New apartments moving forward on Hobart St.

Posted Sep 30, 2011 @ 05:49 PM


UTICA — Final federal approval was granted recently for another subsidized housing inner-city housing project.

Genesee Crossing, which was approved in a 6-3 by the Common Council in January, will include 24 low- to moderate-income apartments in two-family houses at 100-106 Hobart St. to be developed by Housing Visions.

It also involves the demolition of the Oneida Castle building at Hobart and Oneida streets, which will be replaced with a three-story senior affordable housing complex with nine units.

Construction on the $9.28 million project is expected to begin in spring 2012 and conclude in fall 2013 – when it will become the latest in a long series of Housing Visions developments.

“We have a high demand for units, and they’re beneficial to because we’re replacing blighted neighborhoods,” said Benjamin Lockwood, director of development for Housing Visions. “We’re replacing it with high-quality, well-designed affordable housing.”

As part of the project, Housing Visions will acquire 10 dilapidated buildings, which will be demolished, and 10 vacant lots for the project. The homes will be constructed around Noyes, Francis, Hobart, Oneida, Kemble, Gold and West streets. They will include off-street parking and green space.

Since 1998, the agency has joined the Utica Municipal Housing Authority as the most prominent developers of inner-city affordable housing.

Since that time, the Syracuse-based nonprofit has developed nine projects, with a total of 78 buildings and 232 units of housing. Its most recent development, the $9.2 million Kemble Square development near Oneida Square, opened in August.

The density of apartment-based subsidized housing in and around Cornhill led to some controversy between Common Council members before the issue was approved earlier this year. Council members also questioned the price tag But Mayor David Roefaro said he supports the project and believes it will make a difference in the neighborhood.

“It’s embellishing that area of the city, “Roefaro said. “They’ve done a great job in the past and I’m sure they’ll do a great job in the future.”