Newburgh apartment complex finally complete 38 years after planning phase began

A group of fresh faces just completed a market-rate condo complex 38 years after the planning phase began.

Ben Nandy

Nov 15, 2023, 11:18 PM

Updated 249 days ago

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A group of fresh faces just completed a market-rate condo complex 38 years after the planning phase began.
Six people among three partner companies will open 59 new units at the Lofts At The Foundry on Johnes Street.
Various public officials and developers tried and failed many times since 1985, when plans were made to turn the historic late-1800s foundry building into 120 apartments.
Construction began in the mid-1980s, but stopped due to the savings and loan crisis.
Sixty-one units, half the project, were completed in 1999
That was followed by more broken plans and a bankruptcy.
Then in spring 2021, the partner companies -- Attic Labs, Mana Tree Properties and Affordable Housing Concepts -- bought the property at a bankruptcy auction.
"The city, the city's IDA took a chance on us by trusting us to take this property over," Andrew Schrijver of Attic Labs said Wednesday during a chat in the living room of one of the top-floor units.
The group credits their success in completing a project no one else could to the diverse viewpoints within the group and positive relationships with neighbors and city officials.
Another boost to their project was the $8 million in tax credits they received from the state and federal governments to build the $24 million project while also preserving the historic structure.
"We need a lot more housing," said Carol Lawrence, who lives in one of the 61 units that were built in 1999. "People are doubled up in apartments, and it's really hard to find a reasonable, affordable house."
Some other residents do not view the monthly, market-rate rents as affordable. Rents for one-bedroom units will start at $1,825 per month and $2,500 a month for two-bedroom units. "They're all for the people from New York [City]," Cindy Koonce said. "They come down here because they're used to paying a lot of rent for little apartments, so they're making it about them. What about us?"
The developers said several stakeholders, including the building's homeowners association, did not want the new units to be "affordable housing."
Used in policy, the term typically means rents are adjusted to be no more than 30% of a tenant's income.
Keith Libolt II of partner company Affordable Housing Concepts said the higher-income housing units are also necessary to help loosen the rental market overall.
"All boats have to rise," Libolt said. "We all need to take care of our neighbors. We all need to have housing at different income levels, and some of those levels do include market rate."
Affordable housing is on their radar though.
The group said they are planning other projects in Newburgh, including a 140-unit complex of which 100 units would qualify as affordable housing.
The first tenants will move in on Nov. 20.
Schrijver said about 10 applicants have already signed leases, and all of them hail from the Newburgh area.


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