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Housing Visions

Oneonta Heights Cuts Ribbon On Latest Housing Complex

Oneonta Heights Cuts Ribbon

On $15.9M Housing Complex

Cutting the ribbon on this afternoon’s grand opening of Housing Visions’ latest apartment complex, Oneonta Heights, are, from left, Darren Scott of New York State Homes & Community Renewal; state Sen. James Seward, R-Milford; Rebecca Newman, Housing Visions president/CEO; Mayor Gary Herzig; tenants Christina, Romello, and Jayda Drayton and Wesley Hunter, Jim Wright and Czhaira Simpauco; Ben Lockwood, Housing Visions, and Andrew D’Agostino, Community Preservation Corps. The $15.9 million complex features 60 units for families and seniors and even has its own bus route. “This is the first step in addressing our housing problem.” said Mayor Herzig.  “Seventy five percent of families in Oneonta pay over 30 percent of their income on housing, and that is not sustainable.” (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Home Sweet Home!

Home Sweet Home! 

Oneonta Heights Now Accepting Applications
Courtney Moteyunas, Housing Visions regional property manager, shows Christina Drayton, Jesse Hunter and their children, Jayda, Romello and Wesley, around their future home at Oneonta Heights, where an open house is ongoing until 3 p.m. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA – Christina Drayton and her family got their first tour of their new apartment today as Housing Visions hosted an open house of its latest housing project, Oneonta Heights at 4 Monroe Ave.

“I am in love with it,” said Drayton. “The kids have already picked out their rooms.”

The Heights, part of Housing Visions’ 60 new units of affordable housing, will feature eight townhouse-style apartments with three bedrooms each, scheduled to open in April. “How many people get to say they’ve moved into a brand-new apartment?” said Courtney Moteyunas, assets manager for the Syracuse-based company. “These apartments have a really upscale feel for affordable housing.”

League Of Women Voters Host Housing Visions Talk

League Of Women Voters

Hosts Housing Visions Talk

Benjamin Lockwood, Vice PResident of the Housing Visions' Business Development, speaks before the League of Women Voters at Elm Park Methodist Church this evening to provide information on the Silver Creek Apartments, set to open in late spring of 2017. A question and answer session followed where details of the companies' three Oneonta projects were discussed. Concerns raised ranged from snow removal, employment, taxes, solar possibilities and amenities. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Benjamin Lockwood, Housing Visions’ vice president/business development, speaks at aLeague of Women Voters’ briefing at Elm Park Methodist Church this evening, providing information on the Silver Creek Apartments, set to open in late spring of 2017. A Q&A followed, where details of the company’s three Oneonta projects were discussed. Concerns raised ranged from snow removal, employment, taxes, solar possibilities and amenities. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Construction Starts On 60 Housing Units

Construction Starts

On 60 Housing Units

The artist's rendering shows 40 units of senior-citizen housing planned in Oneonta's Silver Creek section.
The artist’s rendering shows 40 units of senior-citizen housing planned in Oneonta’s Silver Creek section.

ONEONTA –  Construction is about to start on $15.9 million Oneonta Heights, which includes 40 senior-citizen housing units and 20 for working families, developer Housing Visions of Syracuse announced a few minutes ago.

The project will support a neighborhood transformation plan developed by Housing Visions in partnership with the City of Oneonta and Opportunities for Otsego, which will create 60-affordable housing units for families and seniors.

Citizens Make Last Plea to Planning Board, But Housing Visions Gets Silver Creek ‘Yes’

Silver Creek Housing OK’d

After Last Plea By Citizens

Oneonta Resident Kathy Hays and Steve Underhill, the development project manager for Housing Visions, square off in front of a map of the proposed Silver Creek project at the City Planning Meeting this evening. (Ian Austin/ AllOTEGO.com)
Kathy Hays, Oneonta, and Steve Underhill, the development project manager for Housing Visions, square off in front of a map of the proposed Silver Creek project at the City Planning Meeting this evening. (Ian Austin/ AllOTEGO.com)

By LIBBY CUDMORE • for AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA – Despite a final few voices of public outcry, Housing Visions’ proposed 48 unit Silver Creek senior and family housing project got site plan approval from the Oneonta City Planning Board at a special meeting called this evening at City Hall.

“This is a good thing for Oneonta,” said Mayor Gary Herzig, who served on the Housing Task Force that brought Housing Visions to the city.  “We’re going to take down abandoned buildings and eyesores and turn them into affordable, quality housing.  This is Oneonta at its best.”

The site plan was unanimously approved by the board, who also decided against doing a full environmental impact statement, citing that the SEQR answered all questions.  The site plans for projects at 63-65 Spruce Street and at West and Columbia were approved at earlier meetings.

But it wasn’t a victory without detractors.  At a meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 16, neighbors voiced concerns for two hours. And although public comment wasn’t scheduled for the special meeting, Council Member Bob Brzozowski, Seventh Ward, asked that the public be allowed to speak.

Artist’s Renderings Details Housing Visions’ Concepts

Artist’s Renderings Detail

Housing Visions’ Concepts

Here is Housing Visions' artist's rendering for the 40 units of senior-citizen housing at the end of the Spruce Street Extension in Oneonta's Silver Creek section.  A $60 million state grant received this week will leverage $150 million in total to create 60 units of new and renovated housing in the city, part of efforts by the Mayor's Housing Task Force to bring more people into the community.
Here is Housing Visions’ artist’s rendering for the 40 units of senior-citizen housing at the end of the Spruce Street Extension in Oneonta’s Silver Creek section. A $60 million state grant received in recent days will leverage $150 million in total to create 60 units of new and renovated housing in the city, part of efforts by the Mayor’s Housing Task Force to bring more people into the community.
This is an artist's rendering of three new buildings Housing Visions is planning at West and Columbia streets in Oneonta, one block west of Walgreen's.  Plans are to demolish houses damaged through years of rentals to students at 23, 25 and 27 and 34 and 38 West Street.  Work on $150 million in demolitions, renovations and new construction is due to begin this fall, to be complete by fall 2016.
This is an artist’s rendering of two of three new buildings Housing Visions is planning at West and Columbia streets in Oneonta, one block east of Walgreen’s. Plans are to demolish houses damaged through years of rentals to students at 23, 25 and 27 Columbia St. and 34 and 38 West St. Work on $150 million in demolitions, renovations and new construction is due to begin this fall, to be complete by fall 2016.
48 Units Too Intense For Silver Creek

48 Units Too Intense For Silver Creek

Edition of Thursday-Friday, Dec. 4-5, 2014

To the Editor:

I am very concerned about Housing Visions’ planned development of the Silver Creek properties. I’ve always favored reasonable development of this area, but I have serious misgivings about the construction of 48 housing units there.

First, I worry about the stability of the hillside. Can it physically support this much construction? We know what heavy construction of the Wilber Park Apartments did to that hillside, resulting in a massive landslide into Wilber Park, much to the detriment of that park. I fear that the hillside above Silver Creek is similarly unstable and will result in another massive landslide.

Second, I am concerned about the greater volume of traffic 48 housing units will produce, both on the steep climb from the units up to Monroe, and on the traffic on Clinton, a dangerous street in the wintertime. And Monroe east of Clinton has a narrow, one-way bottleneck.

Third, because the cow path from SUNY-O onto upper Clinton provides students, faculty and city residents convenient walking access to and from the campus, Clinton has lots of foot traffic, a considerable portion of which is on the street itself because upper Clinton lacks sidewalks.

The result is that pedestrians’ only choice once leaving the cowpath is to walk on Clinton for the first 150 yards to Monroe, and many continue on Clinton below Monroe (where the increased traffic from the Housing Visions project will be traveling), both because they’ve started IN THE STREET and find it convenient to continue IN THE STREET.

That’s a problem now for those of us driving Clinton. Increased traffic from the proposed project will exacerbate that problem, especially in the winter when the sidewalks that do exist are often not shoveled or are icy and thus more dangerous than the street because the street is usually plowed and sanded.

Fourth, the Clinton-Spruce neighborhood is one of Oneonta’s finest because it is quiet and peaceful. Forty-eight housing units are as many units as now exist on Clinton and Monroe. That many new units are going to more than disturb that peace and quiet – for many, it will make residents’ lives at least uncomfortable and for some miserable. Why build so many units in such a quiet area, especially when other vacant and abandoned property is available in the city?

Oneonta needs new housing and the taxes from it. However, we do not need 48 new units above Silver Creek! Twenty or 24 would be a much more reasonable number. Moreover, there are many other vacant lots in Oneonta crying out for construction. In fact, there’s one right next to my house. The city could also negotiate with SUNY-O to buy the property at 109 Clinton with its abandoned six-plex apartment house. Those excellent one-bedroom apartments might be refurbished, or the building could be replaced with a reasonable number of units there.

These would be reasonable housing developments.

PAUL SCHEELE
Oneonta

Housing Visions

Plan For 60 Dwelling Units In City

Long In Gestation, Developer Says

By LIBBY CUDMORE• allotsego.com

Housing Visions' Ben Lockwood, Natt Nissen and Dave Cox answer questions in Oneonta Common Council chambers on the proposed Silver Creek apartments housing project. (Ian Austin/allotsego.com)
Housing Visions’ Ben Lockwood, Natt Nissen and Dave Cox answer questions in Oneonta Common Council chambers on the proposed Silver Creek apartments housing project. (Ian Austin/allotsego.com)

ONEONTA – When Ben Lockwood, vice president of Housing Visions, came to Oneonta six years ago, he knew he had the tools to fill a need. “I saw the Oneonta really needed housing,” he said. “The student population puts a stress on low-income residents who need access to their jobs, services and shopping.”

That project fell through.  But Wednesday, at the city Planning Commission meeting, Lockwood got to present a 60-bedroom project two years in the making. “We want to be a catalyst for positive sustainable neighborhood revitalization,” he said.

Since 1990, Housing Visions has built 1,300 low-income units in Syracuse, Binghamton, Albany, Oswego, Rome and Corning.

In 2012, former city manager Mike Long and Planning Commission vice chair Gary Herzig – also chief operating officer of Opportunities for Otsego – approached Lockwood again in hopes of revisiting the project. “There isn’t much low-income housing here in Oneonta,” said Herzig. “This is an important need.”

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