High water marked

Developers of former ALCO site looked at flooding early on

— “We want to make sure we get the property over the 100-year flood plain,” Buicko said.

The normal depth of the Mohawk River near the site is 8 to 10 feet below the riverbanks, said Buicko, so the 6-foot raise adds a large level of protection.

“From our standpoint we can use statistics … with what is a 100-year flood and take steps to minimize or mitigate any potential flooding,” Buicko said. “Any time you are dealing with areas that have a propensity to flood, which this is not … there is ways to minimize (effects), which is utilizing garages or basements and living areas.”

Gillen said modern building practices are being followed, such as placing utilities boxes higher up to prevent flood damage. Also, groundwater management efforts are focused on per the site planning process.

Buicko said the Galesi Group has reach out to a variety of stakeholders and community members through focus groups to gain insight. The next phase of the project will include a feasibility and sensibility study to determine how the site is to be built out.

A mixed commercial and residential development is planned for the site. Buicko said what type of tenants would be the target for apartments is still being considered, but the housing could range from student living to senior housing.

“We are looking at this as a regional project,” Buicko said. “It is a natural extension of the residential development in the stockade … just a couple hundred years or more and newer.”

The project was recently awarded $940,000 through Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council initiative. Less than a week later on Wednesday, Dec. 14, the project received a larger boost in funding from the Empire State Development’s Board of Directors totaling $4 million. The redevelopment initiative is estimated to total $12 million.

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