One local developer has an ambitious plan to revitalize a portion of Troy, believing the Collar City is ready to grow again.
The Latham-based company wants to redevelop a major section of the land on the river, along River Street between Federal and Jay Streets.
The plan involves about a 25-block area along River Street, including the Hedley Park Place building and the old car dealership next door. The developers say their plan is not the end-all/be-all, but a blueprint for the bigger picture. Troy’s waterfront has changed with time and has made something of a comeback in recent years.
Developer Mark Bette wants to make that comeback even bigger. Mark Bette/First Columbia Development: “Waterfront development is primarily we’re doing and the plan is a blueprint of what we think this area can be.” Mark is a vice president with First Columbia Development of Latham, which sees this area and Troy as a whole as primed for redevelopment and an investment that could provide a solid return. To get that return, they are making plans for a hotel, residential and commercial space, and a pedestrian walkway along the river where the Industrial Revolution blossomed and grew.
Mark Bette: “We’ve seen the redevelopment efforts in downtown Albany and felt Troy is really the next in line. It’s got a great infrastructure, a traffic and transportation system. It’s easy to get to.” This plan comes not long after talk that developers were interested in buying Troy City Hall and replacing it with valuable office and other space. Bette says what is needed to do this right is a group effort from various investors, not spot development, and to continue the vision John Hedley had when he began developing the old Cluett, Peabody factory a decade ago.
Mark Bette: “We’d like to attract more people to this area and to this building and the more people we can attract, the more the other sectors of urban infill and urban redevelopment will grow.” Mark Bette says they have had only informal talks with Mayor Harry Tutunjian and other city officials – but they’ve been receptive.
More information on the plans is expecting in the next few weeks, with work hoped to begin in the next 6 to 12 months.