blow Troy's budget out of the water. It may not be sexy, but Troy needs a building for city and possible county government, AFAIK. Allow for this and extend the Riverfront Park south and I think most people would be satisfied.

The THA buildings on Congress Street are an absolute embarassment to the city. Entering Troy from Watervliet makes Watervliet look cosmopolitan by comparison. They are in a prime location, and I think a few mixed-income buildings there could really bolster the downtown core.

I'll be fascinated to see what the RFP brings in.

[Just a reminder that one of the problems with sarcasm is that it often doesn't register clearly online.]

@Greg- I think Sean was seconding Cyril, not me, so he probably didn't have a chance to decide whether or not I was being sarcastic. And, while my post was sarcastic, does it really matter if people misinterpret it, considering some version of those sentiments have been expressed in the past by the people who have opposed every plan for this site?

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