Made in Kingston Returns to The Metro on December 6

Made in Kingston arts market December 6 at The Metro, 2 S. Prospect Ave.Local arts businesses, makers, artists, and creators return to The Metro, 2 S. Propect Avenue, Kingston  on Thursday, December 6 for an expo of all things made in Kingston. The sixth annual Made In Kingston is co-sponsored by the City of Kingston, Kingston Midtown Arts District, Arts Mid Hudson, Business Alliance of Kingston, and RUPCO. 

This year’s event returns to the spacious & heated space at The Metro, (on the corner of Greenkill Avenue, opposite the Boys and Girls Club).

RUPCO closed on the 70,000-square-foot underutilized, near-vacant factory/warehouse last year and is donating the space for this special event. RUPCO is proposing The Metro as a film and technology hub to include maker spaces and other creative uses.

“We are thrilled to host Made in Kingston for the third time in one of our buildings and bringing together area makers under one roof,” notes Kevin O’Connor, Chief Operating Officer at RUPCO. “This talent gathering event is what The Metro is all about: creating entrepreneurial space for peopleto create, make and sell what inspires their lives. Artisan and maker-based efforts like this build our local economy. Creative production, job training, and pathways to equity help our neighbors make sustainable livings close to home.”

Made in Kingston opens its doors to the public  an hour earlier this year, at 3 pm, and stays open for shopping and browsing until 8:30 pm. In addition to more than four dozen local artists, the evening will feature local food, beverages and musical entertainment. For artists’ online registration click here.

Food and beverages will be available for purchase from Kingston eateries: Peace Nation, PAKT, Ruby Mae Soul Food, Tubby’s, Keegan Ales, and Jane’s Ice Cream.

For further information, call 845-331-2238 or visit www.madeinkingstonNY.com and www.facebook.com/Made In Kingston.

RUPCO Receives Funding for Energy Square

RUPCO, the Hudson Valley’s leading housing advocate and community developer, received a highly competitive Unified Funding 2017 Early Round Award from New York State Homes & Community Renewal (HCR). RUPCO will receive an annual allocation of federal and NYS housing tax credits that will yield private investment of well over $11 million dollars along with $4,824,272 in grant sources designed to create affordable and middle-income housing and foster community development. The funding will enable RUPCO to build Energy Square, a 57-apartment, new construction development at 20 Cedar Street, Kingston. RUPCO was one of five organizations receiving funding through NYS HCR Early Awards program, which is designed to accelerate construction of shovel-ready developments. The projects must meet State housing goals, including the creation of mixed-income housing, proximity to public transportation, placement in strong school districts, or the provision of support services for formerly homeless individuals or those with special needs.

RuthAnne Visnauskas, Commissioner of New York State Homes and Community Renewal said, “Today’s announcement builds on Governor Cuomo’s commitment to ensuring that working families, seniors, people with disabilities, and those who have experienced homelessness have high-quality, affordable, safe places to call home. Maintaining and expanding our affordable housing stock creates inclusive communities that are essential to growing New York State’s economy.”

“Energy Square is the second leg of a redevelopment trifecta that cuts across midtown – including The Lace Mill and The Metro – that we believe will be truly transformative for Kingston and the region,” notes Kevin O’Connor, Chief Executive Officer at RUPCO. “Once again, RUPCO’s vision calls for an innovative and adaptive reuse of a vacant, fallow property that will create mixed-income and mixed-use to couple residential living with a fabulous local nonprofit agency, the Center for Creative Education. Energy Square will be the first affordable housing project in the Hudson Valley to achieve net zero for living by combining an energy-efficient building envelope with geothermal ground source technology and enough solar panels to offset utility costs for residents. Energy Square creates jobs, eliminates blight, doubles the local tax contribution of the prior commercial use, and combats the feared onslaught of gentrification by converting non-residential, vacant property to mixed-income, rental housing that will remain affordable for the next half century! We look forward to an early spring construction start and delivering this exciting building project in the Fall of 2019.”

RUPCO secured ownership of the long-defunct Mid-City Lanes in September 2017 with NeighborWorks Capital provided financing for the $615,109 purchase. The site includes the vacant bowling alley and 1.5-acre property at 20 Cedar Street, Kingston. Dutton Architecture of Kingston, NY designed the multi-use complex to reflect the character of Midtown Kingston while providing innovative use of the small site for energy generation, outdoor residential space, and parking.

“Located in the heart of our Midtown community, Energy Square will offer high quality housing for various income levels, as well as innovative programming and resources for youth and adults,” said Mayor Steve Noble. “I appreciate RUPCO’s vision for this project, which strengthens the revitalization efforts we have underway in Midtown and compliments our community’s commitment to sustainability and green building. With the burgeoning Midtown Arts District, the upcoming Broadway Streetscape Project, and key investments in business, healthcare and educational facilities along the corridor- and with Energy Square right in the center of it all- we have the opportunity to support our existing residents and attract new residents and businesses to Midtown. I look forward to seeing this project move forward and welcoming the first residents of Energy Square to their new home in 2019!”

The co-location of a community-based arts education program with other commercial and community-serving enterprises will anchor 10,000-square-feet of commercial-civic space that occupies much of the emerging design’s first floor. The upper floors of the varied, 5-story construction will deliver 57 affordable rental apartments, to be constructed, owned and managed by RUPCO, a trusted community partner with a proven track record for delivering high-quality affordable housing in the Hudson Valley. Nine units will be offered “near market rate” to drive a greater income mix to Midtown.

Center for Creative Education is excited to hear that RUPCO has been awarded the funding needed to move the E2 project forward! The new facility will allow CCE to house our growing programs in Arts, wellness and cultural education for children, youth and adults,” adds Bryant “Drew” Andrews, Executive Director at Center for Creative Education. “We look forward to collaborating with RUPCO on community driven projects and programs being offered at the new site. Energy Square will provide additional multi-income housing, businesses, job opportunities and community programming and will be a great benefit to Midtown and Kingston as a whole!”

Troy, NY-based general contractor U.W. Marx will oversee construction, the first new construction in Midtown in decades. According to the Association of Home Builders report, The Local Economic Impact of a Typical Affordable Housing Tax Credit Project” (September 2005), a 100-unit, $20-million housing construction will generate nearly $8-million in local income, $1.8-million in local business owners’ income, $6-million in local wages & salaries, $742,000 in local taxes and support 149 local jobs. Energy Square’s 57 units will have an adjusted economic impact, but brings outside money for construction and new resident disposable incomes to the area, both welcome prospects for local business owners. Long-term job creation projects 35 new positions created with the introduction of new housing to Kingston.

Energy Square will target mixed incomes. Nine apartments will serve middle-income families or individuals with incomes up to 90% of the area median income (AMI) or $70,650 for a family of 4. Other apartments will target residents earning 60%, 50% and 30% of AMI. Rents are dependent on income. One-bedroom apartments will range from $411 to $883; two-bedrooms will range from $883 to $1,237; and three-bedroom apartments will range from $1,020 to $1,428.

“Energy Square poses a fabulous opportunity to Kingston’s young adults as well,” adds O’Connor. “We’ve added a comprehensive workforce development plan for the recruitment, training and hiring of low-income residents from the surrounding neighborhoods. The plan includes the participation of UW Marx, sub-contractors, Ulster YouthBuild and Ulster County’s Office of Employment & Training/Workforce Development that will deliver a program of recruitment, mentoring and job training for a minimum of 12 low-income residents, age 17 to 30 from surrounding neighborhoods in the City of Kingston.” Additionally, seven apartments are targeted to house at-risk young people, ages 18 to 24. Kingston’s future depends on young people and their entrepreneurial spirits.”

Energy Square will be the first Net-Zero-for-Living, mixed-use residential building in Kingston. This innovation places Kingston as a regional leader demonstrating energy-independence can be done well and cost-effectively in city centers. The E2 housing proposal has already won NYSERDA support in the form of a $1-million Cleaner Greener Communities Grant. Net-Zero-for-Living is the high water mark for energy efficiency and green building, where 100% energy consumed on-site is generated on-site. Energy-efficient appliances, LED lighting, energy-efficient building envelope, and other innovative energy-saving approaches will help negate residential energy use.

“I applaud everyone involved in this project, which underscores the value of public-private partnerships in advancing clean energy technologies throughout the housing stock across the state. Governor Cuomo is committed to ensuring the availability of housing that is energy efficient, making it a win-win for the residents who will reap the benefits of these upgrades and our environment,” said Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA.

Energy Square adds innovative accommodations to Kingston’s available housing stock, and addresses the City’s deficit of affordable housing, an identified need in the Tri-County Housing Report. “We’re creating a dynamic, vibrant, safe neighborhood by bringing density – PEOPLE, their families and their spending dollars – to Midtown,” says O’Connor. “We see the future growth spurred by Kingston’s growing healthcare corridor and newly designated Midtown Arts District. We see Kingston’s reputation synonymous with inspiration, innovation, and techno-preneurship.”

RUPCO’s PILOT starts at $82,000 with annual escalators. The bowling alley tax bill was $37,000. RUPCO, a tax-exempt 501(c)3, pays nearly $271,500 each year in city, county and school taxes despite its nonprofit status. In 2016-2017, RUPCO paid $215,477.64 in combined taxes for six Kingston properties.

“We see the City of Kingston as an innovator in community development through affordable housing, energy efficiency, technology and creativity,” continued O’Connor. “The vitality of Kingston depends on people, and people need a place to live. Rental apartments are one piece of the housing solution we bring to compliment homeownership. Renters save money, some buy houses. When they fall in love with Kingston’s Midtown, they’re bound to stay.”

RUPCO is a charter member of NeighborWorks America, a national network of 245 housing and community developers. Since 2005, NeighborWorks has awarded RUPCO “Exemplary” organizational health status following its annual review of RUPCO’s fiduciary practices, program services, and accountability. An effective change agent, RUPCO affects the lives of over 8,000 people through its work with homelessness, rental assistance, foreclosure prevention, first-time homebuyers, home rehabilitation, energy efficiency and real estate development. Most recently, RUPCO closed on The Metro at 2 South Prospect Avenue, Kingston, a community wealth-building development plan in partnership with Stockade Works to bring job training, Film/TV opportunities, and maker’s space to the area. With 58 employees working in 6 offices, RUPCO is spearheading $71-million worth of real estate development in the Hudson Valley, including Energy Square, Landmark Place, and The Metro in Kingston and the 15-property neighborhood revitalization in Newburgh’s historic East End. RUPCO most recently received national recognition by accepting Preservation Action’s “Best of 2016” award for its historic preservation work at The Lace Mill, a long-vacant curtain factory transformed into 55 apartments preferenced for artists in midtown Kingston.

RUPCO currently owns/manages 16 properties with 411 apartments providing homes to over 560 people. The majority of those residents represent our community’s most vulnerable populations: the elderly, seniors, disabled and working class families. Through its NeighborWorks America HomeOwnership Center, RUPCO helped nearly 100 families in 2017 achieve their dreams of homeownership. RUPCO’s vision to create strong, vibrant and diverse communities with opportunity and a home for everyone by spearheading programs in rental assistance, foreclosure prevention, home rehab and sustainability, supportive housing and community wealth-building. For more information, visit www.rupco.org.
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Survey Teams Canvas Midtown Kingston for Community Impact Measurement Study
Map of area to be surveyed in midtown KingstonCollaborative effort collects resident perspective and photo documentation of neighborhood changes, marking a moment in time for future comparison.
Over the next two weeks, neighborhood youth are capturing a moment in time throughout two Census tracts in midtown Kingston. Local students and residents have been hired to conduct a Community Impact Measurement survey, or CIM, designed to capture the experience of neighborhood residents. The CIM is a collaborative effort among RUPCO, City of Kingston, Family of Woodstock, Midtown Rising and Hone Strategic to scientifically document the neighborhood revitalization taking place in Kingston. The survey will provide valuable input for the City and inform future community and economic development.
“This collaborative approach to gathering community input is an effective way to ensure our local Midtown residents are heard,” says City of Kingston Mayor, Steve Noble. “This survey is an important step towards addressing the needs of our community and measuring the impact of these efforts. I look forward to working with our community partners to review the results of the survey and identify areas of progress and opportunities for change.”
“Over this past week, we trained 20 young people and residents in the survey-taking methodology at the Everett Hodge Center on Franklin Street,” notes Guy Kempe, Vice President of Community Development at RUPCO. “In teams of two, they will take these techniques out to their neighborhoods, engaging City of Kingston residents for their take on what’s happening in Kingston. The confidential survey has 33 questions and will take about five minutes. We hope residents will give these young people from our community
the time they need to collect this valuable data and community perspective.”
“My firm is very pleased to be coordinating these surveys, which will help us support and guide planning and development in Midtown Kingston,” says Jennifer Schwartz Berky, Ulster County Legislator and Principal of Hone Strategic, a Kingston-based urban planning firm.  “Our pro-bono work with the great organizations involved in Midtown is intended to engage many residents and stakeholders in this process. We look forward to helping Kingston plan for an inclusive, thriving future in this beautiful part of the city.”
As an incentive to participate in the survey, residents will receive complimentary tickets to an Ulster Performing Arts Center (UPAC) film screening. “We’re thankful to UPAC for their generous ticket donations to “The Birds” on October 28 and “A Christmas Story” on December 16,” adds Kempe. “Additionally, all survey participants will be entered into a raffle to win a family 4-pack of tickets to see Masters of Illusion: Believe the Impossible! on October 2.” Surveyors will conduct door-to-door interviews between August 15 and 26 across 17 segmented areas between Clinton, Foxhall, Albany and Greenkill Avenues and Cornell Street. (See map)
“The information that this project will collect is invaluable to our efforts to address fair housing, ensure safe and healthy neighborhoods and keep our focus on what is important to the citizens of Midtown,” says Brenna Robinson, director at the City of Kingston’s Office of Economic & Community Development. “It will greatly inform our upcoming Assessment of Fair Housing Plan to be submitted to the US Department of Housing & Urban Development in 2018 and will help us to continue to allocate our annual Community Development Block Grant Entitlement awards effectively, as well as help the City to be successful in accessing other funding opportunities to support our community development efforts.”
To further document Kingston’s change, the CIM survey is followed by a photo study of the two neighborhoods, documenting buildings, properties, vacant lots and historic structures. “This part of the study holds enormous impact because of the visual comparison made after data collection,” continues Kempe. “A photo is worth a thousand words. When you see where Kingston neighborhoods were two years ago, and the improvement that has happened since our last study, you can’t deny that change is happening here in Kingston. The proof is in the pictures.” For more information on the survey project, contact CIM Team Leader Michaela Sweeney, at (845) 443-1172, 9am to 7pm.
The current Community Impact Measurement survey compliments a baseline CIM conducted in August 2013. Then and now, funding to conduct the residential surveys and photo documentation was provided by NeighborWorks America. Since 2013, RUPCO, the Hudson Valley’s premier developer and operator of affordable housing, has targeted its community development focus on Midtown Kingston with the factory-to-rental-apartments conversion of The Lace Mill on Cornell Street, a successful example of creative placemaking. RUPCO then followed with a proposal to develop a mixed-income, mixed-use newly constructed building, E2: Energy Square at the shuttered Midtown Bowling on the corner of Iwo Jima and Cedar Streets. A third initiative in midtown – to transform the MetLife building on South Prospect Street toward the arts and small, local manufacturing of specialty and entrepreneurial products – furthers RUPCO’s vison for strong vibrant and diverse communities with a home and opportunity for everyone through community wealth building.
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