Keith and Keith Libolt have made it clear that they will be seeking a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) agreement for their proposed affordable senior apartments on South Manheim Boulevard in New Paltz, and that day is not too far off. Mayor Tim Rogers advised at the February 9 Village Board meeting that the Libolts will be formally submitting a proposal in the coming weeks.
Three lots in total would be used for this project, including the office-house at 52, an adjacent lot on South Manheim Boulevard and another parcel on Hasbrouck Place. That house would be left intact, albeit with a slightly smaller lot, as part of it would be used to access the new living units by car. A two-story building that is expected to achieve a LEED energy efficiency rating of gold or better would have 33 apartments. The units on the second floor will be accessed by stairs or elevator, ensuring that all of the apartments are accessible. Village ordinance mandates that for a project of this size, at least ten percent must be deemed “affordable,” which means that rent is based in part on income and that tenants are selected from among people on the Village’s affordable housing registry. In this case, Libolt intends on 100 percent of the apartments being affordable.
A walking path will encircle the structure and gardens will be planted in front. Existing woods will be retained at the back of the lot. Illustrations shown by architect Mario Salpepi show a building with several roof peaks and height variations to break up the visual mass. The 33 units comes out to about 17,000 square feet on each floor, after stairwells and other common spaces are factored in. The roof peaks at each end are also at 90 degrees to the rest, enhancing the sense that this is multiple structures. The end caps were also designed to be a “tribute” to the 1930s house that will have to be torn down for this particular vision to come into focus.
This would be a municipal PILOT, meaning that it would be negotiated with the leaders of one government only. When more than one taxing authority is involved, the entire process may be brought to members of the county’s Industrial Development Agency to be worked out. The Libolts have opted for this more simple approach. There has been friction between Village people and IDA members for a number of years over the decisions made in that largely independent agency.
The approach the Libolts are taking is one of engagement and communication. They have spoken with members of the activist group U-Act, and have received support for the project there. Another step will be to apply for a Small Cities Grant for some of the funding. That will require a resolution in support from the Village’s trustees, which could be the next business they take up about this project.