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October 08, 2009

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Mr. Sunshine

Every Monday The Saratogian posts closings on property. Haven't seen one for these condos--or for that matter ANY condo in quite a while. It's worrying.

Dan

Yea, you're right. I got a kick out of a recent advertisement for the new condos on Cottage Street - it said "Only six condos left!" But they had seven, which means they sold a total of one. The bottom line is that the sellers have two choices: (1) wait out the poor economy, which many are predicting will be a long time, or (2) significantly lower the prices of these condos. The Catch-22 for the sellers is that anyone wealthy enough to buy one of these units is usually financially savvy enough to realize if they wait longer the prices will have to drop significantly. The bottom line is that they aren't selling at these prices, so not only do the developers have to drop the prices, but they better find some creative ways to market them and make some sales. Dropping the prices alone won't work, at least not right now.

Kyle York

Please notice how "The Lofts" respect and reflect the architectural landscape by integrating the fundamentals of the "Romanesque Revival" style that DEFINES this city and contributes to its charm...and brings people to SPEND and LIVE.

First, it is unpainted BRICK. Second, there is extensive use of ARCHES. Third, a sense of verticality is emphasized by ornamental BRICK PILLARS. Fourth, the ground floor is clearly separated to create a pedestrian-friendly STREETSCAPE. And fifth, the very top is defined by brickwork in an ORNAMENTAL PATTERN.

Walk around town with those five attributes in mind. It allows for a huge flexibility in building size. And yet, it is hardly a straightjacket. Far from it. Compare the Algonquin's approach with the styling of the small brick building across the street.

And then, just for the sheer fun of it, ask yourself WHY on GOD's EARTH couldn't somebody at the City Center study a successful cost-concious City Center like the one in Milwaukee (kindly forgive the Buck Rogers crap at the top) www.midwestairlinescenter.com

-Kyle York
So Very Pedestrian

Dan

Kyle:
Thank you for your insight on this! I knew it was a nice building, but because I don't know a lot about architecture it was more of a feeling rather than a complete understanding like you have. Thanks again.
Dan

Ellen

I have no knowledge of architecture, so Kyle's comments were very interesting.
I called the brickwork "old timey", but that's just me being silly.
I recently spoke with a local real estate person and she told me none of the condos were sold yet (at 54 Phila). I wonder if any have been sold at High Rock.

Kyle York

FUN-
It seems you've got a interesting tiny gem of a readership here. For all pedestrians looking for more examples of the style that's everywhere, keep the five details in mind and look at Borders, then Putnam Market, then the tiny Credit Union at Division and Walworth...and those are the NEW buildings. For the old-timers, step back and study Bailey's or The Granite Palace. The architectural flexibility and creativity of Romanesque designers contribute to the dopey smile that's always on my face. We'd have lost it all if the citizens didn't get together in the 1973 to stop the kind of "Urban Renewal" that devastated Congress Street, stripping it of all commerce and color. Enjoy the streetscape and the cyber-company of civilized citizens! www.saratogian.com/articles/2009/02/08/news/doc498e5d282d52a648930445.txt
-Kyle

Matthew

Dan-

I like this building for the reasons that Kyle mentions. It's a 'real' design. It is different than the other recent larger scale buildings that have been recently built. Match this to the Glass facade of 18 Division or the 70 RR Place Condominium that seems to be "all over the place" with various color schemes, etc...I also agree that even re-designed, the new City Center is still not great.

I would agree with Kyle that what Urban Renewal built wasn't pretty, but I would also say that the buildings that were there before, especially on Congress St., were not in good shape. Today, we would rehab and restore-in 1960's: teardown and rebuild. I agree it could have been worse (look at Mechanicville), but imagine the parking nightmares we would have if we never cleared any of the land.

Good post-as always.

Trif

An update on my building at 54 Phila Street in Saratoga Springs: As of Jan 2010, the 1st and 2nd floor retail/commercial space was fully occupied except for one small space that was leased to The Fitness Artist in April of 2013. 100% leased at this time. As of May 2014 all 6 residential condominiums have been sold for full asking price. This building has also received an award from the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation for New Contextual Design. Read here http://blog.timesunion.com/saratogaseen/2011-preservation-awards/8825/

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