The former American Linen plant on North Hudson Avenue in picture from the 1970s.
A local developer is seeking approval from the village Board of Trustees to construct luxury apartments at the old American Linen property on North Hudson Avenue.
Dennis DeGennaro of Camelot Associates pitched a proposal at the board’s July meeting to erect five, two-story apartment buildings on the long-vacant factory land, each building containing eight one- or two-bedroom modern living units. There would be a total of 40 apartments in all built on the property that would lease for about $900 a month.
“That’s very reasonable because the average rent in the Tri-Cities area (Albany, Schenectady, Troy) is about $1,400 (a month),” DeGennaro told the board. “I think it would work well here and be a great fit for the village.”
The buildings would feature a vinyl sided and brick exterior and be modeled after a similar development in the Town of Colonie. The cost of the project is about $2 million, he said. Also included on the land would be 80 parking spaces — 10 of those in the form of detached garages — to meet the village’s zoning requirements of two parking spaces per unit. The bottom floor of each building would be handicap accessible.
Camelot made a different proposal for the former American Linen site about eight years ago which included a strip mall and a bank. But after the developer got all of its approvals the country went into a recession and the project was abandoned.
“Now we’re back with this new concept for the land,” DeGenarro said.
Two Trustees, Judith Wood-Shaw and Ellen Vomacka, said they’d still prefer the site be developed with a business or at least as a business-residential mix similar to what has done in Saratoga Springs and Clifton Park.
”I feel we need a sales tax base and that’s our only prime piece of property at this point in time available in the village,” Vomacka said. “Can the village support 40 more apartments? We need retail here. I don’t get a warm and fuzzy feeling about this. We need an analysis done on this with facts and numbers before I can make any decision.”
DeGennaro said business or a business-residential mix “was one of our first ideas but we ran into problems. We have to work around the wetlands there and that interferes with parking. It was difficult to squeeze in 80 spots for residential parking as it was.”
Trustee Timothy Campbell also had concerns about the complex’s proposed heating system. In spite of several request to New York State Electric and Gas Corp (NYSEG), Stillwater has no natural gas lines in the village, so DeGennaro explained the apartments would be heated by propane versus more expensive electric heat.
”We don’t want 40 (propane) tanks up there,” Campbell said.
Following the presentation, Mayor Ernest Martin said Trustees would further discuss the proposal and get back to the developers with a decision.
The American Linen plant, which last manufactured hunting and boot socks, originally started operating as the Stillwater Knitting Co. and merged with the Ballston Spa Knitting Co. in 1924. The plant closed its doors in 1965 and the building was later razed. The property has remained vacant for many years.