RUPCO tweaks Midtown housing plan
The city Planning Board has approved changes to RUPCO’s planned affordable housing complex on Cedar Street in Midtown.
Architect Scott Dutton said at Monday’s meeting of the board that the changes are in response to recommendations from the state Department of Homes and Community Renewal during a recent review of funding applications.
“They went through a complicated scoring matrix that they put all projects throughout the state through,” Dutton said. “They told us — point by point, in excruciating detail — how we scored on each category and how we could score better. Their goal is to give us guidance ... as to how it would be easier for them to fund us.”
The revisions include reducing the size of the basement from 15,000 to 2,500 square feet, reducing the size of the building’s elevated park from 8,520 square feet to 6,554 square feet, converting a masonry screen wall to additional landscaping, and increasing the number of photovoltaic solar panels to improve electricity production.
The building, which is at 20 Cedar St., is to be called Energy Square, or E Square for short.
Dutton said reducing the size of the basement will limit the use to mechanical controls for the building’s environmental systems.
The building, where the shuttered Mid-City Lanes bowling alley now stands, still is to have 57 apartments and ground-floor commercial and community space.
RUPCO, a Kinston-based affordable housing agency, had hoped to start the project this year but now says it expects to ask for an extension of the site plan approval granted last December.
Dutton said the Department of Homes and Community Renewal “targeted a few things” in the plan, “saying, essentially, we need to work on the cost to get it down.
He said RUPCO “tasked us with, ‘How do we squeeze some of the capital costs out of this so we can be competitive when we go into the next [funding] round?’”
RUPCO plans to demolish the existing 20,422-squarefoot bowling alley, which closed in June 2014.
The new building on the 1-acre property, between Broadway and Iwo Jima Lane, is to have a two three-story sections, a four-story section and a fivestory section. The first floor is to have 10,000 square feet of commercial space.
Community groups expected to occupy space in the building include the Center for Creative Education, Hudson Valley Tech Meet Up and Ulster County Community Action.
The city last year granted RUPCO the zoning change needed for the project to proceed.
This rendering shows RUPCO’s proposed E Square building in Midtown Kingston.