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Updated: Oct 2
Update on the DRI: Property for Glove City Lofts Being Prepped for Project
In the past two weeks, a project in the $10 Million Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) grant has begun as Glove City Lofts developers have started clearing the property at 52 Church Street, including milling of the parking lot and removal of electrical poles, as they begin to prepare the site for the 75-unit loft-style affordable housing project.
The developer, Kearney Realty and Development Group, has received approval through the state to move forward. Currently, debris is also being removed, along with any potential asbestos being remediated. The next steps include excavating for the footings with forming the footings by next week. The existing building will be demolished in the next 45 days. The immediate goals include getting the slab poured so the framing can start prior to the weather turning. The project is expected to wrap up in the summer of 2025.
The project spans three acres and was the site of a dilapidated call center. When completed, in addition to the mixed income artist housing complex, the project will include greenery, live-work spaces, and an art gallery run by the Glove Cities Art Alliance. While there is a focus on artists, others will be invited to apply to live there as well. There is a need in and around Gloversville for affordable housing, which is something a young professional is interested in for living in a downtown area.
Demolition and construction of the project will be performed by local companies and those who have worked on other projects by the Kearney group. All the DRI projects, including this one, must also use a certain percentage of Minority and Women-owned Business Entrepreneurs (M/WBE) that are certified through the state as part of the grant’s requirements.
In December 2021, the state awarded the City of Gloversville the grant. In November 2022, Governor Kathy Hochul came to Gloversville to announce the specific projects that were awarded. It takes time for these projects to move through the steps to ensure they stay compliant with the grant’s guidelines. While the public has not seen shovels in the ground for most of the projects, the developers have been working very hard behind the scenes.
As the grant application was several years ago, in general, the projects must first update and refine plans, costs, budgets, and construction documents. Plans then must be reviewed and approved by the state Historical Preservation Office (SHPO), as well as any other local boards that have jurisdiction over the properties. Environmental reviews must also be performed, as well as finalizing financing.
It must be noted that the grant is reimbursable and is only a portion of the entire cost of the project. This means the developer must pay out of pocket for the overall project and then, depending on the agency and the type of project, be reimbursed at certain stages of the construction, or reimbursed when the project is completed. During these past months, the projects have been researching and pursuing financing. Depending on the financial institution, it can take from three to six months from the time an application is submitted to the time it is approved.
Roughly 14 steps in the development project are performed before construction even happens.
In addition to Glove City Lofts, the other DRI projects include renovating the historic Glove Theatre, transforming the former Carriage House building in a restaurant and apartments, revitalizing the Daniel Hayes Mills property into a housing complex, creating a Downtown Business Improvement Fund, improving streetscapes in the downtown core, reviving and creating a new eatery at the former City Hall building on Main Street, and updating and creating three parks - St. Thomas Square, Littauer Piazza and Trail Station Park.
In July, the first phase of the Trail Station Park was completed with the opening of the splash pad. The pad was funded with a $365,000 grant through the Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, along with the expansion of the park. The expansion nearly doubles the size of the park with amenities and landscaping over a large area that was formerly a parking lot. The next phase of the project, funded through the DRI, will include a new 80’ x 20’ building to house restrooms, a kitchen area, and a large indoor space for special events. The foundation of the building was already created.
The smaller projects are expected to break ground in the spring, while the bigger ones will take more time to complete their steps.
The DRI is a lengthy process, but the reward is worth the wait.
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