New apartments open as Albany adds downtown housing
Posted at: 08/15/2013 2:50 PM
By: Bill Lambdin
ALBANY - Mayor Jerry Jennings may be a tad defensive about the empty buildings and open spaces downtown.
"It really has become one of our newest neighborhoods in the city," Jennings said. "People can say all they want about downtown but there are things happening here."
A ceremonial ribbon was cut Thursday for Liberty Lofts at 374 Broadway, just south of State Street.
This adds four high end rental units, each two bedrooms, in the Sommers Building, which once housed the Albany Belting and Supply Company.
Some of the belting equipment was left on the wall of the fourth floor apartment.
You can see other indicators of the industrial past there, including a wood beam with steel supports and a view that shows the older, presumably original brickwork.
The Mayor and development officials say there are now more than 200 new residential units downtown, 97 per cent occupied.
Just up the street, 382 Broadway is one of 5 buildings targeted for similar rehabilitation.
Just down the street, the long abandoned Trailways bus station anchors several boarded properties.
Rent at the Liberty Lofts starts at 1800 dollars a month, pricey for Albany, a steal compared to places like Manhattan or even parts of Brooklyn.
Potential renters? "A young married professional couple," said landlord Jim Hart "That's what we have in both units so far. Two incomes, young married people working in the area."