Two new bidders look to take on student housing development

Tyler McNeil

Managing Editor

The future of student housing could be in the hands of one of two developers, the United Group or Hudson Valley Stargreen, next Tuesday.

“We had some very good responses to this last [request-for-proposal], and we’re evaluating that, and we feel very confident that by fall of 2017, we’re going to be able to provide student housing on that site [of the Hy Rosenblum Administration building],” said President Drew Matonak.

The college is currently in the process of interviewing both developers for the 41-acre student housing property. Both developers requested to purchase the site three weeks ago when bids closed for the Hy Rosenblum Administration building property. “We’re prepared should the bid be favorable,” said Dennis Kennedy, director of communications and marketing about the college selling the land.

According to the request for proposal and based on the building’s current condition, both bidders would be allowed to either renovate or demolish the Hy Rosenblum Administration building for student housing. The document also stated that student housing must be completed by June 1, 2017.  “I mean, I just think it’s a reasonable amount of time to move forward,” said Kennedy.

Both bidders are located nearby the college in North Greenbush. Hudson Valley Stargreen is currently in the process of constructing 33,000 square feet of retail space and 48 townhouse units at the Route 4 corridor.

The United Group, headquartered in the Rensselaer Technology Park, operates student housing suites across the state, including at RPI and UAlbany.

A request for proposal was first issued by Hudson Valley on Oct. 28 after the Rensselaer County Legislature approved the sale of student housing. SUNY approved the college’s sale of student housing on Nov. 5, the same day Hudson Valley hosted a pre-bid conference for companies interested in purchasing the site.

On Sep. 22, after Omni Development struggled to finance the project, the Board of Trustees voted to sell the property in hopes of accelerating the process of student housing construction. In August, the opening date of housing was moved to 2017 due to financial difficulties in putting the over $20 million project together.

No estimates are available on future student housing construction costs.


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