It looks like the dog gets to stay, as residential and commercial businesses are constructed beneath him. However, Nipper still waits for an important historic classification that would significantly help with funding towards maintenance and preservation.
Nipper Apartments, LLC is planning on creating about 150 apartments along with retail shops and additional parking at the building that houses the 28 foot tall Nipper as part of a $70 million improvement plan. The property has about 172,000 square feet over 3.5 acres.
This project has huge implications for the warehouse district of Albany, which has been growing in recent years with new restaurants and bars opening. More residential and commercial business would greatly contribute to the developing area. And, upgrading the somewhat gritty looking, 100-year-old building is arguably a much needed and long-time-coming renovation.
However, Nipper and his building still have yet to be added to the National Register of Historic Places. Sen. Charles Schumer has been advocating for Nipper, urging the National Park Service and the state Historic Preservation Office to add the property – and the dog – to this important register.
With this designation, the property owner would be able to utilize a 20% tax credit, given to those on the register for the rehabilitation of classic structures for income-producing historic properties.
“Nipper may be made of fiberglass, but his watching over the City of Albany for the last 60 years has certainly woven him into the very fiber of this community,” Schumer said in a statement. “Adding Nipper to the National Register of Historic Places would be a tremendous step forward in appropriately honoring the role that Nipper and this historic building have played in Albany over its history.”
The Federal Historic Tax Credits on revenue-producing historical sites has been very successful in years past, and is now the largest federal program supporting historic preservation. This official identification as an historic property would not only help to protect the building, but Nipper as well.
Arnoff Moving and Storage has owned the building and the dog since 1997, and has been trying to sell it since the end of 2014. Bill Barber and a business partner have signed a contract to buy the property from the Arnoff family, who wish to move their business to a more modern location. The Arnoff family has done an excellent job maintaining Nipper while he was under their ownership, and joined Schumer and others in vocalizing their desire for the building to keep and preserve the dog.
- Albany Business Review: The businessman who wants to bring apartments to Albany’s “Nipper” building.
- New York State Senate: Newsroom Press Releases – Schumer: Albany’s Landmark “Nipper” building should be added to the national and state registers of historic places; Senator urges National Park Service & NYS Historic Preservation to expedite approval process to that vital federal historic tax credits can be used to transform the building and preserve the beloved statue for future generations.
- Times Union: Albany’s Nipper building eyed for apartments.
- WAMC Northeast Public Radio: The Dog Stays.