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The main courtyard. The stamped concrete will be heated to melt snow (you can see the tubing for the heating system).

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The old stable building.

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A model studio unit with a Murphy bed.

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Sky lights in the former garage buildings.

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Some of the restoration work on the old windows in the stable building.

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These units in the back of the stable building open directly to the outside.

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Some of them are small -- in the 300-400 square foot range.

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Another courtyard.

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A larger (still unfinished) studio unit.

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The main courtyard looking out toward Myrtle.

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A loft unit with spiral staircase.

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A third courtyard.

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Former garage bays.

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Gawking at the @HudsonPark residential conversion in Albany

At Hudson Park residential conversion 160 Myrtle

At the corner of Myrtle and Swan.

This week we got a chance to gawk at the still-under-construction residential conversion of the former Long Energy building at Myrtle and Swan, right across from Lincoln Park in Albany.

It's an interesting project, in part because of the design challenge of reshaping the complex of three historic buildings -- they were originally used in association with breweries -- into apartments.

The project also represents a significant addition of residential units -- 75 -- to the neighborhood.

Here's a look around, along with a few more bits.

Look up

Photos are at the top in large format -- click or scroll all the way up.

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Basic details

This section has been updated with new info.

The project -- called @HusdonPark -- includes 75 units:

+ 33 studios that range from 280-659 square feet, with rents from $900-$1,175.

+ 32 loft-style units ranging from 412-938 square feet, with rents from $1,100-$1,500.

+ 10 1BR units ranging from 556-701 square feet, with rents from $1,225-$1,275.

There are 53 parking spaces for the project.

Amenities include washer/dryer in some units (and laundry facilities on each floor), a fitness center, bike storage, a lounge, and pet grooming area.

The developer is Capital District Real Estate Investment Team (CDREIT), a collection of investors that already owns a bunch of rental units in Albany. Sunrise Management & Consulting will be managing and marketing the apartments.

The apartments are expected to be ready in March.

The $13 million project is getting sales and mortgage recording tax exemptions via the Albany IDA. And CDREIT partner Gilah Moses said the project is also up for state and federal historic tax credits, as well as a property tax break via a state program for mixed-use conversion projects (this program is known as 485-a).

To qualify for the mixed-use requirement of that program, Moses said the project will include a co-working space that will be made available to residents for an extra charge. She said CDREIT was still reviewing its plan for the space, and it's possible the space could be opened to non-residents.

A few more things

This was a big design challenge
When this project was up before the Albany planning board, a lot of the discussion was focused on how the developers would be able to 1) carve out 75 apartments in former industrial buildings and 2) basically not change the exterior in order to comply with historic preservation requirements.

The solution, as designed by 3t Architects: Three courtyards cut into two of the former garage buildings, allowing light in. (You can see the courtyards in the photos at the top.)

Because of the design and historic preservation issues, Gilah Moses said it was a challenge to line up investors, financing, and contractors. (CDREIT ended up hiring BBL for construction.)

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"But it's also more fun to do a historic rehab," she said. "There's so much gratification in seeing this old building brought back to life. You're not going to get just erecting a lifeless, white box basically, where there's no character."

The apartments are different
Like in a lot of conversions involving historic buildings, the apartments in @HudsonPark are shaping up to be a little bit different -- from each other, and in general.

Very few of the apartments in the projects are exactly like one another, and many of them include some details -- like an exposed brick wall or old metal truss -- that hint at the building's history. A few of them make use of the former garage openings as a large wall of windows.

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A model studio unit with a Murphy bed.

The project is also a bit different in that many of the units are studios, some of them relatively small -- in the 300-400 square foot range. To make the most of that space, 30 of the units include fold-up Murphy beds. And 16 units have spiral staircases.

Moses said the smaller units, with rents around $1000, could be an option for people who want a newly-converted apartment but might not be in the market for paying some of the higher rents being asked at other new projects around the city.

"We have studios already," she said, referring to CDREIT's other holdings. "And we know how popular they are."

This is a walkable neighborhood
One other thing, that's not specifically about this project: The neighborhood Hudson/Park might not get the hype that Center Square receives, or even Park South in recent years. But it has a pretty great location.

Standing at the corner of Myrtle and Swan near this project, Lincoln Park is literally right across the street. You can see the Empire State Plaza just a few block to the north. The Market32 on Delaware Ave is two blocks away. There's a community garden a block away. And within about a half-mile walk there are a bunch of different job clusters.

If anything, it's just a reminder that Albany has a bunch of good, walkable neighborhoods.
____

Earlier

+ Another residential conversion planned in Albany, this time in Hudson/Park (2016)

+ The @Hudson Park residential conversion in Albany gets planning OK (2017)

+ Walking Myrtle Ave, end to end

Comments

Where did Long Oil Heating go?

Why is this neighborhood called Hudson Park? Hudson is on the other side of Madison Ave and part of Center Square - does the Hudson in this name come from somewhere else?

I live about a block away (psst. AOA stop blowing up our sweet spot! Keep Hudson Park boring!) and I have been intently watching this go up. It seems like 3t is doing a really great, careful. Does anyone know when these finish and go on the market? They're rentals not condos, right?

@Jeff - this neighborhood begins at Hudson Street and ends at Park Street. Center Square is State through half of Hudson St. Many incorrectly believe Madison is the dividing line because there is an old school feeling about living on the 'right' and 'wrong' side of Madison. http://www.hudsonpark.org/about.html

Glad to have new residents in the neighborhood! But, you know Greg, Jenna's right... let's keep quiet about this spot! It's too good to let everyone in on.

And next time you talk to Gilah, ask her about the oysters...

@Jenna - thanks! It's something I've wondered a while. It was never explicitly explained to me, just seemed implied that Center Square was the grid between Madison & State/Washington. I figured Madison Ave was the division simply because it's a bigger and busier road -- same with the other side, just not really residential units on that part of Washington Ave.

No mention of the Hinkel Brewery apartments that are on the back end of these new places. How will these new places affect the residents living on the other side? Are the two places connected at all? It would be great if the owner of the Brewery apartments made some improvements too.

Jenna: The rental amounts are listed in the article.

It looks as though this project had some design challenges. These apartments look interesting, though I'm not sure how practical some of the units are going to be to live in full-time. It's hard to tell. (AOA, please go back when the units are done, and do another story!)

The Murphy bed-sofa combination is unusual. The kitchen shown after the two photos with the bed closed (as sofa) and then open is tiny, with barely any cabinet and counter space. Is this unit intended as a pied-à-terre for someone who has another home elsewhere? Or younger folks who haven't accumulated possessions? Who lives in all the studios owned by the developer?

I'm curious about how those courtyard spaces are going to work and be used by residents. Do units looking out onto courtyards have additional windows on the street side, facing the "real" outside?

How is the accessibility for people with disabilities?

It is nice to see apartments that are not those generic boxy things in two or more colors that seem to be sprouting up everywhere (Park South and that proposal for 1211 Western Ave., I'm looking at you).

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