The 1 Monument Sq movie theater project is off

One Monument Square Conceptual Renderings Bonacio Bow Tie

The proposed Bow Tie movie theater project at 1 Monument Square in downtown Troy is off, the administration of mayor Patrick Madden announced late Friday afternoon. A clip from Madden's statement:

"As a result of multiple and ongoing legal actions brought by a neighboring property owner against the City of Troy, Bow Tie Cinemas has notified the city of their decision to terminate the development agreement for the One Monument Square site. We are deeply disappointed with this lost opportunity to construct a world-class cinema in the Collar City.
"For several months, my administration and representatives of Bonacio Construction met on multiple occasions with the neighboring property owner to address his demands, including those not contained within the multiple legal actions filed against the city. Unfortunately, a mutually agreeable resolution to resolve these additional demands could not be reached.
"My administration strongly believes the issues identified in the multiple legal actions were solvable, but due to concern over potential future litigation Bow Tie Cinemas opted to end their involvement in the project.

The "neighboring property owner" is developer Sam Judge, who himself had once tried to develop something on the site. His early-September lawsuit alleged the Bow Tie project would do "irreparable harm" because of traffic and parking issues. It also argued a full environmental review would be necessary for the project. The Bow Tie project's movement through the city planning process was paused when the lawsuit was filed.

The idea of a theater at the site originally seem to get relatively warm reception from officials and the public when it was introduced earlier this year. But criticism of the project's design mounted during the planning process. Specific criticisms included the way the project largely blocked the river view, the windowless wall facing the river, and the lack of interaction between the building and River Street.

This was the fourth major attempt to redevelop this site since the old city hall was demolished in 2011 -- the second to end in the threat of some sort of legal action. If/when there's another attempt made, it'll be interesting to see if 1) there's some way to build a bulletproof consensus early on and 2) whether, because of the history, any developer will even want to take a shot based on the project.

Comments

The people who opposed this project are nuts.

Didn't take too long this time.

Who wants to bet that this location stays vacant for at least another decade? It looks like a bombed out WW2 Berlin.

What properties does Sam Judge have a hand in, so I can start never going to them?

Was so looking forward to watching Weinstein produced movies there!

The City should take a more proactive approach based on neighborhood consensus. A prescriptive design guideline with great clarity could save lots of graves for aspiring developers and other stakeholders. The City has to be clear upfront on conditions to be met such as overall allowed building volume, easy river connection, parking, pedestrian oriented ground floor usage and etc. It not seems reasonable to expect commercial developers to build something on their own initiative to both maximize ROI and please all city residents.

Wow, people have made perfection the enemy of good with all the attempts at this site. NIMBYs through and through

And remember, if not for objection to poor... wait nope, I mean bla... uh, no.... uh... people who can't afford high-end luxury apartments, this site would have been developed long ago.
The people who killed the initial project on those grounds need to step up and admit that they are responsible for the death of this site.

Inwish they would stop letting perfect be the enemy of the good.

Selfish Sam Judge. He is pissed because his project fell through, and he wanted another shot at developing the property (and his most recent proposal was not good, which is why it was not chosen.) His way of torpedoing the project was to tie it up in court for years.

Curious, perhaps even a little self destructive move on the River St property owner. Let's imagine in the near future Judge's development plan gets revised and a tentative approval from city hall..,, ....he'd be faced with doing a full scale environmental review, which is expensive, time consuming, and in this instance likely not required, but he staked out a position in his Court filing that an full environ review was required. How would he get around that without contradicting his sworn court papers? (Ugly)

Admittedly, I was no fan of Mall-ing Troy with such an over-scale movie house project,(multi screens are verging on being anachronistic), but blocking it without an alternative seems destructive to the City's tax base. (Sort of a local version of Repeal and Replace- where there is no replacement here either. ha ha)

Time for the City to go back and pick another proposal and move forward (I know, easier said, than done---but now they have a TON of community input to help guide them)

Sam Judge is the biggest obstructionist to downtown improvement in Troy. The BID, a totally useless enterprise, is in second place. What a lost opportunity for the city. These pure aesthetic idiots, and Mr. Babypants Judge, have no idea how this decision effects the opportunity cost of 1 Monument Square. Grant money the city had for this is now going to go away as will the state grant Bonacio had to rehabilitate the Cinema Art theater. All boats would have been raised in downtown. Instead, many will now risk sinking. Thank you Sam Judge for your "love" of Troy.

Sammy boy speaks from both sides of his mouth...

Sam Judge, Troy Record: 6/26/2011

"Judge Development Corporation made its first investment in Troy in 2004. In 2005, I moved to the Collar City, the same city my ancestors settled in over 100 years ago. Our investment and my move here were motivated by the opportunity to be a part of a unique community with the potential to meet and surpass its past glory.

To date, JDC has invested over $14 Million into the Troy economy. I think it is important to note that none of this investment includes public funds. This is an important point because our success is inextricablely tied to that of the city. A majority of our holdings are located in the heart of downtown along the river and consist of office, retail and residential properties, including some of the most historically prominent buildings in Troy...

...The simple answer is that we believe the Hudson River to be the key to Troy's future. The former City Hall stood as a tribute to the lack of progress and Troy's dependence on government subsidies. The potential of One Monument Square is tremendous and the dividends that a high-end residential development would present to the downtown environment, retail climate, as well as the public are difficult to overstate.

As to the proposal to move City Hall to a new location, we certainly do not object. 1776 Sixth Ave. is a great property, located at desirable address and features several attractive amenities. However, we strenuously object to the idea of locating City Hall along the waterfront. To do so would likely strangle the life out of the retailers and other businesses along River Street who depend on consumer foot traffic and the scarce parking. Riverfront property is arguably the most valuable in the city and it would be foolish for the city to disregard the tax revenue generated by private ownership of the Dauchy Building. All of the time, effort and money spent creating and planning a vibrant Downtown Troy will have been wasted.

I, personally, have been the subject of slander by councilmen and my company has been unfairly criticized and disparaged in the press. Nevertheless, we remain committed to Troy. We continue to offer our cooperation with city officials, pay our taxes and look forward to actively participating in Troy's bright future."

Oh well, thanks Junior for helping to make all the time, effort and money spent creating and planning a vibrant Downtown Troy be wasted. Maybe it's time to move back to Vermont.

The Amazing Intimate Essentials "movie arcade" at Hoosick and River Street has been in business for years and years. It must be doing pretty well. Maybe they can build a outpost megaplex at Monument Square if people are so worried about Bow Tie Cinema.

If Sam wants to do a project there, he ought to work harder next time and do a better job on his proposal.

Ace- the $3.8 mil grant money doesn't go away and the grant money for the Cinema Arts theater is only tied to the 1MSQ build as far as Bonacio wants it to be. It was applied for prior to 1MSQ and if he doesn't proceed with the single theater, that's on him.

My understanding is that, once again, while there was some vocal public opposition, it really was the city that screwed this up to the point that it was impossible for Bonacio to proceed without facing continuous litigation. In the Kirchoff RFP, the sale almost accidentally included a strip of land that the city was unable to sell but was caught last minute before paperwork was signed in the City Council meeting. There was another, similar error that was not caught that would have been legally fatal if the project continued to go forward. Something about state land being sold that the city had no legal right to sell? I honestly can't remember because I stopped listening a month ago when I realized this project wasn't going forward.

Cmaxby - all grant money has a shelf life. And if the focal point of what it was originally awarded for changes significantly, it can be rescinded.

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