Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Reactions by Neighbors

I would submit that a substantial portion of the 11 acres (aka Parcel A) is nearly as close to the termini of Tudor, Clarendon and western Cambridge roads as the previously proposed "southeastern" site is to the properties along western Tudor. It is a minimal shift, in my view. I am no more comfortable with these 11 acres than the earlier southeastern/Tudor Road site. Again, convenience and expediency appears to be prevailing over the concerns of proximate neighbors. I remain unimpressed with the state's efforts to site these dorms in a location that does not intrude seriously on the neighborhood.

Leslie Knauf
34 Clarendon Road

I am sending this to some of my neighbors. I hope you hear from them.

As for my response---to transfer about 11 acres near the State Police headquarters and the sculpture building from the Harriman campus to the University campus for the construction of a 500 bed university dormitory seems nearly perfect to me. The University at Albany needs more dorm space and the Harriman campus--presently under used--is a fine place for a university dorm.

As for the development plan and the selection of a general developer, I know nothing about the plan except its general outline--office buildings, some apartments/housing with a very small number of retail stores. I know even less about the general developer. I wish it well. But to find a private use for the Harirman campus where several of the buildings will continue to be occupied by State offices (State police,Labor,Tax and Finance) for many more years seems like trying to find a reuse for a Cathederal--tough but not impossible.

The University is a great university and a resource for the region--to promote its further development is good for the city and the region. I look forward to the University using much more of the Harriman campus.

A disclaimer: As a former faculty member (Professor Emeritus, Department of Economics) at the University this opinion may contain more than a little bit of self interest.

Don Reeb

As a resident of Albany I am very interested in the development of the Harriman Campus. We have a unique opportunity to create a new neighborhood within the City of Albany.

In the past development in Albany has been plague with no vision, buildings go up helter-skelter with no rhyme or reason. No thought was given to future use of the riverfront when 787 was built or when Washington Avenue Extension was being developed.

Now it also appears that there is no master plan on the north side Washington Ave across from the Campus. Again the buildings seem to be going up wherever each developer wants them to go. No cohesiveness, no connection, not even visual pleasing. Case in point the Alexander; luxury high-rise apartments over looking…wait satellite dishes, Washington Avenue, I90, or office buildings. In a few years when they cannot fully occupy the building don't be surprised when it becomes Section 8 Housing.

We need to bring people back to the City, people who will be part of the community, people who will have a vested interest in Albany. Baby Boomers are looking to downsize to smaller homes, maybe town homes or condo units. We are losing them to the suburbs. A public park would be nice for the residents of that part of Albany. Dorms and maybe a second high school might serve the City better.

What we don't need is any more office buildings, all that brings is people who work here from 9 to 5 and leave the City, taking their earnings and spending elsewhere, while using the services that the City provides for free; fire and safety. Again at the expense of the property owners of Albany.

There is plenty of property in the Capital District for commercial use but this is a one shot deal that can bring more people to live within the City of Albany - let's not make this another wasted opportunity.

Sofeya (Pia) Lascaris
Democratic Committee Person
13th Ward


  1. Are they proposing placing the dorms at the wooded area on the West side of Campus Road? There is a large patch of land between the University Police and the Sculpture Studio.

  2. No, they are not. The Harriman location is the only option being considered.

    As a part of the overall Capital Plan, UAlbany will be expanding the maintenance garage site, and will be building a 'surge' building next to it to accomodate rooms being renovated in the Podium. This parcel will be used.