Section: Capitaland Quarterly,  Page: CQ11

Date: Sunday, September 27, 2009


1. Harriman Research and Technology Park [update]

Location: Between Washington and Western avenues in Albany, near the University at Albany campus

Description: Long-delayed plan, first proposed in 2003, to turn the 330-acre state employment campus into a hub for private development centered on high-technology and research.

Overall cost: Initially estimated at $250 million to $300 million

The latest: The state said in August it would use part of the campus for a $40 million food laboratory for the Department of Agriculture and Markets. Officials described the 70,000-square-foot project as a move forward for the Harriman, but the announcement seemed a departure from the plan for private development. Also, the state has ignored proposals by two local companies wanting to redevelop the campus.

2. Albany Convention Center [update]

Location: Hudson Avenue, between Liberty and Pearl streets in downtown Albany

Description: mammoth building with an exhibition room, multipurpose room and ballroom, touted as key to downtown revitalization.

Overall cost: $225 million to $240 million

Developer: Albany Convention Center Authority

The latest: The authority in August made its first land acquisition, paying $469,673 for half an acre. The authority also was preparing to acquire nine small parcels from the county for $435,000, and its officials said the goal was to have control over the six acres needed for the controversial project by year's end.

3. DeWitt Clinton [NEW]

Location: State and Eagle streets in downtown Albany, across from the Capitol.

Description: A landmark former hotel, built in the 1920s, where the upper floors had most recently been used as a low-rent apartment building.

Overall cost: Not available

Developer: See Why Gerard LLC

The latest: Owner has been involved in a long and public -- and so far unsuccessful -- attempt to evict a comedy club from the building's bottom floor. In August, an architect hired by the owner announced new plans to turn the building into a 198-room Hilton Embassy Suites hotel.

4. Wellington Place [update]

Location: Upper State Street in downtown Albany, near the Capitol

Description: Renovation of four historic but dilapidated buildings long considered one of downtown's most embarrassing eyesores. Plan calls for apartments and retail along with construction of a 14-story office tower. Facade of the former Wellington Hotel would be reconstructed on a new building.

Overall cost: $65 million

Developer: Columbia Development Cos., an arm of BBL Construction Cos.

The latest: Early construction work has begun. BBL head Donald LedDuke recently said that work on the smaller buildings would progress, but conceded construction on the office tower would not begin until a major tenant agrees to move to the building.

5. Institute for Biomedical Education and Research [update]

Location: The University at Albany's campus in East Greenbush

Description: 110,000-square-foot center for research on cancer, cardiology and neurological disorders

Overall cost: $42 million

Developer: UAlbany and Albany Medical Center, with the state bearing the cost

The latest: The project, announced in 2008, is apparently dead, a major economic blow for the region. Leaders hired for the project are no longer in their jobs, and spokespeople for both the university and the hospital have been unable to give status updates for the institute. The project had been modeled on the Georgia Research Alliance, a collaboration by Atlanta-area universities credited with attracting 90 companies and 4,000 jobs.

6. Troy City Hall [update]

Location: River Street at Monument Square, downtown Troy

Description: Demolition and replacement of the love-it-or-hate-it government building built in a stark, modernist architectural style.

Overall cost: Undetermined

Developer: Undetermined

The latest: The plan is to relocate City Hall to the former Verizon building on Sixth Avenue once an elevator is installed there and other construction work is finished. In August, the city said it had hired a Boston architecture firm as a consultant for the redevelopment of the City Hall site, which overlooks the Hudson River.

RESIDENTIAL (mixed use)

7. Saratoga Springs Price Chopper [update]

Location: 19 Railroad Place, downtown Saratoga Springs

Description: Mixed-use development that includes a small Price Chopper supermarket and housing on upper floors.

Overall cost: Not available

Developer: Bonacio Construction, Saratoga Springs

The latest: Bonacio recently submitted plans for the project, which will have five floors of housing atop an 18,000-square-foot Price Chopper. The one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments will rent for $1,200 to $1,800 per month. Four small retail spaces will also be next to the grocery store. The company said it hopes to break ground by spring.

8. Park Place [update]

Location: Broadway, downtown Saratoga Springs

Description: A massive, block-long project adjacent to Congress Park that includes offices, stores and condominiums. Built on the site of the old YMCA.

Cost: $30 million

Developer: Bonacio Construction, Saratoga Springs

The latest: Bonacio in July said the project had sold 60 percent of its condos and had welcomed the first of its residential tenants. The company also said it leased space to office tenants, including a real estate company and a public relations firm.

9. Alden Terrace [update]

Location: Route 23, Cairo, Greene County

Description: Proposed as 140 housing units, including apartments for seniors, subsidized housing, and townhomes priced between $250,000 and $300,000. The 20- to 30-acre project also would include two restaurants and 89,000 square feet of retail space, including a supermarket.

Developer: Charles Maggio

Overall cost: $50 million

The latest: In the face of continuing opposition from residents who said the project would damage the character of the rural community, in May Maggio quietly withdrew plans for the project.


10. The Alexander at Patroon Creek [update]

Location: Patroon Creek Corporate Center, along Washington Avenue in Albany and across from the Harriman State Office Campus.

Description: 300-unit apartment complex with a 600-car parking garage. The upscale complex was expected to include 174 one-bedroom units, 118 two-bedroom units and eight three-bedroom units.

Cost: $45 million

Developer: A.G. Spanos Cos., Stockton, Calif.

The latest: The building, the first in the Northeast by Spanos, one of the nation's largest apartment developers, is nearly ready for occupancy.


11. Luther Forest Technology Campus [update]

Location: Off Northway Exit 11 in Malta and Stillwater

Description: Development of 1,414 wooded acres planned as a home for the semiconductor industry and other high-tech businesses. Most notably, the campus is set to be the home of a much-ballyhooed $4.2 billion chip-fabrication plant.

Overall cost: Undetermined

Developer: Saratoga Economic Development Corp.

The latest: GlobalFoundries Inc. held a groundbreaking for its chip-fab in July. Over the next two years, more than 1,400 laborers, project managers and engineers are expected to be working at Luther Forest constructing the $800 million building that would house the factory. Once completed and fully operational by 2012, the facility is expected to employ up to 1,465 people.

-- Chris Churchill