Make room for housing

As more Baby Boomers approach retirement age, having affordable housing for senior citizens will be key to keeping some of our elders in the local area.

With that in mind, we were glad to see the Gloversville Planning Board earlier this month approved the concept for a project to build affordable senior housing on the Estee Commons property.

While we are looking forward to learning more about the project, what we know so far sounds good.

The developer, which is in discussions with the Fulton County Center for Regional Growth to buy the Estee Commons property, needed the Planning Board’s concept approval so it could apply for funding from the New York State Homes and Community Renewal Agency, which requires an endorsement of the project’s concept by the board.

While the undeveloped Estee Commons building would be demolished, a new building – that looks similar to it – would be erected.

The development would be led by Liberty Affordable Housing. The nonprofit wants to develop an additional 35 one-bedroom units on the Estee Commons property to provide affordable housing for seniors. The other existing rental units on the site would remain conventional rental properties.

The new building would have energy efficiencies, handicapped access, on-site management, community and computer rooms and a fitness center.

Liberty’s plans are contingent on it reaching a deal with the CRG and obtaining funding from the New York State Homes and Community Renewal Agency for the project. Once funding is available, Liberty would return to the Gloversville Planning Board for full site-plan approval.

For Gloversville, this project appears to be a good deal. The housing would be downtown. The city would avoid having to pay for the possible demolition of the old building currently there.

This is the type of development that would be welcome by many local residents. New housing that caters to the needs of senior citizens not only would serve current local residents, but also potentially attract seniors to the city.

The project may be a good fit for Gloversville.