At tonight’s monthly meeting of the City of Kingston planning board, regional community developer and innovator RUPCO will debut its preliminary plans for an affordable housing and civic center for Kingston’s midtown district. The proposal would replace the existing Mid City Lanes Bowling Alley, 20 Cedar Street, which closed Summer 2014.
RUPCO is exploring the opportunity to bring a mixed-use facility including commercial and affordable housing to the underperforming area of Kingston. “We’re still in the first stages of discussion and planning,” notes Kevin O’Connor, CEO at RUPCO. “We’re excited by the prospects this site offers such as bringing much needed civic and commercial options to the City. We believe RUPCO can do so with innovative design and collaboration with other nonprofit partners.”
The proposed building would effectively replace the existing footprint of the bowling alley. “The existing bowling alley has a footprint of 20,422 square feet on the 1.037 acre site,” notes Scott Dutton, lead architect on the project with the firm’s office just blocks away from the proposed project.
At tonight’s meeting, RUPCO is proposing a mixed-income rental housing complex with 6 studios, 48 one-bedrooms, 4 two-bedrooms, and 3 three-bedrooms. “This is just the proposed model,” adds O’Connor. “We’re exploring a “Net Zero for Living” standard, meaning we would strive to generate our own energy through a rooftop solar installation. Our goal is to generate as much energy as we consume for all of the residential dwelling units.” RUPCO currently has the largest solar array in the City of Kingston, with 160-kilowatt capability installed on the rooftop at The Lace Mill, 165 Cornell Street. “We see this complex also housing 14,688 square feet of first-floor space to be used by civil, cultural and commercial business. As an example, this space could be used for a local food hub, children’s programming, or other businesses that our community needs.”
Early design renderings include a 5,000-square-foot, elevated urban park with sustainable gardens. In total, the proposed structure is 73,407 square feet with varied building elevations in character with Kingston’s midtown district. The proposed building has two 3-story sections, one 4-story section, one 5-story section and a 2,000-square-foot 6th-story rooftop meeting and event space. The building would complete the street line along Cedar Street to comply with the City of Kingston’s Zoning Ordinance Design Guidelines adopted in 2004. The building façade would be designed to read as a series of buildings with party walls to honor and preserve the consistency of the adjacent urban fabric. “The Ferraro family has had the building on the market for approximately 10 years and closed the bowling alley in June 2014,” adds Dutton. “According to Dave Ferraro, the bowling lanes were removed and sold to Stan Zaborwski, so we won’t be able to resurrect a bowling alley there. However, the other opportunities open to us are endless.” Like The Lace Mill project, the property will be open to the public and have an abundance of public benefit spaces and features.
RUPCO has been creating homes, impacting lives and building community since 1981. A leader in homeownership, foreclosure counseling, energy-efficiency and rental assistance programs, RUPCO is also the Hudson Valley’s leading housing innovator and community developer. The Lace Mill, with 55 units preferenced for artists, blends urban revitalization, historic preservation, energy efficiency, and adaptive reuse to bring creative placemaking to Kingston’s Midtown Arts District. The Kingston Midtown Arts District designation is part of Mayor Shayne Gallo’s larger BEAT (Business, Education, Arts, Technology) Initiative. Last month, RUPCO expanded its programmatic offerings with the recent RDAC affiliation and is awaiting funding confirmation on two other urban revitalization projects in Newburgh and Saugerties. For more information, visit www.rupco.org.