The Lofts May Fulfill Dream Of A Renewed Downtown

The Lofts May Fulfill Dream

Of A Renewed Downtown

The Lofts On Dietz is being proposed by developers Ken and Sean Kearney.

Speaking of development, The Lofts On Dietz, artist studios and middle-income apartments proposed for downtown Oneonta, is simply thrilling.

The developer – a father-son combination, Ken and Sean Kearney, principals in Parkview Development Inc. – have completed two similar projects, in Beacon and Poughkeepsie,

The father outlined the project to Common Council July 16, and to the city’s Planning Commission the following evening, and came across as seasoned, knowledgeable and level-headed.

Dave Hutchison, long-time member of the city’s Environmental Board, asked that it achieve a net-zero energy status, and use a
geothermal system.

As of now, city codes don’t require that, but Kearney said he will discuss the possibility with his NYSERDA-approved consultant.

Fine, but energy isn’t the only issue, or even the foremost.

Until now, despite DRI status and many millions committed to the city center’s rebirth, it’s been theoretical.
This is real. It’s been done elsewhere. It can – and will – happen, it we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot.


One thought on “The Lofts May Fulfill Dream Of A Renewed Downtown

  1. Hudson Salvage

    Whether its storage units or mid-rise property I have seen my share of investors take the cheap money that is out there and develop with great fanfare and success, but after a year or two the developer has cashed in and sold off his venture. A pump and run, while the running is good.

    I often ask myself what is the long -term commitment to a property being built? Is it sustainable not just environmentally, but economically? How much risk is the developer really taking? More importantly how much risk is the community taking to green light the project?

    Why not re-develop existing property to first meet an existing demand and then develop new if the demand exhausts the pool available? Is it because the tax breaks and loan offerings are not tailored in this manner? What happens to this project if we enter into a recession? Student loan debt implodes? Are we left with an unfinished building until conditions improve for the developer?

    Poughkeepsie is a wonderful town, but it has never managed to run on all 4-cylinders since manufacturing went the way of NAFTA and has been subject to real estate boom and busts cycles since the 1980s. Today is survives to a large extent as a home for displaced people out of necessity. They can no longer afford to live in NYC and it surrounding counties. Poughkeepsie relies on commuters, service industry, and academic institutions to keep it above water.

    New projects have to be tailored to economic reality. The deck is stacked against as we enter the next decade. One way around it is a long-term development plan where new construction is done over many years and in stages, but this would require commitment by all.

    Development has to be tailored to sustaining the community and what it can support.

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