By JEANETTE WOLFBERG
HUDSON – The Hudson Housing Authority (HHA) and Mountco Construction and Development Corporation are working on a concept paper outlining their plans for redeveloping land in Hudson, the Authority’s Executive Director Jeffrey Dodson told the Board of Commissioners at its November 20 meeting. They will present the paper to the state of New York, and depending on what feedback they get from it, they might have to modify it for approval. The current concept includes demolishing a high-rise and three low-rises, erecting five mid-rises on HHA land, erecting townhouses on additional land, and reconfiguring part of State and First streets in Hudson.
The HHA runs the income-restricted Bliss Tower high-rise and Columbia Apartments low-rises in Hudson. Together these buildings contain 135 apartments, of which 106 are rentable, Mr. Dobson reported this summer. The buildings are 50 years old. The HHA decided to redevelop the land and this spring chose Mountco as its development partner, along with the firm of Alexander Gorlin as architects.
“Is there an opportunity for the public to comment on the redevelopment?” Terence Law of Hudson asked from the audience. Mr. Dodson and Commissioner Nick Zachos assured him there will be several opportunities. The project must undergo review by not only the state but also Hudson’s Common Council and Planning Board.
The HHA’s current property lies along Second Street, on both sides of State Street. On it, Bliss Tower and Columbia Apartments stand between Columbia and State streets. Across State Street from Bliss Tower, the land has ball courts, playground equipment and a parking lot.
Meanwhile, the City of Hudson has offered to sell the HHA three additional parcels of land at half price.
At September and October HHA board meetings, Mountco and Gorlin representatives showed diagrams of an ambitious maximum-build proposal. This proposal envisions replacing all features on HHA’s current land with five new apartment buildings. Of the five buildings, one would have four stories, one would have five stories, one would have six stories, and two would be seven stories. Each story would have 12 to 20 apartments. Together the five buildings would contain about 300 apartments, over twice the number in the current HHA buildings. The five buildings would stand around an initially-green space, with athletic and other amenities. For residents, there would be about 200 to 280 parking spaces, some underground.
First Street would be lengthened, with a new segment from Columbia Street to State Street, separating HHA land from Schuyler Court. State Street would be blocked off between First and Second streets.
The plan envisions buying all three of the land parcels the city has offered HHA and erecting three-story townhouses on each parcel. Two such parcels are within sight of HHA’s current land; the third is at the foot of Warren Street, across Front Street from the Chamber of Commerce building. Together the townhouses would have about 15 apartments, each with three to five bedrooms.
The law requires rehousing HHA’s residents before demolishing their buildings. Some places suggested for them to move into – either temporarily or permanently – require first erecting new structures and getting them ready for habitation.
These places include:
•The two buildings in the maximum build scenario that HHA and Mountco can get built without demolishing Bliss
•Housing that the Kearny Group is planning to build on Mill Street.
Also at the November 20 meeting, Mr. Dodson announced an election for a tenant commissioner will take place December 19. Two members of the Board of Commissioners must be tenants of the HHA living in HHA buildings. Their fellow tenants elect them for two year terms. Every December they elect one. The resident they elect this December will serve in 2024 and 2025. This time, Mr. Dodson reported, there are two candidates for the one position.
The term of the other Tenant Commissioner, Mary Decker, will continue through 2024. Next December the tenants will vote on a commissioner to serve in 2025 and 2026.
The Mayor of Hudson picks those of HHA’s commissioners who are not tenants in HHA buildings.