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HDC meets to talk future of Kaz redevelopment

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    The Hudson Development Corporation will hold a special meeting to discuss redevelopment of 14-17 Montgomery St., also known as the Kaz site, 5:30 p.m. Thursday at 1 N. Front St.
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    A special meeting will be held Thursday at 1 N. Front St. by the Hudson Development Corporation to discuss redeveloping the site of the former Kaz, Inc., a plastics manufacturing plant.
June 6, 2018 09:47 am Updated: June 6, 2018 08:23 pm

HUDSON – Hudson Development Corporation will determine how to move ahead with the multi-million dollar redevelopment project in the 1st Ward that stalled last month.

The Hudson Development Corporation will hold a special meeting Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce building, 1 North Front St., to discuss the Montgomery Street Redevelopment Project.

Residents have expressed concerns the Hudson Development Corporation is rushing to develop the 4-acre, former Kaz, Inc. site at 14-17 Montgomery and South Front streets.

Last year, the corporation started seeking proposals for a purchase or a long-term lease for the Kaz site.

The site is a former storage facility for Kaz, a plastics manufacturer that closed the warehouse in 2008. Since the closure, the building has remained largely vacant with the exception of a portion used to store furniture and antiques. The property is owned by the Hudson Development Corporation and is not on the tax rolls.

But the redevelopment of the Kaz site could add $200,000 to $300,000 to the tax rolls once it’s completed, Don Moore, treasurer of the Hudson Development Corporation Board of Directors, said.

The Hudson Development Corporation anticipates renovating the site could cost between $20 million and $30 million.

The initial deadline to submit proposals was Nov. 22. The developers were asked to submit one-page reports with their proposals, which will be handed out to the public.

Three developers presented proposals for the site April 4, but criticism from the public prompted the Hudson Development Corporation to put the project on hold.

“Thursday’s meeting will specifically discuss the Kaz project, where we are and where we are going with it,” Moore said. “We hope members of the Common Council will be there to take part in the discussion.”

Moore said the public will have an opportunity to comment at the end of the meeting.

Thursday’s meeting will be the first since the announcement that five members of the Hudson Development Corporation resigned, including its attorney, amid criticism from city residents and comments made by Common Council members.

Common Council President Thomas DePietro asked city attorney Andy Howard at the Common Council meeting May 7 to look into the steps needed to disband the local development agency.

“Despite the fear of some on the board that criticism of the agency would discourage volunteerism, we have numerous citizens who want to join,” DePietro said Wednesday. “And I hope we can elect new members who speak to the immediate needs of HDC. Reform has always been the goal along with an understanding that the board serves the city.”

More than a dozen people have expressed interest in serving on the board, DePietro said.