Boyd Printing now, but soon The Monroe
ALBANY -- The developer planning to turn a downtown printing plant into apartments is ready to begin construction and hopes to open the complex by summer.
Demolition of newer portions of the Boyd Printing Co. factory are set to begin this month. Clifton Park-based Cass Hill Development will then embark on a $6.5 million conversion that will add 43 apartments and a fifth floor to the original 47 Sheridan Ave. factory.
The apartments would be on a relatively quiet side street that's near nightlife at North Pearl Street and Clinton Square. They would also be close to other residential projects, including condominiums under construction at 17 Chapel St.
The Boyd building, as it exists now, is grimly vacant -- an industrial relic. The company sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2005 and the building then went up for sale.
Cass Hill bought the structure for $1.3 million in 2008 and has since been working to finance a residential conversion. That financing, provided by M&T Bank and Community Preservation Corp., is now secured, Paquin said.
Rents at the building -- to be renamed The Monroe -- would start at $985 for a one-bedroom to $1,485 for a two-bedroom unit. The apartments would be large -- 800 to 1,300 square feet -- and come with a parking space.
Indeed, while Cass Hill has city approval for construction, it is now asking the city to OK a 111-space surface parking lot that would also serve residents of new apartments at 4-6 Sheridan Ave.
Michael Yevoli, the city's commissioner of planning and economic development, said Albany officials are excited about the project, as it promises to add to a growing downtown residential market.
"Also, it will eradicate the blighting influence the hulking abandoned former printing processing facility has on the surrounding neighborhood," Yevoli said by e-mail.
Cass Hill has a track record in the neighborhood: The company in 2007 turned 30,000 square feet of industrial space at 25 Monroe St. into offices for Zone 5, an advertising and public relations firm.
And Paquin left open the possibility that Cass Hill would construct an additional residential building along Sheridan. He said he's convinced there's demand for downtown units from folks who already work and play in the neighborhood -- and want to live there.
"I'm betting $6.5 million on it," he said.
Paquin noted that the conversion would not have been possible without a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement with the Albany Industrial Development Agency that will abate tax increases at varying rates for 30 years.
Yevoli said that under the PILOT, the property owner still will pay about $2.5 million more in taxes to the city and schools then if the building remained vacant.