Expressing relief that the grueling approval process is behind them, RUPCO Executive Director Kevin O'Connor said he and his team were happy to be able to start the site work and look forward to a ceremony marking the groundbreaking in the near future. "Right now we just want to turn the page and move forward," said O'Connor. "This project has been so long delayed that once we had all permits in place, we wanted to get started and not lose a single day in the construction season." O'Connor indicated that the investment in housing would be approximately $16 million when construction is finished.
Upon completion, Woodstock Commons will include eight two-story, walk-up buildings with 32 townhouse-style family apartments, three additional buildings with 20 senior units and a community building with a two-bedroom superintendent's apartment. RUPCO has received authorization to set aside 12 units for artists at the site. The commons will include on-site parking and laundry facilities, as well as nature trails available to both residents and the general public.
"We really look forward to building something that all of Woodstock can be proud of," said RUPCO Community Development Director Guy Kempe. "Four or five years from now, we expect the homes and the people living there will be an integral and welcomed part of the fabric of Woodstock."
The housing complex will be among the first LEED certified affordable housing construction projects in upstate New York and is the eighth such project undertaken by the agency in its 30-year history. When completed, RUPCO will also manage the property, bringing the number of housing units managed and maintained by the local housing agency to 374.
Because the primary focus of the review was addressing environmental concerns, positive economic impacts expected have been largely overlooked. According to RUPCO officials' estimates from the National Association of Home Builders, as many as 60 jobs will be created during the construction, and as many as 25 permanent jobs will be created locally to maintain the property and serve the residents who live there. The tax base will be increased with local taxes to be paid by RUPCO and fees paid to the water district will help offset costs of maintenance and repairs for all users.
The residential homes will be affordable to households earning up to 30 percent, 50 percent, and 60 percent of the area median income (AMI) and will include a mix of one, two and three bedroom units. Ten one bedroom units in the senior housing will rent for $330 per month providing truly affordable & energy efficient housing in a highly desirable locale, walkable to the village center. RUPCO will begin to market the apartments when approximately 75 percent of the construction has been completed. Until then, no applications will be accepted or waiting lists compiled. "The ribbon cutting event to open Woodstock Commons will be a historic day and we look forward to celebrating with friends, neighbors, and funders," said O'Connor. "In the meantime, we will be diligent in adhering to all permit criteria and sensitive to both the environment and the community." Throughout 2011, RUPCO is celebrating its 30th anniversary of supporting people, creating homes and improving communities throughout Ulster County. More information on RUPCO and its history of community service is available at www.rupco.org or by calling 845-331-2140 x263.