Community lets their voices be heard over proposed project to redevelop vacant Troy hospital

TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – More than 100 people attended a community meeting to ask questions about a proposed project to replace a vacant Troy hospital.

A project has been proposed to get rid of the vacant Leonard Hospital. In its place would be a development of 90 to 120 multi-family affordable apartments.

It didn’t take long for questions to become heated during the discussion.

“I think it was very indicative of this crowd that there is nobody here in favor of this project,” Jeffrey Gordon, of Lansingburgh, said.

Dozens of people from the community stepped forward to ask questions about the project. Many were concerned about the amount of 911 calls the affordable income housing complex would generate, plus the types of people who would be living there.

The development firm, Community Builders, answered those questions.

“We answered the questions as best we could,” Community Builders VP of Development Sue McCann said. “We know people have fears, and we hope we have alleviated some.”

They also explained much of the proposed project.

“People used to think about low income housing as housing that was concentrated for the very, very poor, and people who were not working,” McCann said.

Fireworks erupted between the administration and city council over those issues as well.

“That’s the difference between the council and the administration,” City Council Pres. Carmella Mantello told the crowd. “We aren’t afraid to talk to people.”

The administration saying now the council will have to think about the night’s comments.

“I think that’s something the council is going to have to weigh in their decision making on Thursday,” a woman said.

Mantello said that’s exactly what she plans to do.

“I plan to talk to my council colleagues based on the feedback I heard tonight,” she said.

The people of Lansingburgh made their feelings on the project very clear.

“No one up here is jonesing for a new neighborhood,” Gordon said.

The city council is planning to vote on approval of the project at Thursday night’s meeting.

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