GLOVERSVILLE – The Gloversville Planning Council has approved the Kearney Realty Group’s 75-unit, 75-unit “Glove City Lofts” site plan at 51 Church Street as a result of ‘a public hearing Tuesday evening.
Tanyalynnette Grimes, President and CEO of Micropolis Development Group, was the only person to speak at the public hearing. She asked if the Glove City lofts, if built, would be used for “low-rental housing” or “Section 8” housing.
“Are there any clarifications [of the income levels of the prospective tenants of the building] in the site plans, since it is in a superimposed historic district, and with regard to the businesses of the city center? ” she asked.
Fulton County planner Sean Geraghty, who advises the planning council, said Kearney’s site plan request included clarification of the income requirements of potential tenants.
“If you want to come and review the application, you are more than welcome to do so. You can do it here in town or I have a copy at the county planning department, ”Geraghty said. “Generally speaking, public hearings are not question-and-answer sessions. This really is an opportunity for the public to tell the Planning Board something they don’t know about the application, but yes the applicants have been very thorough in explaining the types of tenants they will have in the application. these buildings and how they will qualify.
Ken Kearney, owner of the Kearney Realty Group, said his company would claim about $ 1.1 million in income-tested federal housing tax credits granted by the New York State Office for Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) to build the Glove City Lofts Complex.
Kearney explained the income rules required by the federal tax credit program used to help fund the project in October. He said he expects one-bedroom income-based apartments to cost around $ 665 in rent per month, while two-bedroom income-based apartments will cost around $ 775. He said “middle income” units will have higher rents, perhaps up to 20% more. He said the federal tax credit program doesn’t want any of the tenants to pay more than 30% of their income for rent.
After the public hearing, Kearney’s developer Parkview Development & Construction asked Gloversville town planning council to waive the city’s six-month requirement to begin construction after site plan approval , and to extend it to 18 months, in order to give the company enough time to obtain the financing necessary for the construction of the complex without having to come back several times to the town planning council for extensions.
The planning council consensus agreed to the extension of the deadline and the president of the planning council, Geoffrey Peck, requested that the 18-month deadline be entered in the minutes.
Following the hearing, Kearney said Glove City Lofts now had all of the local approvals it needed to build the project, including the correct zoning.
In July, it was revealed at a planning council meeting that the 3-acre lot at 51 Church Street had been zoned from commercial to a parcel zoned for manufacturing in 2015. The zoning issue presented a problem. potential for the major project, but city officials have since discovered that the zoning was changed in 2018.
Peck said the zoning change in 2018 did not go in the normal way, with the joint council bypassing the review by the city’s planning council.
“They just didn’t go through all the procedures,” Geraghty added.
“We made a note in the minutes of last month’s meeting [in November] this [the rezoning of 51 Church St.] had not been presented to the Planning Council under standard procedure, but the statute of limitations had expired, so it had become law, ”Peck said.
The Glove City Lofts project also requested $ 1 million as part of Gloversville’s request for the $ 10 million downtown revitalization initiative in 2021. On Tuesday evening, Kearney said he hoped Gloversville would win the DRI competition for the Mohawk Valley, which he says will be announced soon.
“If the DRI materializes, if the city succeeds, the other two [apartment building projects from my company that received DRI funding in other cities] in the Mohawk Valley, Oneonta and Rome… they were both priority projects in these [successful] DRI plans, ”Kearney said. “[Those DRI grant awards] brought these projects to the top for consideration by UNHCR [for the federal tax credits]. It is hope here.
Kearney has said in the past that the project in Gloversville could be delayed for a year if Gloversville does not receive the DRI, but on Tuesday night he said he believed he would win it.
“I have never been more optimistic about a DRI plan than with this one,” he said.