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Guilderland Archives The Altamont Enterprise, January 21, 2010
Minus the mountains
By Jo E. Prout
GUILDERLAND Local developer Vincent Wolanin wants to build Adirondack-style apartments for aging professionals who want to downsize.
“This is a new design, designed to blend in with the neighborhood,” Wolanin said.
The development, named Seventeen Hundred, would be located on 25 acres in Westmere, near the Wolanin-owned Town Center Shopping plaza and within walking distance of Crossgates Mall. Wolanin plans to build the new apartments behind his 96-unit apartment complex, Seventeen Hundred Designer Residences at 1700 Western Avenue.
The proposed 250 rental units would be housed in 25 buildings designed to look like Adirondack homes.
“Every building looks just like a home,” Wolanin said. “Parking is in each one.”
The property would be “100 percent security-controlled” and fenced, Wolanin said. The units are proposed as one- or two-bedroom apartments.
“Most of the housing that’s in the town for rent is more than 35 years old. Most apartments were built in the late ’60s and early ’70s,” he said. “Everything’s pretty old.”
“I do not have an application yet,” said town Planner Jan Weston this week about the proposal. “I have seen a schematic of it.”
The property is zoned R-40 for one-acre lots and would need town-board approval to be rezoned to allow the proposal, Weston said. The process would involve the town board, the planning board, and possibly the zoning board of appeals.
“They’re going to see a bunch of us,” Weston said.
The developer met with neighbors the Friday before Christmas to describe the project. Weston said that the turnout was small, but Wolanin said that the meeting went well.
Wolanin told The Enterprise that he has no formal timeline for the project, but that he hopes to begin construction in 2011.
The new apartments would offer an “upscale, fresh look,” he said, and were “designed for professional people in their 50s or above” who want to stay in town but who do not want to own a house.
Residents could walk to shopping at his plaza or across the street at Crossgates Mall, and be close to bus services, he said.
“Most cities and towns are encouraging this kind of development,” Wolanin said.