Esslie-Frenia Law June 2023 Leaderboard

Housing developer offers $3M for closed school


HUDSON—The Hudson City School District Board of Education has approved an agreement to sell the former John L. Edwards School property for $3 million to Adirondack Community Development, LLC. The new owner plans to build 230 multifamily, below-market-rate apartments at the State Street site.

The Board approved the purchase agreement at a special meeting March 23. But the sale will go through only if several conditions favorable to the buyer’s plan are met.

The John L. Edwards School (JLE) at State and Fourth streets opened in 1964, replacing several neighborhood elementary schools. Over the years, various grades used it. Its catchment area grew, as the Hudson City School District (HCSD) closed schools outside of Hudson. As late as 2009, JLE opened an addition with more classrooms. Then, suddenly in 2015, the school district announced the need to shut JLE and it closed in 2018.

With declining enrollment, the HCSD has consolidated all its students into two locations: the Junior/Senior High and the Elementary School on Harry Howard Avenue.

The JLE property is about 5.3 acres.

“We arrived at an asking price based upon like and similar properties that have sold in the local and larger market,” said HCSD Superintendent Maria L. Suttmeier in a March 30 email. “We went out on the market at $3,950,000. We exhibited the property to multiple potential buyers, and negotiated the best and final selling price with a qualified purchaser at $3,000,000.”

Adirondack Community Development (ACD), according to its website, is a real estate developer who aims to “deliver high quality housing that is affordable, efficient, and responsible to its residents and neighbors.” The “notable project achievements” of ACD’s founder and chairman, Vincenzo Mileto, include “new construction projects in Florida” and approximately 4,500 apartment units in southeastern states. ACD has a main office in Manhattan, but its top officers are also officers of Mayfair Management Group of Dallas, Texas, which, according to its website, provides “services for residential, commercial, and office properties.”

Several steps must occur before the sale takes place, according to the purchase agreement. ACD will pay to get the property surveyed and inspected. The HCSD Board is working on a State Environmental Quality Review. More architectural and construction details must become available to the stakeholders. The City of Hudson and other applicable governmental authorities that have jurisdiction over the property must also approve the project. This includes rezoning the property to allow the planned development. ACD must make financing arrangements. And voters who live in the school district must approve the sale in a referendum.

‘We arrived at an asking price based upon like and similar properties that have sold in the local and larger market,’

Supt. Maria L. Suttmeier

Hudson City School District

The referendum will occur only after several other steps have been taken. The referendum can happen as a special election or as a ballot question in a future budget/school board election.

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