Poughkeepsie moves on abandoned properties, okays rehab of burned out downtown building

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Kings Court, damaged by fire in 2011, to be
restored as a residential-commercial complex
(photo: Jim Tomkins)

POUGHKEEPSIE – The City of Poughkeepsie’s new mayor continues his fast attack on blight in the city. 
During his comments at Monday night’s Common Council meeting, Robert Rolison said they are quickly identifying targets.
“We had a nuisance committee and it is now called the Neighborhood Stabilization Team,” the mayor said.  “And, we’re going to be doing just that.  We’re going to be stabilizing neighborhoods, and we are starting on two or three properties for abatement on Wednesday.  One of them is on the upper end of Main Street and the other two are the two houses that many of us spoke about on Forbus Street near the high school.”
Rolison said they may set aside Wednesdays to do this because there is no scheduled refuse collection that day. 
One large property, heavily damaged by fire more than four years ago, is getting a new lease on life. 
The common council adopted a resolution supporting an application to the Dutchess County Industrial Development Agency for rehabilitation of the former Kings Court Apartments on Cannon Street. 
Rolison said this is a great example of parties working together, including the developers and city agencies. 
The plan is to turn the building into 49 residences, six commercial units and public space, including, perhaps for artists.  Five of the apartments would be reserved for veterans, eight for low-to-moderate income and two for very low income tenants. 
The project is in Councilman Robert Young’s Second Ward.
“This is exactly what the IDA funds are for, helping reducing the sort of the tax burden and this purchase burden that people face buying these properties and fixing them up,” Young said.
Corporation Counsel Paul Ackerman said there would be some relief from mortgage and sales taxes, but, he noted, the developers are not seeking a “PILOT”, or payment in lieu of taxes.  That pleased council members who unanimously approved the resolution supporting the project.