Why Amsterdam Must Reject the Chalmers Redevelopment Project — Top 10 Reasons
According to the Mohawk Valley Compass, an outside developer has signed a letter of intent with the city:
Residential apartments, retail space, and other amenities may be coming soon to the City of Amsterdam on the property once occupied by the Chalmers factory on the south bank of the Mohawk River. At Tuesday’s meeting, the Common Council unanimously approved a resolution authorizing Mayor Michael Villa to sign a letter of intent with KCG Development, giving them the go-ahead to begin working on plans to develop the property.
On the surface, redeveloping Chalmers seems like a great idea. But we’ve been down that road before and this deal seems much like the old deal once you get into the specifics. Let’s revisit the reasons why the previous deal was killed and you will see the very same reasons apply here:
Reason 1) The developer is not from Amsterdam. How can we trust them if they are not one of us?
Reason 2) The developer is looking to make money. That’s an outrage; a local developer (ie, born in Amsterdam) would never look to make money. Shameful!
Reason 3) No one wants to live or work in Amsterdam so why would be build housing when you can live anywhere else? There is zero housing demand in Amsterdam especially for new construction when you can buy a house at auction for 10 thousand dollars.
Reason 4) Given reason 3, the only people who want to live here are Section 8. Logically it then follows that this is merely a backdoor deal to build Section 8 housing. That’s how all these outside developers work.
Reason 5) Residential development does not help the local economy. Only bringing back manufacturing jobs helps the local economy. Quality of life and living in the city have nothing to do with the success of the city
Reason 6) What about our seniors? Why are we not building homes for seniors as part of this project? Can seniors afford to live in this development? I doubt it so therefore it fails the most crucial test — “are we protecting our seniors”? We surely are not with this deal
Reason 7) I don’t see a business plan or a study on what the rents/purchase prices will be. Like Chalmers, we must have a study that the entire city agrees will 100% guarantee that the predictions of the study will be borne out. I’m pretty sure the study will present some degree of risk with this project and consequently, if this project cannot be guaranteed 100%, it must be killed. We can take no risk with any development that might prove successful. Better the surety of failure than the risk of failure, I so declare.
Reason 8) I notice some local agencies involved which makes me wonder whether any local, state or federal money will be used for this project. If there is a single penny of government funding or assistance in any way, then this project, like the previous deal, must be stopped on the principle that government funding in any way, shape or form cannot be part of the redevelopment of the city.
Reason 9) I am sure the local media will be exhaustively investigating this deal for perceived wrongdoing like the previous deal. I am sure many editors and radio callers will be calling for Freedom of Information Requests for emails and documents related to this transaction. I am sure that well-thought editorials will cite the very same reasons cited as the previous deal — where is the feasibility study? Where is the demand? Why would anyone move here? Why are we building something instead of demolishing something? Where will we put the lawn chairs? Why would anyone build in the hellhole that is Amsterdam?
Reason 10) I am pretty sure everyone on the South Side is against this project. Sure, some people will voice support for this project, some enthusiastically. But if a radio caller says that no one on the South Side supports it, who are you going to believe? Like last time, let’s listen to the voices against the project.
This deal must be terminated before it has any chance of succeeding.