Thomas Dimopoulos

Thomas Dimopoulos

City Beat and Arts & Entertainment Editor
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SARATOGA SPRINGS – It was a year of new things for the most part at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Elizabeth Sobol’s first at the helm of the organization, initiating partnerships with arts-based collaborators in the region, introducing a series of inaugural concert events, and reviving long-dormant pieces of the organization’s past. And more changes are on the way.  

At its Oct. 12 meeting, SPAC’s Board of Directors voted to condense the New York City Ballet season to seven performances, down from its 11-day residency in each of the past three seasons - which featured 12 to 14 performances during that period. The 2018 NYCB season will more closely align with 2013 and 2014 models.

Mathematically, 80 percent of New York City Ballet ticket buyers purchase tickets to only one performance, and 11 percent buy tickets to two performances, Sobol said. Only the remaining 9 percent purchase tickets to 3-plus NYCB shows.

“The Board felt that taking on another $1 million-plus shortfall on the New York City Ballet residency, was not prudent,” explained SPAC’s president and CEO. 

“A big thrust of our efforts will be towards converting one-time buyers to multiple-performance buyers.  Consolidating the audiences into one week will help with that,” Sobol said. “Historically, when we reduce the number of performances, nightly attendance numbers go up.  Having fuller houses and the increased energy and excitement which accompanies that helps create more demand for tickets.”

Much as was done in prior years – the National Ballet of China visited the venue in 2015 and the Martha Graham Dance Company and the Bolshoi Ballet staged shows the previous summer - the NYCB dance season will be augmented by additional performances by an international dance company, not yet revealed. Discussions are currently being held with the National Ballet of Cuba for multiple performances in the summer of 2018.

“SPAC certainly remains committed to the residency and our long-term partnership with NYCB,” Sobol said. “Looking ahead to 2018, we will be working to harness that new energy and focus marketing on driving these new audiences to our resident companies. I am hopeful that with this renewed emphasis, we will be able to return to the extended New York City Ballet season in the future.” 

SPAC is projected to finish the 2017 fiscal year operationally breaking even. Audience attendance at 2017 classical season performances reached projected levels. The Philadelphia Orchestra is scheduled to return for 12 performances, from Aug. 1 – 18, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center will perform at the Spa Little Theatre Aug. 5- 21.

The 2017 Season featured a partnership with Caffè Lena that presented a monthly series of free concerts atop SPAC’s new Charles R. Wood Gazebo stage, as well as a trio of sold-out SPAC at Caffè Lena shows during the spring.

The inaugural “SPAC on Stage” series resulted in three sold-out performances, with nearly one-third of all attendees being first-time SPAC ticket buyers, Sobol said.

A “Live at the Jazz Bar” series was initiated in the Hall of Springs – and brought 300 to 400 people to each of the seven events to hear live jazz following performances by the ballet and orchestra.

SPAC on Stage, Live at the Jazz Bar and the Caffè Lena at SPAC series will all be back for the 2018 season. 

In 2017, SPAC’s free education programs reached more than 15,000 young individuals, offered more than 125 classes, presentations, performances, and events, and partnered with more than 70 schools and non-profit organizations across the greater Capital Region.

In the near future, the organization anticipates launching a new user-friendly website, and in December will initiate a pilot program with the Decoda Chamber Ensemble. The group, the first affiliate ensemble of Carnegie Hall, will include a weeklong artist-in-residency for students at the Saratoga Independent School (SIS).  A full chamber program will be staged Dec. 15 at the Bethesda Church in downtown Saratoga Springs.

Upcoming SPAC events include a lecture luncheon featuring a discussion titled the “Fascinating Life of Katrina Trask,” at 9:30 a.m. Oct. 26 at SPAC’s Spa Little Theatre; The Sachal Ensemble musicians - known for their extraordinary journey from Lahore to Lincoln Center featured in the “Song of Lahore” film -  live and on stage at the Little Theater 7 p.m. Oct. 30, (preceded by two screenings of the film at 3:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. ay Bow Tie Criterion Cinemas a day earlier),  and a pair of Nutcracker Teas in the Hall of Springs on Nov. 19 at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. For ticket information, go to: spac.org. 

SARATOGA SPRINGS – The city’s Code Blue emergency shelter will again be sited at the Soul Saving Station Church as a temporary measure to house individuals who would otherwise remain unsheltered during harsh winter conditions.

Code Blue Saratoga, a program of Shelters of Saratoga, was anticipated to have secured a permanent location following the February 2017 gift offered by Ed and Lisa Mitzen to construct a permanent facility on the grounds of 20 Walworth St., where the current SOS shelter is located.

Bonacio Construction and the LA Group subsequently partnered with the Mitzen Family to provide the necessary project planning, which gained unanimous approval from both the city Planning Board and Zoning Board of Approvals. The two-story structure was slated to house about 50 beds. 

But in July, the city’s determination of zoning and land use for the project was challenged by a group of nearly two dozen people who initiated a legal action to halt its development. As a result, initial construction timelines have been delayed pending judicial review of the project, and those delays forced those operating the shelter to look elsewhere. 

Pastor Arnold Byrd II and The Soul Saving Station Church on Henry Street, the host site of last year’s Code Blue season, once again stepped forward to partner with SOS as the temporary host of its 2017-18 Code Blue season.  “Being part of this community, we have a duty to assist those in need,” Byrd said, in a statement.

Both city mayoral candidates – Republican Mark Baker and Democrat Meg Kelly – acknowledged Soul Saving Station for stepping forward to provide a space for temporary shelter, in response to an inquiry seeking comment for this article, although no specific information was offered regarding the potential Walworth Street location. The responses, in full, are below.   

Officials at SOS – who currently operate two other buildings on the Walworth Street property as well as a twice-a-week “drop-in” center – say having the Code Blue shelter in close proximity to the case-managed shelters maximizes the opportunity to provide a full continuum of services and more easily connect homeless individuals with the support services they need.

"What we foresaw and unfortunately now has happened is that poor leadership, bad planning and a lack of consensus building to address human needs is now locked up in litigation – a disappointing theme of the current administration to a very complex issue.

"I’m thankful that Pastor Byrd and the Soul Saving Station Church have stepped up to welcome those who need shelter into their Congregation.

"As the current proposal is in litigation, I will not be commenting further on future plans. However, as a community, we have a moral obligation and responsibility to show compassion and to be responsive to those already in our city who are in need and homeless, especially children.  As Mayor, I would be personally committed to working with the faith, social services and business communities to find a solution to this complex issue that is sensitive to those in need, but is also responsible and respectful to our neighborhoods, schools and residents." – Statement from Mark Baker.

"Saratoga Springs helps its homeless with services from various agencies. 

“The Code Blue overnight shelter is truly a community effort that offers meals, supplies, services through volunteer hours from businesses, support groups and individuals.  I am grateful that the Soul Saving Station Church will host the shelter again this winter when the temperature drops below 32*F. 

“It is my belief that a permanent home for Code Blue can be realized through public-private partnerships and if I am elected as Mayor I will work to make sure this becomes a reality for our community." - Statement from Meg Kelly.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017 17:33

Restaurant Targets Former Lillian’s Location

SARATOGA SPRINGS – A new eatery, albeit one known to Saratogians for a decade, has targeted the location formerly housing Lillian’s restaurant at 408 Broadway.

Plans call for the two-story development of a new Cantina restaurant at the vacant space bordered by The Washington building to the north and Gardner Lane to the south. 

First floor designs show a kitchen, bar and dining area with a staircase that leads to the second floor which features a catering kitchen and approximately 2,700 square feet of “open seating,” indicating an event space. Changes include new lighting and signage, windows installed along Gardner Lane alley, and upgrades to the front exterior façade.  

Lillian’s restaurant closed on Jan. 1, 2016 after more than 40 years on Broadway. Two months later owner Ray Morris sold the building to 408 Broadway Realty LLC for $2.45 million. The buyer, reported the Albany Business Review in 2016, was technology company nfrastructure’s CEO Dan Pickett. The current applicant, according to an architectural/ historic review application filed with the city last month, is ACT 408 Broadway LLC, and lists Cantina restaurant owner Jeff Ames as a contact person.     

Cantina opened its doors in June 2007 and continues to operate at 430 Broadway.

The opening of a Cantina restaurant in the former Lillian’s location is contingent on the sale of the building at 408 Broadway, according to Ames. 

 

Some additional development applications under consideration by the city’s Land Use boards include:

Caroline Apartments:  24 Caroline Street, construction of new, in-fill, mixed-use building. (Building previously located on site demolished due to fire). Owner: 24 Caroline Street Owners, LLC 7 Sundance Lane, Loudonville, N.Y. (below)

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South Broadway mixed-use: 146 South Broadway. To replace former one-story ice cream store and pizza restaurant located on east side of South Broadway. Owner: Performing Asset Strategies, Saratoga Springs.  (below)

 

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Station Park: Proposed mixed-use development on west side, between Route 29 (Washington Street) and the train station. Owner: West Avenue Property LLC, c/o Markwood Enterprises Inc., Hollywood, California. (below)

 

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New six-story hotel and spa. Owner: Adelphi Hotel Partners, LLC. Proposed location: the north side of Washington Street between Universal Preservation Hall and the Rip Van Dam site.  The northeast corner of the property abuts the Adelphi Hotel (361-365 Broadway), also owned by Adelphi Hotel Partners, LLC – although the new hotel will be operated independently from the Adelphi Hotel. 

At the new hotel, the north end of the first floor will provide access to an indoor pool.  The pool will be in an attached single-story structure.  The second through sixth floors of the new building will include 50 additional guest suites. A one-story connector will provide access to an existing stone house at 23 Washington Street - which formerly served as the rectory for the Bethesda Episcopal Church – and which will be renovated as a guest suite. (below)

 

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SARATOGA SPRINGS – The prevailing practice of kids selling water for a buck-a-bottle to patrons outside the entry gates of the Saratoga Race Course will no longer be permitted, announced city Public Safety Commissioner Chris Mathiesen, who said he has fielded numerous complaints connected with the issue. 

“This is something that was (started) with the best of intentions, but it’s turned into something that has been quite a drain and everybody in our department is fed up with what’s been happening,” Mathiesen said.

The act was never legal to begin with, with no sales tax charted, and no licensing involved. Vendors are typically required to obtain a license to sell their wares in Saratoga Springs. A 1934 ordinance exempts from the city’s licensing ordinance the sale of milk, periodicals and newspapers – the latter of which is a common practice outside the racecourse, and which will be allowed continue.  

“A number of years ago, one of our code enforcement officers, Dan Cogan, was trying to be a really good guy and make it possible for kids to be able to sell bottled water at the track as a way for them to make some money,” Mathiesen explained. The suggested guidelines stipulated the seller be 14 years of age or younger and allotted a one cooler maximum, filled with water bottles. “It’s turned into something that has gotten way out of control,” Mathiesen said. “Unless the City Council acts otherwise, this illegal activity is not going to take place in 2018.”

Current Code Enforcement officer Jack Donnelly supplied a letter that cited numerous complaints involving kids obstructing traffic, older folks – not just kids – selling and refilling multiple coolers of water, and families arguing with one another about their “spot,” to the point where the police had to intervene.

“This past season was the straw that broke the camel’s back for Code Enforcement. My department was constantly badgered and disrespected by a few of the water bottle salespersons this season,” reads Donnelly’s report, which adds that the safety of the unattended children could not be guaranteed given the large crowds of people going in and out of the racecourse. “I feel Code Enforcement should not be burdened with having to babysit an illegal endeavor.”

City Police Chief Greg Veitch released a statement which reinforced safety concerns and noted some coolers have been chained to race course fences overnight in an attempt to hold that vendor’s “spot,” and police have witnessed several unattended children selling water for hours at a time from multiple coolers re-stocked multiple times by parents throughout the day.

“While the police have no interest in closing down the lemonade stands of small children looking to make a few dollars – unfortunately, like many things in life, the actions of a few have led to a decision to ban all unlicensed water sales from the area around the racetrack beginning in the 2018 racing season,” Veitch said.

Public Works Commissioner Anthony “Skip” Scirocco suggested the city explore the possibility of a lottery-type system which would allow some kids, under regulated guidelines, to continue to sell water and subsequently learn some entrepreneurial lessons.

“If you regulate it, you have to accept responsibility for it, collect sales tax and declare income on a regular basis,” Mathiesen said. “There are a lot of hurdles there.” According to Assistant City Attorney Tony Izzo, a similar lottery practice was instituted during the 1990s, but resulted in an unfair flooding by some “entrepreneurs” of the lottery box.

“Even the people inside the track like to come out and buy the water because it’s only a dollar compared to like five dollars inside,” Finance Commissioner Michele Madigan said. “I’m not going to sit here and argue about something that’s essentially illegal – but if there’s a way to do it legally, where it’s enforced and safe and kids can be supervised, I think the next Council should probably take a look at it.”  

BALLSTON SPA – Four minors were charged in connection with a Tuesday morning incident at the Ballston Spa Central School District which resulted in the middle school and the high school going into lock-down mode.

The most serious allegation – making a terroristic threat, a felony – was charged to a 14-year-old boy suspected of posting a threatening message on-line via Instagram. Three other boys – a 13-year-old and a 15-year-old from the town of Milton, and a 15-year-old from the village of Ballston Spa were each charged with the juvenile offense of unlawful possession of weapons by persons under the age of 16.

Tuesday morning, Ballston Spa Central School District administrators contacted Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office school outreach officers with information that there had been an on-line threat made by a student about a shooting at the school.

While investigating the allegation, authorities discovered that another student had brought a weapon into school that morning. School administrators located the weapon and turned it over to Sheriff’s Office Investigators. An investigation by Sheriff’s Office personnel revealed that the weapon was a blank pistol that looked identical to a real firing pistol.

All the juveniles were referred to the Saratoga County Probation Department. 

Last Friday, a 16-year-old Saratoga Springs High School student was charged with making a terroristic threat after allegedly posting a story on Snapchat about "shooting up the school.”    

SARATOGA SPRINGS – A 16-year-old student who allegedly “posted a story on snapchat about shooting up the school,” according to court documents, was charged Friday with making a terroristic threat.  

Julius Cucinella, age 16, was charged with the felony after city police were made aware Friday morning of a threat posted on the social media network, Snap Chat.

The social media post caused the school district to be alarmed and fear for the safety of its students and staff, according to court records.  

According to a statement issued by police, a school resource officer assigned to the high school initiated an investigation and was able to identify Cucinella as the source of the post. The investigation into the post did not indicate anyone else being involved in the threat.

The student was arraigned and released on $500 cash bail and is scheduled to return to court Oct. 3.

The terroristic threat charge went on the books shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, with a sentence range of 2 to 7 years in prison. The first known person to have been charged with making such a threat locally was a 42-year-old Skidmore College graduate who in May 2007 telephoned the college's Alumni Welcome Center and left a threatening message on the answering machine stating that he was coming to the campus with his M-16 rifle to cause harm.  

Thursday, 28 September 2017 21:20

Neighbors: Snippets of Life From Your Community

Who: Wade Boggs, Major League Hall-of-Famer. Boggs appeared in 12 All Star games and won five American League batting titles during an 18-year baseball career, 11 of those with the Boston Red Sox. In 1996, he won a World Series as a member of the New York Yankees.

Where: Saratoga Casino Hotel. 

What did you think of your home run performance during the All-Star Celebrity Softball game?

I look at it like this: Jose Canseco was 1-for-3 in his first three swings, and we have similar body types, so I had to make a 50-and-older softball league run here.

You retired from baseball more than 15 years ago. How do you stay in baseball shape?

I coach high school baseball in Tampa, Florida, so I take BP (batting practice) with the kids and get to hit periodically. But it’s a whole different animal with the softball and the lobbing it in.

How do you feel about the day overall?

It was great to come out here. We had a huge crowd and it was a wonderful day. We even had the jockeys out here – and I’m considered a jockey since I rode a horse in ’96.

Interacting with the fans is the main thing. Everyone’s so gracious to come out and enjoy an afternoon playing a little softball, seeing some famous people and hopefully we don’t embarrass ourselves in front of people. You look around and everyone’s having a great day. We couldn’t ask for a better day in New York

Is there a camaraderie that bonds together athletes from different sports?  

Absolutely. It gives us a different opportunity to get into their world. You sit around and talk with the guys. We hang around with hall-of-famers and do our little locker room talks, but you also get into the football guys, and we got some jockeys out here. I mean, Ron Turcotte: the guy who rode Secretariat. Does it get any better than that?

What kind of conversations do you have with the other athletes?

I asked L.T. what is it when you look through that mask, and a guy’s coming at you, that you just want to knock his brains out? Does that stick with you forever?  He said: at the end of your career it sort of leaves you. That’s when you know it’s time to get out of the game, when you don’t want to get hit. And it’s sort of that way in baseball. At the end of your career, you know it’s time and the only one who can answer that is you when you look in the mirror. Because you never lie to yourself when you look in the mirror.

Did Anyone’s performance especially surprise you?

Angel Cordero. He said he couldn’t hit and then he walks out there and hits a rope to left field. I said, ‘Dude, we could have had you leading off the whole time!’

The purpose today is that you’re out here raising money for charity.Well, that’s what we do. We’re facilitators of raising money when we can come out and lend our name and draw these crowds. And when you go home at night and put your head on the pillow, there’s a big smile on my face knowing we raised money for the Ronald McDonald House.

Thursday, 28 September 2017 21:15

All-Star Athletes Play Ball in Saratoga Springs

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Super Bowl champions and World Series victors, Triple Crown winners and local kids got together at Saratoga Casino Hotel on a sun-filled Saturday afternoon to play some ball and raise some money to help keep sick children together with their families and near the care and resources they need.

“Hey Ozzie. Move around a little bit out there,” first base coach Craig Nettles – a six-time Major League Baseball All-Star – advised Ozzie Smith, a 15-time All-Star himself. Smith’s knack for impressive defensive plays earned him the nickname “The Wizard” and a reputation as one of the best shortstops to ever play the game.

Following Nettles’ instruction, Smith and Mickey “Mick the Quick” Rivers stepped up their warm-up drills, which consisted of fielding practice grounders and subsequently launching them at first baseman Lawrence Taylor.

“I wouldn’t sit there if I were you,” Nettles compassionately warned journalists who had settled down into the shadow cast by the New York Football Giant legend known as “L.T.” Taylor’s method: waving his first-baseman’s mitt at the incoming missiles with his left hand while negotiating a stogie between his right hand and his mouth.

Sensing they’d perhaps taken his call to movement a bit too seriously, Nettles finally bellowed, “You guys are going to wear each other out.”  Maybe he was right.

Wade Boggs led off the lineup for the “blue” team and promptly sent a spiraling home run over the fences. It didn’t end there.

A five-run “mercy rule” was instituted in the first inning. Another was instituted in inning two. The last anyone time anyone was keeping an accurate count in the brief softball game, the score was somewhere in the 10-3 neighborhood with the victor declared Team Otis – named after the game’s play-by-play announcer and two-time Giant’s Super Bowl champion Otis Anderson. But by that point, who was counting anyway? The day’s full slate of attendees – which also included ballplayers “Goose” Gossage and Dwight Gooden, horse racing world legends Angel Cordero, Ron Turcotte, and others – all had a good time.  

The on-field event concluded with Major League slugger Jose Canseco participating in a home run derby, with every home run hit by Canseco earning a $100 donation by Saratoga Casino Hotel to The Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capital Region.     

Following the well-attended celebrity softball game, athletes met with fans for autographs and photo opportunities, and local bands The Refrigerators and Skeeter Creek performed on an outdoor stage.

Overall, more than $10,000 was raised during the day and the irony was not lost on Skip Carlson, vice president of external affairs at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Carlson’s time at the venue pre-dates the installation of Video Lottery Terminals and goes back to the days when it was known as the Saratoga Equine Sports Center.

“I’ve been here for 40 years and it’s funny to think that when we had a celebrity harness race here, maybe in 1980, George Steinbrenner had won that race. So today, with all those Yankees playing, it’s kind of come full circle,” Carlson said.

“The Ronald McDonald House is a home away from home for families who have kids in the hospital,” explained Jeffrey Yule, executive director for Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capital Region. We take care of those families’ needs - their housing, their food, whatever they need, free of charge.” Yule said costs are about $80 per night night to put up one family and that there are 25 families staying at a time. 

“McDonald’s is a good partner for us. They account for about 25 percent of our funds and the rest comes from the public. This is an incredible gift to be donated, this much money, and it’s through events like these that we’re able to keep our doors open and our hearts open for these families.”

 

Jose Canseco swinging for the fences -

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To maintain and promote the “City in the Country” form that includes an intensively developed urban core, an economically vibrant central business district, and residential neighborhoods with well-defined urban edges and an outlying area of rural character. - Saratoga Springs Comprehensive Plan, adopted by the City Council June 16, 2015.

Ever since Gideon Putnam began his early 19th century build-up in what would later become the downtown core, there has been an ebb and flow to the architectural terrain of Saratoga Springs.

Putnam’s original boarding house would give way to Union Hall and the Grand Union Hotel, and soon be joined in close geographic proximity by the massive structures of Congress Hall and the United States Hotel. The arrival of the steam locomotive in the 1830s made it easier for visitors to come to the then-village, and the first public street lighting with gas went up in 1853. By century’s end, Broadway boasted the Collamer and Ainsworth buildings, Town Hall, Convention Hall, and the Adelphi and Van Dam hotels; John Morrissey operated a clubhouse in Congress Park, and the racecourse dominated the summer season on the east side of town.

“In the older pictures, when you look down Broadway you can see it was built-up on both sides,” says Saratoga Springs City Historian Mary Ann Fitzgerald. “We lost some to fires and some to Urban Renewal. These buildings come and go through years.” The wrecking ball also played a deconstructive role. However, even as the effects of Urban Renewal were being realized in the mid-1960s, the new Northway afforded motorists an easier passage to Saratoga Springs, just as the Saratoga Performing Arts Center was opening its doors.

Placing recent development in historical context, Fitzgerald says things today are not much different than what they were a century ago.  “To me (the current build) is reminiscent of what once was,” she says, “filling in gaps and bringing things back closer to the scale of what we once had.”

Some current projects, both proposed and those in development, are listed below. The landscape is varied and includes hotels and condominiums, rental and purchase properties, retail storefronts to business offices. Some are targeted to address the “affordable” or “workforce” housing market. 

 

South Broadway/ Saratoga Diner site. Located on the west side of Broadway.

Proposed: Demolition of the long-standing Saratoga Diner on South Broadway and construction of approximately 110 single and two-bedroom “affordable” apartment units, two floors of commercial space, and a new business incubator collaboratively partnered by Saratoga Economic Development Corporation and Saratoga CoWorks.

The project at the southern gateway to the city would include 46 one-bedroom units and 64 two-bedroom units, 7,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor, 4,000 square feet of service establishment space and a 7,500 square-foot food beverage or brew pub, which will act as a visible anchor on South Broadway.  Streetscape improvements include street lamps, landscaping, and a total of 273 parking spaces for resident and commercial parking uses. The second floor will house 17,000 square feet of commercial space where two new tenants are expected to join SEDC’s 10,000 square foot “incubator,” a flexible co-working space to be inhabited by a rotating group of entrepreneurs and early-stage growth business teams.

The majority of the rental units would be offered to those earning between 60 and 100 percent of the AMI - a $50,400 to $84,000 range - while 14 units would be offered at a “fair-market rent” to military veterans. Construction is anticipated to begin next spring and the buildings fully operational by the summer of 2019.

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146 South Broadway. Located on east side of Broadway.

Proposed: Demolition of a single-story traditional fast food space and construction of a two-story mixed-use building. Restaurant and professional office space on the ground floor, four apartment units on the second floor.

 

Adelphi Hotel, Broadway.

The Adelphi Hotel, first opened in 1877, is anticipated to reopen this month. Features 32 rooms, a ballroom, and three restaurants: Salt & Char (already open), Morrissey’s, and the Blue Hen.

 

Adelphi Hotel – New Hotel, 19-23 Washington St.

Proposed: A new six-story Hotel and Spa that will physically connect to, although be operated independently of, the Adelphi Hotel. Features: spa with an indoor swimming pool on the first floor, and 50 rooms on floors two through six. 

 

Rip Van Dam – New Hotel, 351 Broadway/ 7 Washington St.

Proposed: A new six-story Boutique Hotel. Features: swimming pool and restaurant on the top floor and 152 rooms in all, located behind the four-story Van Dam hotel and the Starbucks café on Broadway. Additional plans for a parking garage on Hamilton Street that will serve hotel guests and workers, as well as 40 spaces designated for Palio employees. Public parking may also be offered “as capacity allows,” according to documents submitted to the city.    

The Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation this week expressing concerns regarding the mass, height and design of both the proposed new structures, and has invited residents to share their thoughts with the organization at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,

“These are two large projects essentially adjacent to each other and I think people should be aware of that changing streetscape on Washington Street,” said Samantha Bosshart, executive director of the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation.

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Universal Preservation Hall, Washington Street.  

Historic building on Washington Street constructed in 1871 will undergo renovation and re-open in early 2019 as an acoustically perfect theater-in-the-round experience with a capacity of 700-plus people. The upgraded venue will feature new heating and air conditioning systems, a kitchen, an elevator and new light and sound fixtures with acoustic treatments. New entry doors will be set on the building’s Broadway facing-side to provide theater-goers close proximity to a multi-level public parking garage on Woodlawn Avenue. Once completed, it is anticipated UPH will stage approximately 200 events annually.

 

Stonequist ApartmentsNew building, South Federal Street/ West Circular Street.

Proposed: A mixed-income, mixed-use development project to be sited behind the Stonequist Apartments to feature as many as 80 affordable housing units - projected at 40 to 100 percent of AMI. An additional 30 units proposed at the former site of the William H. Ford Community Center, at Jefferson Terrace, on the east side of Broadway. Both are under the ownership of the Saratoga Springs Housing Authority.

 

Code Blue Emergency Homeless Shelter – New building, 14 Walworth St.

Proposed: 6,400 square foot emergency homeless shelter to be sited on Walworth Street, adjacent to the Shelters of Saratoga.

 

West Side Development – New buildings, adjacent to Saratoga Springs train station.  

Proposed: Two developers have submitted plans featuring up to 10 new buildings comprised of a five-story hotel, more than 400 residential units and nearly 30,000 square feet of retail space. Projects to be developed on a stretch of vacant land from the south end of the Saratoga Springs train station to Washington Street/ Route 29, just west of West Avenue.

 

Station Park project: built out over five phases, calls for two buildings dedicated as a mixed-use space with each building housing 36 residential units, and a total of 22,000 square feet of retail space. The 72 residential units would be for-sale condominiums. Additional development to include two buildings - each providing 57 units for senior housing and 33 units for senior assisted care, a 110-to-120 unit five-story hotel and spa, a pool and fitness center, and a free-standing building with an additional 6,200 square feet of retail space. Nearly 600 parking spaces would span across the location to cater to residents, retail workers and shoppers.

Vecino Group project: development of one three-story building and three four-story buildings to stand just east of the Station Park proposal and near the Washington Street post office. Featuring 160 apartment units presumably in the “workforce,” or “affordable” housing categories.  

According to city officials, two additional firms are also currently readying proposals for further development in the immediate vicinity of the Station Park project, although the size and scope of those two potential projects are not currently known.

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Union Avenue Condominiums, 46 Union Ave., south side of the avenue. 

Planned for occupancy by March 2018: A five-building residential property with on-site parking featuring one, two and three-bedroom residences priced from $689,900 to $895,500. Occupies the site of the former Skidmore College dormitory officially called Moore Hall, and commonly referred to as the “pink palace.”

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East Side Fire/ EMS station.

Status: Remains on the city’s radar,but no definitive plans at this time.

 

Condominium Project, 120 Henry St.

Proposal: Development of a five-story condominium building to house 30 units with 70 total bedrooms to be located at 120 Henry St., on subdivided land adjacent to the Four Seasons market.

 

24 Caroline Street/ 68 Putnam Street.

Proposal: New mixed-use addition and alteration to consist of six apartment units and two commercial spaces, located at site where damage and demolition occurred in the aftermath of a November 2016 fire.

 

City Center Parking Garage, High Rock.

Proposal: City Center Authority leasing of city-owned land to build a 480-space parking garage adjacent to High Rock Park, behind the City Center.

Status: Project remains in litigation.

 

Developments, both proposed and amended, are regularly addressed at City Hall meetings by the city’s Land Use Boards – the Planning Board, the Zoning Boards of Appeal, and the Design Review Commission – as well as at City Council meetings. Those meetings, and agendas regarding what each will be discussing, are available on the city’s web site at: http://www.saratoga-springs.org/. You can also subscribe to the individual boards and have the information show up in your mailbox in advance of the meetings.

 

What do you think? email us your thoughts at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

Thursday, 21 September 2017 14:57

Be There Or Be Square: This Week's A&E Picks

Don Armstrong & Tom Mitchell, 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22 at Caffe Lena, on Phila Street.

With 50 years of song-making behind him, and 6 & 12-string guitars and 5-string banjo in hand, Don sings songs of the Southwest and Old Mexico, tunes from the '20's & '30's and his beautiful original songs that have been hailed worldwide. His song "White Mountains Good Bye" was recorded by Bill Staines, while "Santuario" has been recorded by Woods Tea Company, and "Day After The Day Of The Dead" was covered by cowboy singer Jim Jones. Joining Don will be longtime friend and one-time musical partner Tom Mitchell. Don & Tom delighted audiences across the country, playing all the major folk clubs and being touted for their exciting vocal blend, top notch songwriting and marvelous sense of humor.

General admission $18, café members $16, students & kids $9.

 

Super Dark Collective Presents: Mike Gent of The Figgs with John Powhida, 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Sept. 22-23 at One Caroline. One Caroline Street.

Mike Gent is a founding member of the legendary Figgs who have been making music since 1987. Gent has also played with other legends such as Graham Parker, Tommy Stinson (The Replacements), and has shared the stage with bands such as Weezer, U2, The Cranberries and many more. Also: John Powhida, who longtime Albany club goers will recall as the leader of the Staziacks. He relocated to Boston in 2000, and most recently has received positive ink for his performances with John Powhida International Airport.

Admission: Free. Seating limited. 

 

Blind Boy Paxton, 7 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 24 at Caffe Lena, Phila Street.

Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton is a visually impaired, Jewish, African American multi-instrumentalist (banjo, fiddle, piano and guitar) who brings out the playful side of old-school music. From the mainstage at Newport Folk Festival to street corners and clubs across the U.S., Blind Boy Paxton carries the torch for traditional acoustic music. Although only in his 20s, Paxton has earned a reputation for transporting audiences back to the 1920s and making them wish they could stay there for good. He plays everything from ragtime, to hokum, old-time, French reels, Appalachian mountain music, blues and more.

General admission $22, café members $20, students & kids $12. 

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Blotter

  • COURTS Wayne M. Bakken II, 20, of Saratoga, pleaded Oct. 6 to promoting prison contraband, a felony. Sentencing scheduled Dec. 1.  Jared M. Tenace, 27, of Schenectady, pleaded Oct. 6 to criminal possession of stolen property, a felony, in connection with an incident in Milton. Sentencing scheduled Dec. 1.  Nathaniel A. Harrington, 37, of Hudson Falls, pleaded Oct. 6 to promoting prison contraband. Sentencing scheduled for Dec. 1.  John P. Allen, 54, of Middle Grove, was sentenced Oct. 2 to time served and five years of probation, after pleading to felony criminal possession of a controlled substance. Lawrence D. Wright,…

Property Transactions

  • BALLSTON SPA 48 Everson Way, $322,500. Saurabh and Sanitha Gupta sold property to Michael Sander. CHARLTON 53 Old Stage Rd., $266,500. Brenda Tessier sold property to Christopher and Jennifer Cole. 309 Stage Rd., $283,000. Judith Halstead sold property to Jeffrie Heck II.  CLIFTON PARK 7 Madison Way, $353,000. Alan Walther sold property to Rahulajay Trivedi and Janhavi Desai. 3 Garrison Lane, $305,000. Robert and Marguerite Guthorn sold property to Keith and Camilla Powell.  1B LaCosta Dr., $149,000. Linda Baker, Daniel Baker (Ind and as Atty) and Katherine Baker (by Atty) sold property to Jerry Burt, Sr. and John Burt.  25…
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