By Maureen Werther
A mixed-use residential, professional and retail development has been proposed for South Broadway in Saratoga Springs.
If approved by the city Planning Board, the plan would involve the demolition of the long-vacant Saratoga Diner and the construction of 110 apartments, consisting of 64 two-bedroom units and 46 one-bedroom units, along with common spaces, totaling 98,000 square feet of residential space. The parcel is three acres.
The project is proposed by KGC Development, a firm based out of Indianapolis, in partnership with local developers, DEW Ventures LLC. KGC focuses on developing multi-use projects in upstate New York and along the east coast. The company said it is “passionate about creating communities that have a positive impact on residents and the overall community.”
While the project has not yet been named, Bill Teator, a managing member DEW Ventures, thinks that referring to the southern portion of Broadway as “SoBro” might be appropriate
According to the proposal, the project would be a “catalyst” for revitalization in a neighborhood that will benefit from the construction of affordable housing and a combination of retail, professional and commercial space.
“Several other nearby properties have already sold,” said Teator, referring to the Grand Union Motor Lodge and other properties in the immediate vicinity, which he says is proof of the progress occurring in the somewhat neglected part of the city.
“We think this type of development project will be well-received by the community,” said Teator. The development team envisions transforming “SoBro” into another spoke in the rapidly developing wheel of downtown Saratoga Springs, as it branches outward.
The developers claim they have done a comprehensive analysis and hope to fill Saratoga’s current housing gap with more affordable apartments, ranging in price from $750 to $1,650 per month. The group plans to market them to community-based people working in areas such as service and hospitality, medical, education and law enforcement. They are also committed to setting aside 14 units for local veterans in need of quality permanent housing.
Proposed resident amenities would include ample parking, a fitness center, a community room, environmentally-friendly appliances, in-house laundry and even a proposed bike share terminal that would connect to other nearby trails.
Teator said that they are also working with Saratoga Economic Development Corp. to develop a portion of the space as a business incubator.
“The fully functional space we envision would cause a creative collision of entrepreneurs from all ages, backgrounds and business sectors,” said SEDC’s Ryan Van Amburgh.
The proposal also contains plans to possibly include a shared commercial kitchen space as part of the entrepreneurial incubator concept. Officials said the development team would work to identity capital support as well as a proven food and beverage professional to work with small food entrepreneurs and students looking to help them gain skills and expertise in a commercial kitchen environment.
KGC has worked with the LA Group on the site development and civil engineering and Buffalo-based architectural group, Carmina Wood Morris (CWM).
Teator said he expects the project to go before the Planning Board by the third week in June.
The project includes the leveling and disposal of the former Saratoga Diner and re-use of the existing parcels as a mixed-use community. The contemporary design will be four stories in height), deliver needed streetscape improvements, sidewalk street lamps, landscaping, dual grade parking structure with covered parking (130 spaces) dedicated for resident access from Union Street, and shared resident and commercial parking from South Broadway, according to the KCG prioposal.
The ground floor facing South Broadway will consist of approximately 7,000 square feet of retail space, 4,000 square feet of service establishment and approximately 7,500 square feet of an eating and drinking establishment, officials said. As part of the retail space, the project team is interested in identifying a collaboration with a proven food and/or beverage operator to support a shared commercial kitchen.
“In sum, the proposed project affirms access to quality moderately priced multifamily housing, delivers ‘new-urbanist’ site and building traits to activate walkable pedestrian corridors, provide access to civic spaces, shield car park views, promote transit and bike friendly neighborhoods and uses energy efficient building systems,” the company proposal states.