After once saying the proposed residential-commercial-parking complex “will have adverse effects to the Kingston Stockade District,” state officials in a Feb. 14 letter wrote that after developers made changes to its design, the Kingstonian will have “No Adverse Effect” on Uptown.
The reversal came in a letter from John Bonafide, director of the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation’s Technical Preservation Services Bureau to Empire State Development Project Director Meghan Ferrelli. In the correspondence, CC’d to Mayor Steve Noble, City Planner Suzanne Cahill, project partner Brad Jordan and others, Bonafide writes, “We note that the introduction of brick, a variety of siding materials and colors has helped to break up the original monolith look of the complex. We also note that the now more open plaza area and intact location of Fair Street Extension, now used for parking garage entry, retains this opening in the district’s streetscape. The building façade along Front Street has been redesigned to more appropriately approximate the height and form of the buildings that [once] occupied that block.”
Other design changes were praised, and Bonafide asked that the state be consulted as Kingstonian developers work up plans for interpretive “panels/kiosks/materials” about the neighborhood’s rich history.
“Based on the redesign material submitted, it is the opinion of the Division for Historic Preservation that the project, as now proposed, has minimized its direct and indirect impacts on the listed Kingston Stockade Historic District. As such, it is now our opinion that the project will have No Adverse Impact on the district,” Bonafide wrote.
In other Kingstonian news, last week a lawyer for several LLC’s connected to Stockade District buildings owned by real estate mogul Neil Bender announced the LLC’s were seeking to be allowed to join a previous Article 78 action against the city planning board. The original suit, filed by Creda, LLC — prospective tenants of a Wall Street space where a bar is envisioned — alleges the planning board did not take the required “hard look” at the project’s effects on the neighborhood before issuing a less-burdensome-to-developers “negative declaration” on the project.