Graduates of Hudson Valley’s class of 2017 may never see student housing on campus, despite posted signs indicating its opening next fall.
The over $20 million project, originally scheduled to open in fall 2016, will be delayed another year or more, according to Alexander Popovics, vice president for enrollment management and student development. “There will be no residence hall in 2016. That is definite,” he said.
Popovics said that Omni Housing Development, in coordination with Sequence Development, is still looking to finance the project. Popovics added that the first phase of the project, which includes asbestos abatement and demolition of the Hy Rosenblum building, could start as early as this month. The first phase is scheduled to take up to three months, and construction of the site is now planned for spring 2016.
“Generally, these types of properties are not suited for mid-year opening and lease-ups, so it was decided to delay the construction start to reflect a fall 2017 opening,” said Tim O’Byrne, project manager at Omni Housing, a division of Omni Development, in an email. He said that design changes for the project have delayed construction, which will be done by U.W Marx Construction Company.
The first phase of the project, originally scheduled for winter break last year, was delayed and pushed back several times last spring. “The initial construction estimates came in higher than expected, which required us to make some changes to the building design and functionality,” O’Byrne said.
During winter break, Troy’s Industrial Development Authority approved a $7.3 million payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) for the project. The college will pay about $1 million in PILOT payments.
The concept of Hudson Valley residence halls has been in the works for over a decade. In 2007, a Student Housing Economic Feasibility study by MGT of America contracted by the Faculty Student Association concluded that housing could increase enrollment 83 percent in the first year.
On June 13, 2013, the college issued a Request for Proposal for companies to submit plans to use the Hy Rosenblum property for student housing. The project was ultimately awarded to Omni and Sequence in a single proposal.
Despite concerns from local residents regarding construction, traffic, neighborhood stability and preservation of a 19th-century cemetery located nearby, the Troy Planning Commission approved the site plan for student housing last September.
When opened in 2017, the complex is expected to include 328 beds ($655 monthly rent per person for a four-bedroom apartment and $745 monthly rent per person for a two-bedroom apartment), 160 parking spaces, exercise rooms, common lounge areas and round-the-clock security.