Jersen Construction Group has been awarded a $50M Student Dorm located at 1415 Washington Avenue in Albany. This 556 Bed facility will include covered parking and 4 story apartments.
Jersen Construction Group has built a number of college dormitories in the Capital Region of New York.
The former CrestHill Suites in Albany has been reduced to rubble to prepare the site for the construction of an $80 million student apartment complex.
Scenic Investments of Manhattan will build 231 apartments at 1415 Washington Ave. across from the University at Albany, the latest example of a developer targeting the area near the university.
Hundreds of apartments have been built in recent years geared toward students who want modern housing and amenities closer to campus than what’s available in the city’s neighborhoods.
The builder is Jersen Construction Group of Waterford, with a scheduled completion by the start of the 2024 school year.
“We’re excited after a lot of planning and hard work to get moving on construction,” said Evan Podob, a partner in Scenic Investments and a 2004 UAlbany graduate.
Costs for materials and other items have risen but the overall budget is in line with what was anticipated.
“When you put these deals together and you go to build them there’s a little bit of value engineering, but we are confident and excited to deliver a great product for the school and its students,” Podob said.
Rents will be comparable to what’s being charged at Auden Albany and Block 75 Apartments, two other privately owned student rentals on Washington Avenue.
The 95-room CrestHill Suites had been used for several years to house students attending SUNY Polytechnic Institute.
As part of the deal, Scenic Investments negotiated an agreement with the city of Albany to comply with a zoning requirement that’s intended to provide affordable housing.
The “inclusionary zoning” ordinance, which took effect in 2017, requires the owners of new multifamily buildings with more than 50 units to sell or rent at least 5% of the units at prices affordable to people who earn no more than the area median household income in Albany.
The new Washington Avenue development was the first student dormitory project subjected to the requirement, but Scenic Investments sought an alternative arrangement given that college students won’t live there year-round and rely on a mix of loans, grants and family savings to pay the rent.
Under the agreement, Scenic Investments will instead make a $300,000 donation to Habitat for Humanity Capital District (the amount was initially $150,000).
“We’re just putting the finishing touches on the agreement,” Podob said. “Once that’s settled, we’ll be making our payments.”
The first $150,000 is due when construction begins, the final payment upon completion.
Christine Schudde, executive director of Habitat for Humanity Capital District, said the funding will fill the gap in construction costs for 12 homes.
Homes built by Habitat in Albany’s Sheridan Hollow neighborhood and elsewhere in the city now cost about $280,000 to build, due to rising costs.