Gloversville's $9M affordable housing project completed

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For The Recorder

GLOVERSVILLE — The $9 million affordable housing development at the former Estee school location has been completed.

New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas announced on Wednesday the completion of the Estee Senior Apartments. The development replaces a long vacant school building with 37 energy-efficient apartments for adults 55 and up.

According to Visnauskas, the development complements initiatives of the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council to promote economic activity in the region’s central business districts and create new housing opportunities.

“Estee Senior Apartments will allow more than 37 adults to age in place in the community they call home,” Visnauskas stated. “Not only will the development provide much needed affordable housing in the City of Gloversville, but it also breathes new life into Main Street by replacing a deteriorating building with a beautiful new residential building.”

Originally constructed in 1916, the Estee School building closed in 1996 and fell into disrepair. The school was demolished and replaced with the three-story Estee Senior Apartments, 90 North Main St., which architecturally resemble the original structure.

The development is located within the Central Business District in the City of Gloversville and is within walking distance to small retailers, restaurants, medical offices, churches, a post office and public library. Residents have access to two nearby senior centers.

“A community achieves rebirth as a result of persistence, hard work and positive spirit,” City of Gloversville Councilmember Vincent DeSantis stated. “This new building is a triumph after years of determined effort on the part of Liberty Affordable Housing. It is a visible example of the kinds of improvements we are capable of achieving through cooperation and patient, constructive effort.”

Estee Senior Apartments include 37 one-bedroom apartments for older adults ages 55 and up. Six apartments are set aside for individuals with mobility, hearing or vision impairments or frail elderly, with priority given to veterans.

Building amenities include laundry facilities on each floor, a community room with kitchen, a computer lab, a fitness room, bicycle storage, an outdoor patio, and flower and vegetable gardens.

“I am very thrilled to have this improvement in our downtown,” city of Gloversville Mayor Dayton King stated. “The people from the liberty affordable team had been fantastic, and I appreciate their persistence to keep trying to get this project funded.”

The project also supports Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s commitment to providing all New Yorkers with access to safe, affordable housing, which is reflected in the state’s $20 billion, five-year Housing Plan. 

The plan makes housing accessible and combats homelessness by building and preserving more than 100,000 units of affordable housing and 6,000 of supportive housing. The plan is a comprehensive approach to statewide housing issues and includes multifamily and single-family housing, community development, and rent stabilization.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority provided $38,000 to support building designs through its Low-Rise Residential New Construction program, which offers technical support and incentives to help developers improve energy efficiency performance. Energy efficient features include EnergyStar appliances, heating and air conditioning systems and lighting; high efficiency exterior lighting with daylight sensors; and low-VOC paint, adhesives and sealants.

“Building affordable housing developments to the highest standards of energy efficiency is critical to improving consumer choice and energy affordability throughout the state while reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions,” Alicia Barton, President and CEO of NYSERDA stated. “The Estee Senior Apartments provide a great example of how more New York seniors are able to enjoy comfortable, safe and cost-effective housing because of continued investments under Gov. Cuomo’s nation-leading clean energy and climate initiatives.”

Estee Senior Apartments promotes economic revitalization efforts for the downtown central business district as outlined in the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council’s Strategic Plan and the City of Gloversville Comprehensive Plan. The redevelopment of the Estee School site was the top housing priority for the Mohawk Valley’s 2013 Community Renewal Funding round.

New York State Homes and Community Renewal funding for the $9 million project includes federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits that generated $4.6 million in equity and a $400,000 Community Development Block Grant award. Additional support is provided by the New York State Economic Development Assistance Program, administered by the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, and funds generated by settlements between the New York State Attorney General and banks stemming from the mortgage foreclosure crisis.

Since 2011, HCR has invested $107 million in the Mohawk Valley that has created affordable housing for about 3,340 residents.

Liberty Affordable Housing Inc. is a nonprofit developer headquartered in Rome.