Case Studies

New Scotland Avenue Corridor
Park South Urban Renewal
Albany, New York

New Scotland Ave Corridor

Goals

  • Provide retail, medical and administrative offices with associated parking facilities to AMC in a confined, urban environment
  • Spur private investment and neighborhood quality of life improvements
  • Create new construction and permanent jobs, retain existing jobs
  • Transform vacant, abandoned and deteriorated properties into an attractive “Gateway to Albany Med”
  • Provide new residential options in neighborhood

Vision

Restoring Residential and Commercial Vitality to an Essential Connector Neighborhood

Columbia Development was selected to begin the transformation of one of the city’s busiest yet deteriorating neighborhoods by sparking public and private investments in its reconstruction and rehabilitation. As with all of its projects, Columbia Development was (and still is) committed to making the Park South neighborhood transformation as positive and efficient as possible.

Park South connects Albany’s historic downtown to one of the region’s largest employers—Albany Medical Center—as well as several colleges including the Albany Medical Center College, Albany Law School, Albany College of Pharmacy and the Sage Colleges. Each day there are 7,000 Albany Medical Center employees and 1,000 students working around the clock within two blocks of Park South.

The project aimed to eliminate the blight that plagued the neighborhood and replace it with vibrant new buildings which fit into the vision of the City’s Planning Department. The project would also increase residents’ access to essential community services and create employment opportunities in a low-income area.

The Sites and Challenges

  • Municipally and federally designated Urban Renewal Area
  • Environmental remediation (asbestos containing building materials, lead based paint, abandoned fuel tanks, etc.)
  • 5-block stretch marred by blight, crime and absentee ownership
  • Over 60 tax parcels
  • New construction in constricted, urban area with little maneuverability
  • 28% of the residents live in poverty, 44% below the median income level

The Projects (in order of completion)

22 New Scotland Ave

22 New Scotland Avenue (2008)
5-Story, 77,730 Sq. Ft. Administrative Office Building for Albany Medical Center

  • Acquired and merged parcels 20 and 22 New Scotland
  • Retained and relocated 300 Albany Medical Center jobs including 240 professional and 60 skilled positions
  • Created approximately 225 construction jobs
  • Record-setting five month construction

16 New Scotland Avenue (2009)
3-Story, 54,000 Sq. Ft. Medical Office and Retail Building

16 New Scotland Ave

  • Environmental remediation of a a 2-acre area of residential and commercial structures and construction a 54,000 square foot, three-story medical office and retail building with related parking.
  • Tenants include a CVS pharmacy and SEFCU credit union (both with drive-thru) on the first floor and new Class-A medical offices and educational facilities on the second and third floors
  • Created over 120 new jobs, including 28 physicians
  • Employed 200 construction jobs

67 Veterans Way (2010)
3-Story, 33,000 Sq. Ft.  US Department of Veteran Affairs Administrative Office Building

  • In order to secure necessary land from the Federal Government to build the parking garage and the office building at 40 and 50 New Scotland Avenue, Columbia Development president Joseph Nicolla travelled to Washington, DC and negotiated with Veteran Affairs officials to lease the land in exchange for the construction of the new office building for Veterans Affairs
  • Constructed a 3-story, 33,000 square foot office building with a partial basement. The new building consists of modern furniture with removable and replaceable cubical walls

40 New Scotland Avenue (2010)
1,500 Car Parking Structure

  • Constructed a 1,500 car parking facility behind what is now the 50 New Scotland Avenue building for Albany Medical Center. The garage operates as a community parking facility, equipped with a keycard entry and security systems, addressing the parking needs created by the revitalization
  • Created 9-12 permanent skilled positions upon completion.
  • Created approximately 200 construction positions

50 New Scotland Avenue (2011)
9-Story, 67,000 Sq.Ft. Mixed-Use Medical Office/Retail Building

50 New Scotland Ave

  • Developed a 9-story, 67,000 square foot mixed-use medical office/retail building for  Albany Medical Center
  • 8,000 square feet workout facility with breathtaking views on the 9th floor
  • Integrated connections to both adjacent parking structures and to AMC main campus across New Scotland Ave
  • Panera bakery and café on the first floor
  • Created 135 construction jobs, 175 permanent full-time jobs and 75 permanent part-time positions
  • Built a connector from parking structure, to new building at 50 New Scotland Ave, to main hospital campus

405 Myrtle Avenue (2015)
6-Story, 816 Car Parking Garage

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  • Developed a 6-story, 816 car parking garage for Albany Medical Center
  • Integrated connection to the adjacent medical office building (391 Myrtle Avenue)
  • The parking garage supports the development of the Park South neighborhood and is utilized by Albany Medical Center and by the new residential apartments being constructed
  • First parking structure in Park South
  • Garage has exterior upgrades for aesthetic purpose

391 Myrtle Avenue (2016)
5-Story, 135,000 Sq.Ft. Medical Office Building

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  • Developed a 5-story, 135,000 square foot medical office building for Albany Medical Center
  • Built pedestrian connector bridge from MOB to hospital
  • Integrated connection to the adjacent parking garage (405 Myrtle Avenue)
  • Tenants include Albany Medical Center (AMC Neurology, AMC OB/GYN and AMC General Pediatrics), Community Care Physicians (CCP Albany Family Medicine and CCP Urgent Care) and the Albany Vascular Group
  • The medical office building is home to 420 total employees

The Brownstone Apartments at Park South (Morris Street and Robin Street) (2016)
Complex 1 – 54,000 Sq.Ft. Apartment Building with 48 Units – Opening Sept. 1, 2016
Complex 2 – 27,000 Sq. Ft. Apartment Building with 24 Units – Opening July 1, 2016
Complex 3 – 38,000 Sq.Ft. Apartment Building with 36 Units – Opening Aug. 1, 2016

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  • Columbia assisted in the site design and acquiring of all the site plan approvals for the three complexes: 119,000 square feet of residential space for Tri City Rentals
  • Two more complexes (Complex 4 and 5) for a total of 73,000 square feet of residential space still to be built
  • Well-designed one and two bedroom apartments
  • Apartments feature gourmet kitchens with stainless steel appliances, granite or quartz counter-tops, and contemporary custom cabinetry. Living and dining rooms will have plank flooring, 9 foot ceilings, with over-sized windows. The spacious bathrooms will feature tile floors, granite counters, tubs and elegant showers.

Infrastructure

Traffic Improvements

  • Shared lane for motorists and cyclists; Crosswalks for pedestrians; designated turning lanes on New Scotland Avenue; new traffic signals; traffic signal upgrades; Roadway striping improvements

Streetscape Improvements

  • Where possible, buried existing overhead electrical and communications lines for improved appearance; Where infrastructure remained overhead, new poles installed; New decorative street lighting, wider stamped concrete sidewalks; new trees and planters

Waterline

  • Replace old City water mains as required