I first came across real estate developer Sonny Bonacio when covering a story at the Universal Preservation Hall, a 19th century church being converted into an entertainment venue. The structure itself had long suffered neglect, and now through the efforts of the community, of which Bonacio is a part of, it is promised to remain relevant to the city for years to come.
Bonacio made the news again recently with reports he has purchased the Hendrick Hudson building in Troy. Unlike UPH, the Hendrick Hudson is not at threat of losing relevance anytime soon. On the contrary, with the building’s close proximity to Memorial Square, it sounds to be a great investment piece.
The City of Troy has graced our pages, if not from the events taking place at the Collar City, then by some of its people we have interviewed who now talk about their home with pride. Such a pride didn’t exist ten years ago, but a younger crowd is taking over downtown. Musician Katy Cole recently called it the new Lark Street, a reference to the creative community in Albany, that in turn, draws comparisons to New York City’s Greenwich Village.
Comparisons aside, Troy still has its problems, as all cities do, but news on crime no longer dominates the headlines. It’s stories about up-and-coming business, unique shops along River Street, concert series, an awesome farmers market and flea markets.
But, most of all, there are people investing in the city again. Monument Square has turned into a epicenter of all things good the Collar City has to offer. Bonacio’s investment is just one of many good signs that people are taking notice of the changes in Troy, and are willing to back the city’s promise of a strong and vibrant future with money of their own.
Michael Hallisey is managing editor of Spotlight Newspapers.