Officials Cut Ribbon On 70 Renovated Residential Buildings In Albany
Officials celebrated the renovation of 70 historic structures in the city of Albany’s Arbor Hill neighborhood Thursday.
Along a 1.1 mile stretch of Clinton Avenue between Henry Johnson Boulevard and the Palace Theater, 210 housing units in 70 recently renovated buildings are now filled to capacity.
The buildings, renovated using a $56 million investment from New York State, are being managed by Home Leasing. Company CEO Bret Garwood MC’d a grand opening celebration Thursday in Arbor Hill.
“Thank you everybody for coming to the celebration of the Clinton Avenue Apartments project’s completion, our ribbon cutting,” said Garwood.
Democratic Mayor Kathy Sheehan, who renovated and resides in an historic home nearby, said Home Leasing worked with a team of stakeholders including state and city officials and neighbors to complete the project.
“For me, this was a really important sign of the investment that we can attract to a neighborhood that is an historic neighborhood, that is a neighborhood that includes housing that we wanted to ensure was affordable at every level…”
Dr. Brenda Robinson, President of the Arbor Hill Neighborhood Association, said community members were initially somewhat skeptical of the project.
“We were concerned about gentrification, jobs, affordability of the homes, and an out-of-town company coming in to take over our area. Those were some of our big concerns. The Arbor Hill Neighborhood Association is supportive of development that is inclusive, creates jobs for our local residents, and works well with existing residents, benefitting our community,” said Dr. Robinson.
Each of the affordable housing units includes energy efficient doors, windows, and appliances. All utilities are included in rent. Additionally, mental health support services are being made available to 40 tenants, through a partnership with non-profit supportive housing organization DePaul Community Services.
Michael Maynard lives in one of the newly renovated buildings.
“I really truly believe that if it wasn’t for programs like DePaul, I wouldn’t be having the success that I do have in my personal life,” said Maynard.
As officials welcomed the completion of renovations on these 70 structures, New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas mentioned other projects in the works.
“So we were delighted at the state to be able to bring a $56 million investment to this neighborhood. That is real dollars, it’s jobs, and in the end it’s housing. And it’s not just here, we recently closed on the financing for nine other row houses near this location that will have 40 more apartments, it’s a $5.3 million project we’re doing through our Smart Building program. We also announced last week a $25 million Legacy Cities initiative, and this is money that is going, really, to the same type of effort looking at vacant and blighted buildings in upstate cities…”
All 210 units along Clinton Avenue are currently being rented.