Items tagged with 'Luke Stoddard Nathan'

How 27 properties in a Troy neighborhood ended up in a shaky situation -- and the complicated path back to solid footing

Beman Park 2152 Fourteenth St

One of the properties on Fourteenth Street.

By Luke Stoddard Nathan

On January 12, 2012, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy issued an emergency notification, advising students who rented off-campus housing from a company called Campus Habitat "that the continuation of their ability to reside in that residence may be in immediate jeopardy." Campus Habitat had not paid its mortgage, utility bills, or real-estate taxes for several months, and was "involved in a large similar foreclosure lawsuit" near a school in Illinois, the alert advised.

Some 200 students escrowed or withheld rent; many sought new housing. And the memo was prophetic: Within weeks, the student-rental company's largest area lender, SEFCU, posted foreclosure notices on the doors of 27 homes.

Today students still occupy most of these homes, but it wasn't a straight path to this point. Sited in teetering neighborhoods in a city never far from "fiscal chaos," this critical assemblage of student housing, over the past half decade, has entailed a tangle of litigation, a protracted sale period, a surprise intervention, and millions of dollars in public and private investment -- all to overcome the actions of a landlord who profited at the community's expense and left a sizable chunk of the neighborhood untended.

(there's more)

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Imagine if a mixed use development - apartments, townhouses, restaurants, offices, a park - were built on the Rensselaer riverfront, and people on both sides could go to work and go out in either Albany or Renss, just by walking to a gondola station? If people had reason to traverse the Hudson - in both directions - for a reason other than commuting or getting to/from the train station, a gondola could be an awesome (and financially self-sustaining) idea, that also cuts down on the need for parking. ...

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