It’s been a project seven years in the making. The ambitious effort that Albany Medical Center, dubbed the Park South Urban Renewal Plan which was unveiled last summer has begun the public commenting period starting with the last meeting of the Albany Common Council, held a week ago last Monday. As with all projects in the making, this plan differs from the original. A taller building, and a larger parking structure among them. Just who are the benefactors of this monumental effort? It most likely won’t be the long time residents of the Park South neighborhood. It will, definitely benefit Columbia Development and Tri-City Rentals, the co-developers on this project. As far as the homeowners, some who have been in place for decades, how will they fair. I’m sure that Albany Med will purchase their properties for a fair market value. But what happens to the older residents who are living on fixed incomes; will they be able to live in one of the new rentals? Or are these units going to be priced so high as to make that alternative simply out of the question? As far as the renters, I guess they don’t have any alternatives. Even if they can afford to live in the new neighborhood, where will they go in the meantime. And how much more tax free property can the city of Albany afford to part with? You have to figure the living units will have to be taxable, but how about the garage and office space? Even though these medical offices will be attached to the hospital, I’m sure that there are doctors practicing using these spaces who are billing clients with services that have nothing to do with Albany Med. In the end, you get the hospital gaining valuable space for the state of the art services they perform, and you get the two developers making a zillion dollars. As in the case of Columbia Development, they not only will gain income from the property management services, which will be an ongoing source of income, but they also gain profit through the actual construction of the project utilizing BBL, the construction arm. And while were at it, why does Columbia and BBL have to be involved in every major project that’s undertaken in Albany? You can’t tell me that it’s because they give the best price, because nobody, including Columbia and Tri-City knows what the cost of a project like this costs, Nobody! It’s been published that the cost of the project is $110 million dollars. That, people might just as well be a number picked from a hat. We will probably never know the final cost. Just ask the county of Albany about the Family Court building, also developed by Columbia, which ended up costing them at least twice what the building was worth. There a lot of other developers out there more that willing to put a job like this on their resume: LeChase, Turner, McCarthy, to name a few. I sincerely hope that the people involved with this take a long serious look at what they’re doing. As is always the case, especially in Albany, the taxpayer always loses out.……….I’m not going to say anything about the ridiculousness that is ongoing in our government. The rest of the world is just sitting by having a good laugh at the stupidity, pettiness and outright obstinacy of our elected officials.……….I know that my Yankees did not make the playoffs this year, and I know this is not going to be a popular stance, but, besides the fact that no self-serving Yankee fan could root for the Red Sox, the simple fact that is this: Does every player on the team have to have a beard. I have nothing against one, but if you are going to grow a beard, try growing one that doesn’t seem like it’s the first beard you tried to grow back inn High School. C’mon, a couple of the players look downright stupid. Go Dodgers. Let’s win one for Donny Baseball.
And that is “The Daily Take”