Former Knickerbocker News Headquarters Transformed into 132 Apartments and Commercial Space
First Phase of Redburn Development Partners' $78 Million Adaptive Reuse Project Around Former Kenmore Hotel on North Pearl Street
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the grand opening of The Knick on Sheridan Avenue in Downtown Albany. The formerly vacant building has been transformed into more than 130 apartments with an occupancy rate approaching 75%. In addition, the building's first floor houses The Yard Hatchet House and Bar, featuring an indoor lawn for games and league quality hatchet cages for axe throwing.
"We are making strategic investments statewide to transform our downtown areas into vibrant, walkable places that invite young professionals to live, work and establish roots within their communities," Governor Cuomo said. "The transformation of The Knick serves as a great first step in Redburn Development's Kenmore project that is bringing more people, businesses and excitement to Downtown Albany."
Redburn Development Partners has committed to investing at least $78 million in seven prominent downtown Albany properties, creating 350 mixed-income apartments and more than 50,000 square-feet of commercial and retail space. Once completed, the entire project is expected to attract at least 450 new residents to the downtown Albany area. Empire State Development has agreed to provide up to $5 million through a performance based capital grant, including $2 million from the Capital Region's Upstate Revitalization Initiative fund.
Jeff Buell, Principal at Redburn Development, said, "This is the first step in a transformation of Downtown Albany that aims to adjust the way we think about our Capital. No longer do we see it only as a seat of government, but a livable, walkable 21st century community that drives economy and opportunity in Upstate New York."
ESD Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler said, "The Kenmore project in Downtown Albany, through a public-private partnership, is transforming historic buildings into vibrant living spaces that will bring new energy to the heart of the city. The Knick reflects our continued efforts to revitalize urban centers, welcoming new talent and businesses to create engaging and thriving communities."
Capital Region Economic Development Council Co-Chairs Ruth Mahoney, KeyBank Market President, and Dr. Havidán Rodríguez, University at Albany President, said, "Part of our Capital 20.20 regional strategy emphasizes the need to build vibrant cities that invite families and businesses. The Knick's transformation from a vacant building into new, modern apartments and a unique restaurant complements our other regional investments and will bring more residents and visitors to Downtown Albany."
Built in 1927 by The Argus Company, the building was once home to Times Union and its sister newspaper The Knickerbocker News, widely known as "The Knick." The building features a mixture of studios, one and two bedroom apartments, modern industrial designs, large windows overlooking Downtown Albany and a roof top deck.
This is the first development to be completed as part of Redburn Development's Kenmore Project, which was first announced by Governor Cuomo last December. Other properties with renovations underway include:
- The Kenmore Hotel (74 North Pearl Street) - the vacant 105,000 square foot building, constructed in the late 19th century, is being transformed into a strategic mix of residential, commercial, retail and event space.
- Steuben Athletic Club (1 Steuben Place) - transformation of Albany's first YMCA into a mixed-use facility featuring public entertainment, restaurant, commercial and residential space.
- Capital Repertory Theatre and Garage (111 North Pearl Street) - creating a center courtyard with new retail, commercial and restaurant space, and refurbishing the parking garage, including the façade and the iconic spiral.
- 39 Columbia Street - establishing incubator space on the ground level, with studio work space for artists and residential housing on the upper floors.
- Kennedy Garage (43 Columbia Street) - renovating the 68,000 square-foot parking structure from the 1930s and creating new housing on the top floor.
- 55 Columbia Street - renovation of a nearly 4,500 square-foot, two-story building into a food hall with eight stalls operated by local food vendors.
These buildings are located within Albany's Clinton Square neighborhood, selected as the Capital Region's Round 3 Downtown Revitalization Initiative community, and will attract significant private sector investment through the restoration of highly visible and iconic structures. The transformation of these buildings, combined with projects selected to utilize the $10 million DRI award, will create a hub that connects and catalyzes economic activity and growth across downtown and into the city's Warehouse District.
Senator Neil Breslin said, "By working together with ESD, Redburn Development has breathed new life into a vacant building in Albany's historic Clinton Square neighborhood. The Knick brings more than 130 new apartments to Downtown Albany, and with that comes new residents who support local shops and businesses, supporting state and regional economic growth."
Assembly Member Patricia Fahy said, "Downtown Albany is the core of the Capital Region - and investing in downtown Albany's success is investing in the Capital Region's success. Revitalizing the core of the Capital Region with attractive, modern housing like The Knick, coupled with connections to ample green spaces and parks - is how we continue to attract millennials and members of the creative economy to downtown Albany. Transformative projects such as The Knick promise to ensure that the core of our region is poised for long-term, sustainable and smart growth. I commend the partnership between Empire State Development and Redburn to continue the revitalization of our region's downtowns."
Assembly Member John T. McDonald III said, "Congratulations to The Knick Apartments in Downtown Albany on their grand opening today. This historic property been renovated, rehabilitated and transformed into a space that will bring more residents and visitors to the area. I thank the Governor for supporting investments like this in the Capital Region, and Redburn Development for helping to write the next chapter in Albany's history."
Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy said, "Great projects that bring new energy and residents are happening in Downtown Albany, which help to generate economic opportunities for all of Albany County. Redburn Development continues to transform forgotten and blighted buildings as part of its Kenmore project, creating a vibrant, modern downtown community, and The Knick is just the first step. I thank Redburn Development for its creative vision and Empire State Development for its support."
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said, "Projects like The Knick are transforming Downtown Albany. Downtown is no longer solely a commercial district, but is truly becoming a residential neighborhood as well. Thank you to Governor Cuomo and Empire State Development for their continued and unprecedented commitment to the revitalization underway in New York's Capital City."