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Ground is broken on new affordable housing project in Troy

Officials participate in a ceremonial groundbreaking for the redevelopment of the Taylor Apartments in Troy.
Dave Lucas
Officials participate in a ceremonial groundbreaking for the redevelopment of the Taylor Apartments in Troy.

A ceremonial groundbreaking for a major public housing project was held in Troy on a blustery afternoon.

The redevelopment of the Taylor Apartments is underway at River and Congress Streets along the Hudson River waterfront.

"We are witnessing the beginning of the transformation of this corner of the city," said Mayor Patrick Madden, adding the new construction will replace the former Taylor 1 and 2 buildings.

"What previously stood on this site was a well-intentioned but poorly conceived response to the need for affordable housing," Madden said. "It was further compromised by the near criminal act of running a bridge right through the center and heart of this community, obliterating what very few outdoor amenities existed. Over the decades since these towers were first constructed, we have learned much about community development, and affordable housing. Those lessons will be incorporated in the new building that will rise from this site. The building will not stand in isolation from the surrounding neighborhood. Instead, it will be an integral part of the neighborhood, serving as a catalyst for the wholesale reimagining of this immediate area.”

Madden says bridge ramps will be torn down to make way for reconnecting River Street with South Central Troy once again, opening additional access to the riverfront.

It’s part of the "Revitalize Riverside" portion of Troy's $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative. New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner/CEO RuthAnn Visnauskas:

"This project is part of our five-year, 100,000 unit affordable housing plan, which if you ever come to any HR events, you'll hear me say over and over again, the importance of having a five year strategic plan to make sure that people know that next year in the year after in the year after these projects can continue to get financed. The governor also launched this year in her budget, the New York housing compact, which is a plan to create 800,000 homes over the next 10 years," Visnauskas said.

The structure will provide 141 units of affordable housing with modern day amenities, including a fitness center, rooftop terrace and shared social spaces. Secretary of State Robert Rodriguez says the Taylor Project will revitalize the community.

"What our strategy is, and what makes it so special, is that it's about the community, the state does not come in and say 'this is what you need for your community.' The community tells us what's the best way to utilize the $10 million award. And we're so thrilled that one of those projects, and really symbolically, the first one that we're really breaking ground on is the Taylor project," said Rodriguez.

Construction is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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