Nearly Two Years Of Outreach With CSX Has Only Resulted In Dead-End Communication, The City’s Largest Redevelopment Project Since The 1980s Has Effectively Come To A Halt
Senator Says The Parcel Of Land Is The Missing Key To Help Hudson Launch A Major Development Project
Schumer To CSX: Get Project Rolling!
New York – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today urged CSX to be a good neighbor and work with the City of Hudson as the local development corporation presses ahead in its proposal to acquire a CSX-owned parcel of land that could be the linchpin in its multi-million dollar redevelopment of the former KAZ warehouse site on Front Street in Hudson. Schumer explained that the local Hudson Development Corporation (HDC) has been trying to reach CSX for roughly two years now, but its outreach has fallen on deaf ears. HDC is looking to turn the former factory into a $25 million mixed-use facility with residential, retail and office space.
However, a critical component of this project is the acquisition of a small CSX-owned parcel of land at the front of the KAZ warehouse property. This parcel is needed to extend the property to the top of Front Street so in order to provide a critical access point for businesses and residents, as well as public infrastructure, including parking, roads and sidewalks. Schumer urged CSX to come to the table and work out a solution with the local community, arguing that this project cannot afford to be halted any further.
“This proposal is the definition of a ‘win-win’ – it would allow CSX to have it staging area directly next to its tracks and enable the City of Hudson’s $25 million waterfront redevelopment project to continue moving forward. We cannot allow this project to be further mired down in red tape. We need to break through the bureaucratic morass and get this done so our residents and tourists can enjoy the waterfront and our business owners can enjoy the resulting increased revenue,” said Senator Schumer. “It would incredibly disappointing for this project to be further delayed because of a one non-controversial acre parcel of land. So I’m urging CSX to get to the table and work with the local community to help make a Christmas miracle happen: approving this resolution without delay so we can see economic opportunity flow steadily to this area for a generation.”
Schumer explained that, currently, CSX owns a parcel of land at the front of the former KAZ warehouse site property on Front Street. This parcel houses a small building that functions as a resting spot and staging area for CSX crews. The “crew shack” is utilized infrequently during train switching operations on the sidings of the railroad and is located about half a block away from the tracks. This particular parcel, however, is critical to the redevelopment of the former Front Street warehouse site. Schumer said that is because the City of Hudson and its local HDC need the land in order to give businesses, residents and critical public infrastructure the access points they require.
Schumer said the HDC has been trying to work out an agreement with CSX for roughly two years to acquire the land, but its outreach has been met with dead-end communication every step of the way. Beginning in February 2015, the HDC has made consistent efforts to communicate with the CSX’s Real Estate Office in Jacksonville, Florida. Their requests for a solution have been ignored. Schumer said this is unacceptable and the city deserves a clear and immediate response.
Schumer said the HDC and City of Hudson along with its developer, Sustainable Community Associates, have proposed a solution they believe would be mutually beneficial to both CSX and the city’s largest development project since the 1980s. Specifically, they have proposed a one-acre land-swap, which would replace the current CSX parcel with a one-acre parcel located directly on the CSX rail siding. Schumer said this would not only allow the development project to move through, but it would finally enable CSX to house its crews directly next to the track, as opposed to a block away.
Schumer said this would be a win-win for the city’s development and CSX, but the rail company must come to the table and work with the local community if a solution is to be reached and this project put back on track. Schumer said this parcel is of little significance to CSX, but it is of tremendous consequence to the people of the City of Hudson and its ambitious plans to redevelop the waterfront. The Senator therefore pushed CSX to stop throwing up roadblocks to this transformative development project and work with the local community to find an agreeable solution, like the one the city, HDC and its developer have proposed.
The plan to revitalize the Front Street facility includes a mixed-use development for residential and commercial use. The plan would create 67 one- and two- bedroom units with varied layouts. For the retail portion, 24,600 square feet of space would be available for lease and centered on retail designed to serve the local community, as well as office space with a focus on job creation. Schumer explained that companies are already interested in this space, including Hawthorn Valley – a popular farm store – which has expressed interest in opening up a store in Hudson. On top of this, the facility would provide modern co-working office spaces, which would be offered for independent contractors, startups, and self-employed people so they could utilize a flexible work environment, conference rooms, services and printing, without having to foot the cost of a full office. Finally, the proposal includes 10 for-sale live/work spaces suitable for businesses smaller than a storefront on Warren Street, but requiring first-floor frontage.
Schumer was joined by Mayor Tiffany Hamilton; Sheena Salvino, Executive Director of Hudson Development Corporation; Ben Ezinga of Sustainable Community Associates; John Hunt, President of the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce; NYS Assemblywoman Didi Barrett and additional community leaders.
“It is unquestionable that thoughtful, careful development of our waterfront is critical to Hudson’s economic development and sustainability. The proposal by Sustainable Community Associates to redevelop the area in and around the former Kaz warehouse is truly transformative, and very consistent with the vision of expanding beyond a traditional main street model and embracing Hudson’s river town roots. In Hudson’s densely developed two square miles, we are faced with the need for more residential and commercial space to support growth. SCA’s plan addresses those needs, while contributing to the steady evolution of our waterfront area from its historical industrial use. To maximize curb appeal and provide natural, unbroken connection between Warren Street and the south end of town along Front Street, SCA hopes to acquire property from CSX. On behalf of Hudson, I am incredibly grateful to Senator Schumer for his interest in our city, and for any assistance he is able to offer to facilitate discussions between SCA and CSX to help ensure this project’s success,” said Tiffany Martin Hamilton, Mayor for the City of Hudson.
A copy of Schumer’s letter to CSX’s CEO appears below:
Dear Mr. Ward:
I am writing to request your assistance in addressing a piece of CSX owned property in the City of Hudson, NY. Though small in size and importance to the railroad, the parcel is key to a major development project that could transform Hudson’s waterfront area.
The Hudson Development Corporation (HDC) is the local development corporation whose mission is to sustain, promote and attract projects that improve economic opportunities for businesses and residents, create jobs and enhance the quality of life in the City of Hudson.
The HDC, and the City of Hudson, is partnering with Sustainable Community Associates to bring a $25 million dollar mixed-use project to the former KAZ warehouse site on Front Street in Hudson, just southeast of Amtrak’s Hudson Station. The proposed development calls for:
· Residential Space: A mix of 67 one- and two-bedroom units with varied layouts
· Modern Co-working Facility: Offered for independent contractors, startups, and self-employed people to have a flexible work environment, conference rooms, services and printing, without the cost of a full office
· Commercial Space: 24,600 square feet of space (including co-working) centered on retail designed to serve the local community, as well as office space with a focus on job creation
· Live/Work: The proposal includes 10 live/work spaces suitable for businesses smaller than a storefront on Warren Street, but requiring first-floor frontage
An important component of this project is the acquisition of a small CSX owned parcel. Obtaining ownership of this parcel allows for the critical Front Street frontage for businesses and access points for public infrastructure, including roads and sidewalks.
Beginning in February 2015, HDC has made consistent efforts to communicate with the CSX’s Real Estate Office in Jacksonville, Florida. With almost two years of outreach resulting in dead-end communication, little constructive feedback, and no formal response from CSX, the City’s largest redevelopment project since the 1980s has effectively come to a halt.
The CSX parcel, located immediately south of 60 Front Street, contains one small building that is used infrequently as a “crew shack” when doing switching operations on the sidings a half a block away. The developer, Sustainable Community Associates, has proposed a one-acre land-swap, which would replace the current CSX parcel with a one acre parcel directly on the CSX rail siding.
This parcel is of little significance to your great railroad, but it is of tremendous consequence to the people of the City of Hudson and the ambitious plans to redevelop this historic Hudson River city. I ask that you please give your attention to the matter and instruct your Real Estate Office to engage HDC in discussions to try and make this property available for this worthy project.
Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator