DePaul will seek local approvals this year for 50-unit apartment building in Albion

Courtesy of DePaul Community Services: This rendering shows the layout for a 50-unit apartment site on Liberty Street, behind the Hoag Library in Albion. The project would demolish three existing houses and for the new housing, which would include 46 one-bedroom apartments and four 2-bedroom units.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 March 2017 at 10:27 am

ALBION – An organization proposing a 50-unit housing project on Liberty Street will be seeking local approvals for the project in the coming months and also will be pursuing state funding.

DePaul Community Services, Inc. wants to build the project on Liberty Street, between the railroad tracks and Beaver Street. DePaul needs to remove three houses that are on that section to make room for the housing project.

Photos by Tom Rivers: Gillian J. Conde is Vice President for DePaul Properties in Rochester. She addressed the Albion Rotary Club last week.

DePaul is designing the project to support people with disabilities, including senior citizens and veterans. The organization will do extensive background checks for credit, criminal and sex offender history and evictions.

DePaul can refuse applicants based on information in the background checks, said Gillian J. Conde, Vice President for DePaul Properties in Rochester.

The organization is proposing 46 one-unit apartments and four that would be two-bedroom. Conde said only a few children would likely live at the site.

“We thought this would be ideal,” Conde told the Albion Rotary Club last week. “We wanted to give people a nice, new option.”

The apartments aren’t a public housing project. Conde said they are “middle market housing” with one-bedroom apartment rent at $600 a month and two bedrooms at $700. That includes utilities, basic cable, WiFi and laundry.

“In Upstate New York, one of the big things going on is our housing stock is aging,” she said.

The Liberty Street project would be a big lift to that neighborhood and the village, Conde said.

The project would be similar to a DePaul site in Batavia that serves low-income residents, including people with mental health issues. Conde said DePaul would like to partner with local agencies, such as the Orleans County Mental Health Department, to connect tenants to services in the community.

DePaul would have some services on site, and staff will be there 24 hours a day. DePaul would have a van on site to transport tenants to medical appointments. Half of the apartments would be ADA-compliant and the other half would be adaptable for people who may need the apartment to be handicapped accessible.

The two-story building in Albion would have parking on site as well as green space. The old beech tree by Beaver Street also would stay.

Conde said the local approval process would also likely include a plan for DePaul to contribute money to the local governments in the form of a PILOT or payment in lieu of taxes.

File photo: Two of the houses that would be demolished on Liberty Street are vacant and obscured by vegetation.

Gov. Cuomo on Sept. 13 announced state funding for DePaul in Albion to provide services in supportive housing to “vulnerable populations.”

Conde said DePaul is now seeking state assistance to help pay for the construction of the housing. DePaul is pursuing projects in all four rural GLOW counties – Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming.

Conde said most of the state housing grants have been concentrated in cities.

“We wanted to see if we could get some of these dollars in rural communities because rural New York has been neglected,” she said.

DePaul also has been sampling the site for environmental contamination. The project would ensure any pollutants are removed.

“This would be a perfectly clean site,” Conde said. “There is a very high standard for a residential site.”

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