The city of Troy announced Wednesday that it's selected a plan for the redevelopment of 1 Monument Square: a new Bow Tie movie theater built by Bonacio Construction.
Said mayor Patrick Madden in a press release:
Their proposal to build a nine-screen cinema will strengthen our city's growing economic resurgence while further boosting Troy as a regional destination in the Capital District. With an estimated 10,000 weekly visitors this exciting project will support our downtown restaurants and small businesses while helping to attract additional investment to our community.
Bonacio's proposal is part a plan that would also redevelop the former American Theater space nearby on River Street into a one-screen theater, also run by Bow Tie. (The small theater project was awarded $600k in the state Regional Economic Development Council grant process this past December.)
The city council still needs to approve a development agreement for the 1 Monument Square site, and the project will have to go through the usual planning approval process. The Madden administration is projecting that construction could start in late fall of this year and be completed by late 2018.
The project will be the fourth major attempt to redevelop the site on the riverfront in the heart of Troy.
Bonacio's proposal was one of two submitted to the city as part of a request for proposals process this past December. That RFP emphasized the desire for a project that would connect River Street to riverfront, contribute to an "18 hour" downtown, and "create a building that respects the character of Troy's industrial era development and responds to the existing building stock."
The other proposal came from Redburn Development of Troy, which had pitched a 90-room hotel at the site. Steven Strichman, Troy's commissioner of planning and economic development, said the Redburn proposal was well received, but the Bonacio plan won out because of its potential to draw a stream of visitors to the site that could benefit nearby restaurants and other downtown business.
The proposals were reviewed by a committee of city residents, business owners, and officials selected by the mayor. The process grew out of a public meeting last fall in which the city gathered input from residents about what they'd like to see at site.
Overview of Bonacio plan
Here's the quick outline of the chosen plan:
+ Bonacio Construction of Saratoga Springs would buy the 1.6-acre site at 1 Monument Square for $600,000.
+ Total project cost: about $18 million. The project would also $3.8 million in grants for the site, and the developers will seek a payment in lieu of taxes arrangement through the city industrial development agency.
+ Bonacio will be a 9-screen movie theater on the site that will be run by Bow Tie. It will be one-floor theater that will be effectively be two stories high. The building will also include 3,000 square feet of retail space. "It will have good retail presence on the first floor," Strichman said.
+ The building will include 100-150 parking spaces below street level.
+ The building will be built in such a way that it could be expanded with upper floors to house more commercial space or residential, if market demand points in that direction.
+ The multiplex will be managed by the same Bow Tie team as the 1-screen American Theater down River Street, and Strichman said movies will move back and forth between them. The American Theater space will be able to seat 450 people after it's renovated.
+ Strichman said the city will not be releasing renderings of the proposed project at this point because they're conceptual and elements are sure to change. Renderings and a site plan will come out during the planning approvals process starting in April. Strichman said the design will fit with the historical aesthetic of downtown Troy.
Here's a portion of the Bonacio proposal submitted to the city:
Bonacio has done many projects in Saratoga Springs, including the Railroad Place development that includes a Bow Tie theater. It's also recently started working in Troy with projects such as the Dauchy Building on River Street.
So why will it work this time? Strichman said this current proposal builds on the desires and details that emerged during the previous three attempts, and Bonacio is aware of the various complications and quirks of the site.
"Everything has come together for this and it's a hugely benefit use," he said.
If you're not familiar with the long history of the effort to redevelop the 1 Monument Square site, here's a quick recap:
+ As its address implies, 1 Monument Square sits right in the middle of downtown Troy, between the square and the river. It is one of the most high-profile real estate sites in all of the Capital Region.
+ Since then there have been three major attempts to redevelop the site. All have fizzled, usually with a bit of drama. The most recent attempt made it as far as the city's planning board before facing organized opposition that argued the proposal changed too much since it had been originally proposed and threatened to bring legal action. The developer dropped out in the spring of 2016, saying the city hadn't done a good enough job identifying infrastructure that complicated the site, and pointing a finger at the project's opposition.
+ That public meeting last August kicked off the fourth major round of attempted redevelopment.
We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.