Letter: Against a new apartment complex in historic Rondout

As a resident in Kingston’s Ward 9, I have invested in a living history. Every morning, I look across the road as I get in the car and see a historic house built in 1895 and possibly designed by Calvert Vaux in 1886. It has stood as part of a large wooded lot adjacent to the Ulster Academy building for well over 120 years. Later additions included several duplex houses for families, as the homeowner sold off some of the land, and donated a lot to SUNY Ulster in the 1960s for use as student parking.

This area has historically had the character of single-family dwellings and a small neighborhood community. All development up to this point has been geared to respecting and enhancing what was already there.

A possible rezoning of 2-16 Montrepose proposed by developer Andrew Wright for the purpose of erecting a high-density 15-unit apartment complex would be a fundamental change in the character of the area. It would also be another first — new construction on a historic parcel of residentially zoned land for the purpose of excessive profit in Kingston.


The Common Council has an opportunity here to encourage responsible development under its tenure. Rezone this parcel into three R-2 lot spaces to be used for construction of new duplex housing consistent with neighboring properties. Houses are also in great demand here! The remaining oddly shaped and unbuildable land should be used as Wright also planned — Ward 9’s first community green space

Sam Newsome

There are 5 comments

  1. The Future

    Another curious “opinion” from one of our local “inclusive” yet “elitist” residents. Hmmm. You fight and demand housing for Kingston residents…but you fight to block any new new housing in Kingston…which is it? A duplex house does nothing to get our residents into 21st century housing. It would put at most two families, most likely two couples, into two homes. Kinda lame if you ask me.

    Just like the fals fight against The Kingstonian which will bring 143 New Residences, including 14 at below market rate apartments within walking distance of grocery, hardware, banks, and the core of our business district…you folks fight and argue agains it…which is it?

    Montrose, The Kingstonian — both of these together will bring 158 new residential units to Kingston!!! That is amazing and anyone standing in the way has bad motives behind them. The new garbage litigation by the Rhineback property owner (this grifter is up to something and wants to do their own development Uptown); and blocking Montrose, are just bad news for a growing community that needs new housing, new businesses, new jobs, new hotel rooms to continue our forward momentum.

    Block these is just stupid and a bad attitutde.

  2. Jaycee

    Riddle me this, aren’t the Ulster Academy Lofts right around the corner? They have 9 or 10 residential units, and there is never any traffic associated with them. The Montrepose site only has people who park their cars for free on the property and nothing else. So what’s the big deal, I can walk down the street any hour of the day and there is zero traffic, so 15 new units is not going to have any impact what so ever. Approve it and build it, we need the housing units in Kingston, don’t we? That’s all I keep hearing, we need more housing.

  3. Rezone me, Daddy

    Not all “housing” is created equal.

    These apartments (aside from the two 1 bedroom affordable spots) were never meant for the people in Kingston. The market rate units, all high end rentals, were specifically targeting temporary transplants from New York City. Hence the name: “Parkslope Kingston”, and all the buzz words “live work space”, “bike parking”, etc.

    Same with the Kingstonian: 143 luxury to 14 affordable.

    So in total – 15 apartments for common folk, 156 for the wealthy.

    Paying lip service to affordable housing, to morally launder erecting overpriced luxury condos…

    Unless there are 150+ homeless millionaires in Kingston?

    1. Bobby Burke

      However, those “wealthy People” that you dis., will be raising the local budget funding and fiscal security of the area, not just Kingston, through those high priced apartments and livlihoods. They will be eating food, using gas, shopping at local businesses, generating sales and sales taxes. They will be needing the services of local trades and craftsman, along with the service based local commerce, etc., etc., further multiplying the local funds, creating jobs, increasing the till. All this revenue, can then be used by a healthy fiscally funded governing system, too remedy much more than just affordable housing. Then, there is the, quite large number of construction jobs. Uplifting this group of hard-working, local professional talent. Build this, it is time too stop wasting taxpayer monies, actually further hurting the services, that you believe you aspire too help, and cease all stoppages. All those trying too stop this by filing bogus, and frivolous lawsuits and stoppages, are actually just fanning their own self serving ego’s, not using foresight and intelligence in their supposed fight for the needy. But, indeed hurting those you claim to advocate for, by wasting taxpayer monies, and standing in the way of progress and prosperity. Go blow it out your a…

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