A major sale in Hudson was just announced via the press release below. The asking price by seller David Crawford, who is understood to have owned the building via a corporation, had been $2 million; but the purchase price is not known.
Colin Stair Announces Purchase of 551 Warren Street
It is with great pleasure that I share the news that I have recently purchased the building at 551 Warren Street adjacent to my business, Stair Galleries.
I am very excited to be part of the continuing growth and evolution of Hudson, where I have been part of the business community for over twenty-five years. The strong friendships and business relationships I have formed in Hudson have helped Stair Galleries to flourish. My family put down roots in this community many years ago and we have enjoyed raising our children in this close-knit, creative and diverse place that we call home.
I have watched our small city define its identity, growing from a post-industrial city with economic and social issues in the 1980’s into the multi-faceted and thriving city it is today. The restoration of so many of Hudson’s beautiful and historic buildings has been a pleasure to witness. I am proud to be a part of this fellowship, where residents and business owners share common interests and goals.
Hudson continues to grow in positive ways, attracting new businesses and entrepreneurs every day. It was with this in mind that I decided to pursue the purchase of 551 Warren Street with the idea of creating rental spaces for small businesses. I am currently working with a team of architects and designers to develop spaces that will allow small companies or individuals to work in a creative environment, possibly co-working shared spaces, with high-speed internet and proximity to everything that Hudson has to offer. My hope is that the street level will remain a traditional retail space for one or two tenants.
This is an exciting project for me and underlines my commitment to Hudson and its continued growth and success. I welcome the community’s input and ideas about how best to use the space at 551 Warren Street to best benefit those who want to make Hudson their home.
The City of Hudson has no further need for its Industrial Development Agency, according to a review and recommendations by New York State’s Authorities Budget Office (the “ABO”).
Though the report was issued three weeks ago, news of the State’s conclusion has been slow to hit the local papers, creating an impression that local officials may not be eager for word to get out. The report can be downloaded as a PDF file via this link.
Dated July 14th, 2015, the ABO report concludes that
“there is no demonstrable need for the IDA to continue in existence. The potential economic development functions provided by the IDA are being accomplished by other entities within the City of Hudson and any financial assistance benefits in the form of tax exemptions can be provided by the Columbia County IDA.”
The ABO’s main reasoning for this conclusion appears below:
“Since the IDA has only one active project, the project’s purpose is to provide low- income housing and not to create jobs, similar projects are administered directly by the City, the IDA is not actively marketing the property it owns for economic development, and other economic development entities are serving the City of Hudson, we question whether the IDA is needed.
Section 882 of General Municipal Law states that when all of the bonds or notes issued by an IDA have been redeemed or cancelled and all straight lease transactions have been terminated, the IDA ceases to exist and its rights, titles and interest and all obligations and liabilities are to vest in and be possessed by its sponsoring municipality. The IDA has no outstanding debt, and the existing lease and PILOT agreements could easily be transferred to the City, since the City already administers similar agreements.”
The report found a number of reporting and accounting errors by the agency regarding rents and tax abatements issued to various project. The agency reports only one active project, the Hudson Terrace Apartments, though the State found five other affordable housing projects on its books as of 2013, but no longer generating payments to the agency.
For as long as the IDA remains in existence, the ABO further concludes that
“it should take appropriate action to correct the PILOT allocation and lease revenue errors that occurred during 2011 through 2014 as identified in the report, and obtain and ensure that all data is accurately reported in PARIS.”
The findings likely did not come as a complete surprise to IDA members, as the ABO noted that in March 2011, the City agency’s board “considered the possible dissolution of the IDA, noting that the City could continue to administer the IDA’s PILOT agreement and that the Columbia County IDA could take over the IDA’s duties. However the board has not taken any formal action to begin the process of dissolution since.”
The current Hudson IDA members are Mayor Bill Hallenbeck, Treasurer Heather Campbell, Common Council Majority Leader Tiffany Garriga, 5th Ward Alderman Bart Delaney Jr., Planning Commission Chair (and Taghkanic resident) Cappy Pierro, and assessor Cheryl Kaszluga. There is also one vacancy on the board.
The report notes that the Hudson IDA has “no staff since all functions are performed by board members or obtained under procurement contracts.” The agency’s auditor is Shallo, Galluschio & Bianchi, whose most recent (2014) audit also can be downloaded as a PDF via this link.