Redevelopment of abandoned Troy hospital drawing mixed reaction

TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The plan to transform an old hospital in Troy into affordable housing is drawing mixed reaction.

The Leonard Hospital has been closed for 20 years and in that time has attracted graffiti and has become an eyesore. The city’s plan to sell the building for a dollar could change that.

“It’s just a horrible, horrible stain on our city,” Dean Bodnar, Troy Councilman, said.

Bodnar says a plan to sell the property to a developer would solve all of the city’s problems.

“This is going to be demolished and the asbestos mitigated.”

The community builders would put in mostly low-income housing, up to 120 apartments, allowing the project to qualify for state tax credits.

John Gervais, who can see the old hospital from his home, says he and his neighbors are firmly against it.

“They would rather look at it the way it is than have it become low-income housing,” Gervais said.

He’s worried about what the influx of traffic and people would mean.

“This is a quiet neighborhood and this would end that.”

It’s not just an eyesore,  it’s a liability for the city that’s facing at least two lawsuits from people who were injured when trespassing.

“We’re on the line of a lot of money as a result,” Bodnar said.

Bodnar says the only other alternative is to let the building rot.

The project is still in its early stages and may take several years to come to fruition.

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