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Saratoga Springs proposal would bring “affordable” housing near downtown starting at $900

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SARATOGA SPRINGS -- A plan is underway right now to transform one of the gateways to downtown Saratoga Springs, and bring affordable housing to an area known for sky-high rent rates.

Mayor Joanne Yepsen has endorsed a resolution she says will beautify SoBro, a commercial section of South Broadway just south of the Saratoga Spa State Park. She says the primary goal of the project is to bring housing that low to middle-income earners can afford.

In just a matter of months the old dilapidated Greek diner on South Broadway could become a mixed-use apartment building, a project called the Link@SoBro.

“What we hope to see is a very attractive and beautiful development,” Yepsen said.

Yepsen says the plan, three years in the making, is an effort to bring workforce housing downtown. The mayor says real estate prices are so high in the city, people who work in the restaurants, schools and hospitals can't afford to live here.

“We are outpricing ourselves right out of our own city, so we need housing under market value and that’s exactly what these 110 units will provide,” Yepsen said.

Yepsen says this plan would allow low to middle income earners to live where they work. She says the project which includes about $1.1 million in tax incentives for the Florida developer KCG Development, has preliminary approval by the city planning board and is now pending state funding.

“We’re hoping the developer will have great luck with securing $10 million out of the $30 million this project is valued at,” Yepsen said.

A managing member of the development company says rent rates will be tied to renters' incomes.

He says households earning $35k to $97k per year would pay $900 to $1600 per month in rent for 1 & 2 bedroom units, inclusive of gas and electric.

Cheryl Hage-Perez heads up the city's Affordable Housing Task Force.

“We have a HUD grant that will allow us to stipend 14 units,” Perez said.

Hage-Perez says those 14 apartments will be reserved for retired service members.

“Fortunately we were also able to address the big gap in the accessibility of housing for veterans,” Perez said.

If all goes to plan, Yepsen says the developer could break ground on The Link@So-Bro project as early as Spring.

Yepsen says another affordable housing project is in the works involving another developer on West Avenue.

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