The former Eamonn's Loudon House was an Irish bar that was demolished by BCI construction in 2008 to make way for luxury condominiums. Construction came to a halt after the downturn of the economy but the project has made its way back into the public a developer Mike Benson said he plans to finish the job.
COLONIE BCI Construction President Mike Benson said the development company is ready to move forward in building luxury condominiums as approved in 2008, after the Planning Board rejected a proposal to put up apartments instead.
After several members of the community voiced their opposition to building luxury apartments at the corner of Menands Road and Schuyler Road, also known as the Loudon House Project, Benson is taking the complaints into consideration. Benson said BCI will now move forward with constructing a 24-unit luxury condominium complex on the 2.63 acre site.
“The public hearing was held, and quite frankly, there was a lot of opposition to the idea of apartments,” he said. “We have public hearings for a reason. It’s a chance for the community to voice their opinion. There is substantial opposition and we understand that.”
It’s an issue that goes back to 2005 when the first ideas for the project came to forward to replace what was once the original site for Eamonn’s Loudon House. According to Benson, the first conceptual plans for the project were presented to the Colonie Planning Board in 2006 before a conditional site plan was approved in 2007. The final approval for the complex was in March of 2008 and in August BCI was issued a building permit.
That’s when the economy collapsed and plans began to change.
“We had eight letters of intent,” Benson said. “There were deals underway on eight condominiums, then financial turmoil took place and we watched eight contracts go to no contracts. At which point, without contracts, we were not able to continue to move the project forward. Since then we’ve been waiting for the economy to change.”
Colonie Town Attorney Michael Magguilli said the developers then asked to amend local law 12 to provide for either apartments or condominium units with changes to the interior of the building and no changes to the footprint of the property. This prompted the Town Board to refer to the Planning Board for public hearings and recommendations.