City awaits word on grant for senior housing

GLOVERSVILLE – City and economic development officials are still awaiting word on the amount of a state Housing and Community Renewal grant that will help fund proposed housing development downtown.

Fulton County Center for Regional Growth President and CEO Ron Peters said this morning that word on the grant amount was supposed to be released Friday, but the group is still waiting for a dollar amount for the proposed Estee Project that would turn the site of the more than 100-year-old former school building at 90 N. Main St. into senior housing.

Liberty Affordable Housing proposed an $8 million housing complex at the site. The company, which owns apartment complexes in Amsterdam and other places, agreed in 2013 to buy the property. The company wanted to level the vacant school and build a 37-unit apartment for low-income seniors.

Liberty’s purchase of the property was contingent on funding from the state Division of Housing and Community Renewal.

The Leader-Herald on Saturday incorrectly reported the grant would be worth $8 million.

Peters and city mayor Dayton King said this morning they were expecting to learn the amount of the grants on Friday, but have not yet heard from state officials.

The project has secured two other state grants; a $400,000 grant in 2014 to redevelop the site and another $250,000 secured by state Sen. Hugh T. Farley, R-Niskayuna.

The current building, which functioned as both a high school and middle school, will need to be torn down due to its condition.

The Estee Commons apartments on Fremont Street would not be affected by a teardown. The complex is in a separate building on the former school property.

Grant writer Nick Zabawsky said in August that the old school building had fallen into disrepair.

King said this morning he thinks the project can have a positive effect on downtown. He said construction for the project will create some jobs downtown, which can in turn lead to increased sales and foot traffic during the construction.

He said after construction finishes, more people could potentially increase foot traffic downtown as residents and their visitors spend time in their new neighborhood.

“We could maybe see some spinoff businesses to cater to the residents of the 37 units,” King said.

King said he may discuss a bit of the project during tonight’s meeting of the Common Council. King said he may rehash the project up to this point.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. and will include a public hearing on King’s proposed $17.32 million budget for 2017.

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