Construction of City Station North project to move forward despite delays

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Plans for construction of a $40 million City Station North project in downtown Troy is expected to proceed despite delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The ground on which the mixed-use development is supposed to sit was to be cleared by last spring but the demolition on Congress Street and Sixth Avenue was paused when the pandemic struck New York.

The 175,000-square-foot building is being developed by United Group of Cos. Inc. According to Jeffrey Smetana, the executive vice president of development the pause was caused in part by the restrictions that were imposed by authorities to curb the spread of COVID-19. In addition, there were sudden unexpected changes like the sudden change in the financial markets.

“The world changed around us,” said Jeffrey. “Certainly the financial markets changed dramatically. A lot of institutions said, ‘Let’s just wait and see how this plays out.’

City Station North will feature 87 one-and two-bedroom apartments, surface parking, and a 40,000 sf office building. The site is currently occupied with a vacant building that was initially used as a Chevrolet dealership and also the Capital District Economic Opportunity Center. This is the last project in the company’s decade-long investment in the Sixth Avenue/Congress Street. Other developments in the investment include 151 apartments for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute graduate students and additional ground-floor retail space.

The pandemic has caused a lot of uncertainty in the office leasing industry. While some players predict a drop in office demand due to a switch to remote working, other players are anticipating growth in office demand due to social distancing.

The developer plans to use half of the building and rent out the rest. United Group plans to move its headquarters from North Greenbush and occupy the top two floors of City Station.

Although demand for office space is uncertain in the foreseeable future, Smetana is optimistic the remaining half will get tenants. “There are businesses that still need offices and good locations like this,” he said.