Items tagged with 'Albany convention center'
The Albany Capital Center doesn't open until next March, but the structure of the new convention center has taken shape and, from the exterior at least, it's starting to look like it's finished form.
The road to this point has been a long one, stretching back years. And it didn't event start at this site on Eagle Street -- the first proposed spot, for a much larger project, was on the south side of downtown.
So, we're curious to see how this is all going to turn out. (And we suspect you are, too.) Toward that end, we got a chance to tour the construction site this week.
Let's have a look...
The Albany Capital Center isn't set to open until March of next year, but officials celebrated the completion of the structural framework of the new convention center in downtown Albany Tuesday with a "topping off" ceremony in which the final steel beam was lifted to the top. And on that beam were an evergreen tree and an American flag.
You might have noticed this sort of ceremony (also known as "topping out") at other local projects -- the Rivers Casino project had one back in April.
So... what's with the tree?
The short clip embedded above is a new promo video for the Albany Capital Center, which is under construction at Eagle and Howard streets. It includes a handful of interior renderings of the convention center that we hadn't seen, yet. (The renderings start around the :45 mark.)
That LED ceiling in the second floor multipurpose space looks like it could be groovy.
The Albany Capital Center is scheduled for an early 2017 opening.
One of the things that caught our eye is an ongoing time lapse video of the site from above. (We're always a sucker for stuff like that.) The current version is embedded above. The site says the time lapse will be updated monthly.
(By the way: To us, the video looked best when set to 720p on half speed -- click the little gear icon in the Youtube control bar to change the settings.)
Now that the old Wellington Hotel annex is gone (and how), here's the latest rendering of the Albany Capital Center. The Albany Convention Center Authority released this image on Friday. Here's a larger version.
An architect for the firm designing the center told the Times Union the project's brick facade is intended to fit with the former DeWitt Clinton Hotel across Howard Street. The DeWitt Clinton is itself going through a major renovation to become the "Renaissance Hotel."
That whole 2-3 block area of downtown Albany is set for a major transformation. In addition to the Albany Capital Center and DeWitt Clinton projects, there's also a plan for mixed-use buildings behind the currently empty Wellington facade along State Street. Also proposed for that block: a new 337-space parking garage off Howard Street, for which Columbia Development is seeking $1.2 million via the state Regional Economic Development Council (the rendering above appears to include a glimpse of the garage).
Updated Monday morning.
The old Wellington Hotel annex in downtown Albany was imploded Saturday morning to make way for the new convention center. A video clip is embedded above.
There were probably a few thousand people gathered on the Empire State Plaza, along with others in a few other spots around downtown. The were some on-building fireworks. A few loud booms. A slight pause. The building collapsed. Cheering. And then lots of dust.
After the jump, a collection of tweets, instagrams, and pics...
Update: The implosion has been moved to Saturday, August 23. The information below has been updated.
The city of Albany has given to the OK to the implosion of the Wellington annex building in downtown Albany for this
Thursday, August 21 Saturday, August 23. The big boom is apparently going to happen sometime in the morning.
The implosion has prompted of a bunch of road closures (for cars and pedestrians) and parking restrictions for that day. There's a list and a map after the jump.
Two quick updates on two big projects in Albany: Both the Park South redevelopment project and the Albany convention center project got approval from the city planning board Thursday night for their demolition plans.
The approvals moves both a bit closer to actual construction -- because it moves them closer to knocking down what's currently there.
So, this is news: "A government official involved in the project's negotiations" tells the Biz Review's Adam Sichko that the Cuomo administration has approved the scaled-down version of the Albany convention center. That's a big deal because buy-in from the Cuomo admin would open the way for the release of about $70 million in money that's already allocated/promised/set aside for a convention center project.
The new scaled-down plan was introduced in November. It would site a 82,000-square-foot facility at Howard and Eagle in downtown Albany. The Albany Convention Center Authority has touted the new plan -- about a third the size of the of the originally proposed project -- as a "hub" between the Empire State Plaza and the Times Union Center, with all three connected by a covered walkway.
The ACCA said the $66.5 million project could be paid for with the already-allocated money. It estimated that it could be completed by July 2016.
The Cuomo administration confirmed the approval in a press release later on Tuesday. The release included a name for the facility -- "Albany Capital Center" -- and a start date for construction -- June 2014.
Oh, and there's important bit tucked into the administration's announcement:
Furthermore, the land accumulated by the Authority for the first proposed location would be conveyed to the Office of General Services (OGS) and would be made available for appropriate development through a Request for Proposal managed by OGS and Empire State Development (ESD), with the goals of expanding the local commercial tax base and the creation of jobs and opportunities
That land is the chunk on the south side of downtown Albany near the bus station. Earlier this year an idea was floated for the land to be used for an aquarium/science center/something or other. The fact that the state will directly controlling the land prompts a lot of questions -- including what state officials consider "appropriate development" for the site.
The Albany Convention Center Authority revealed a bit more about the revised plan to build a scaled-down, $66.5 million convention center at Eagle and Howard streets in downtown Albany. An ACCA slide deck about the project is embedded after the jump -- it includes some renderings and details. Also there: an clickable map with estimated building print.
This new plan replaces the original proposal for much larger facility on the southern end of downtown Albany. That plan fizzled over the last few years under concerns about cost and whether the project could float financially over the long term.
The authority is touting the new project -- about a third the size of the of the other project -- as a "hub" between the Empire State Plaza and the Times Union Center, with all three connected by a covered walkway and 2) feasible under the approximately $70 million already allocated/promised/set aside for the original convention center. It projects a timeline that includes a possible completion date of July 2016.
There are still a handful of questions and uncertainties about the project. This article from the Biz Review's Mike DeMasi covers a lot of them, along with other details about the project.
And what of the south side downtown land gathered for the original project? JCE reported in the TU today that the authority is planing to issue a request for proposals for a mixed-use project on the site.