After two denials by the Amsterdam Common Council to extend their contract for the former Chalmers Mills property, KCG Development has gone ahead and purchased the property for $300,000, transferring the balance of funds owed to the city yesterday, according to a press release issued from city hall. KCG’s plan is to develop a 120-unit, income-restricted residential complex, a restaurant/banquet hall facility to be run by the Lanzi family, and a boardwalk running along the south bank of the Mohawk River connected to the Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook pedestrian bridge.
KCG had sought to have additional time added to their already-extended contract which was set to expire today in order to secure low-income housing tax credits from New York State which the developer has said are necessary to fund the project. The developer was recently denied their first application, but said they were given positive indications by state officials to try again in 2020.
“This is a culmination of efforts to show our own citizens and the region that Amsterdam is on the right path,” wrote Mayor Michael Villa in the release. “This investment will start rebuilding our local tax base – adding over $8 million in property and sales tax payments over 30 years. The site has not produced any positive taxes for the city since 1985 when the final mill went out of business. I’m thrilled this sale was completed and look forward to the KCG team delivering the project.”
Villa described the proposed project as a factor in the city winning the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) grant from the state in 2018 which will help fund a wide variety of revitalization projects in the city.
“Chalmers Mill Lofts with the Lanzi commercial operation will help cement the Bridge Street corridor as an attractive place to live, work and play. It will create momentum for area small businesses and expose more people to events with its terrific location to the re-emerging Amsterdam,” added Villa.
“As we have indicated to representatives of the city since we arrived, KCG is committed to being a good long-term neighbor and to positively contribute to Amsterdam’s revitalization,” wrote RJ Pasquesi, president and founder of KCG Development in the release. “With nearly $600,000 invested in the project, our team has taken care to ensure Chalmers Mill Lofts aligns with and advances the city’s award-winning DRI vision.”
The entire project is estimated to cost a total of $34 million to build and has already obtained approval from both the Montgomery County Planning Board and the City of Amsterdam Planning Commission.
Although the common council had previously approved the purchase contract in 2017, a five-month extension in 2018, as well as a ten-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) agreement also in 2018, the council recently turned down a resolution that would have extended the contract through the end of 2020, and then another with a shorter extension through September 2020. Two council members cited an influx of phone calls and contacts from constituents who are opposed to the project as their reason for voting against the extension, with one also citing opposition by mayor-elect Michael Cinquanti and Congressman Paul Tonko.