Developers seek funds for project

GLOVERSVILLE – The potential buyers of the Estee Commons property, who are looking to build affordable senior housing at the site, was unable to obtain funding this year for the project and will reapply in the fall.

Liberty Affordable Housing of Rome, Oneida County, wants to construct an additional 35 one-bedroom units on the Estee Commons property at 90 N. Main St. to provide affordable housing for seniors. The other rental units already at the site would remain conventional rental properties.

The developer, which has been in discussions with the Fulton County Center for Regional Growth to buy the Estee Commons property, previously received the Planning Board and council’s concept approval so it could apply for funding from the New York State Homes and Community Renewal Agency.

Liberty Affordable Housing Deputy Executive Director Davis Yohe said last month the group learned that application was unsuccessful, but they did get advice to improve their chances of receiving funding.

“We believe in this project,” Yohe said. “Based upon the results of the exit conference, Liberty has made the decision because of the strong belief in this project and the strong partnership with the city of Gloversville, we are going to move forward and apply again.”

He said out of the applications submitted this year, only 1/3 were funded; in the entire Mohawk Valley region only two applications were approved.

Liberty will once again apply for the funding in the fall and would hear the decision once around May 2015, Yohe said.

Yohe said state Sen. Hugh T. Farley on Friday alerted him to the fact a $250,000 state grant had been secured for the Estee Commons project.

The Common Council on Tuesday additionally applied for $400,000 in 2014 Community Development Grant funding to undertake the site clearance and redevelopment of the Estee site, which is a “high priority project” in the city, according to the resolution.

Yohe said ultimately, Liberty will need the NYSHCRA funding to move the $8 million project forward.

Plans would include taking down the old structure and replacing it with a new one. The new building would look like the original building.

Liberty officials previously said the new building would be shorter than the existing structure but a little longer, resulting in it being located closer to Prospect Avenue.

The new three-story building would keep some of the existing architecture such as large columns at the entry along Main Street and granite blocks that line the base of the building. Officials previously said the monuments and existing trees on the property wouldn’t be removed or altered for this project.

The developers said the construction of the building would take about 15 months and if the project funding is approved this time they would be breaking ground around this time next year.