HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. -- In the spirit of the third monthly "Hoosick Rising" meeting at the HAYC3 Armory on Tuesday, Village Mayor David Borge announced the allotment of state funds to redevelop the vacant lot where Dougherty's Hotel once stood.

Hoosick Rising is a recent economic initiative in conjunction between the village and the town that seeks to develop projects to revitalize arts, recreation and business in the region.

Although the village has boasted economic redevelopment in the past, it has just now struck up a collaboration with Hoosick, the Rensselaer County Chamber of Commerce and Camoin Associates.

Camoin Associates’ economic development specialist, Christa Franzi, works with community members to identify potential projects that address some
Camoin Associates' economic development specialist, Christa Franzi, works with community members to identify potential projects that address some weaknesses in the community at the "Hoosick Rising" meeting on Tuesday at the HAYC3 Armory. (Tom Momberg)

To add to the list of collaborative entities, Hoosick Falls was required to assign a developer to the vacant John Street lot known as "Dougherty's Corner," as a stipulation for the reissuance of a $750,000 grant from New York's economic development agency, Empire State Development.

Jeffrey Buell of Sequence Development will be the developer, owner and operator of the newly proposed construction project on the corner of John and Main Streets.

"This is going to happen. This is real," said Borge, laden with the thought that the grant fell through once before. "This is all very positive: It's the boost that our community really needed."

Sequence is projected to start construction of the new three-story building on the vacant 33- by 66-foot lot by October, and finish in 2015.


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Buell also purchased the building next door, 23 John St., and plans to work the first floor development into that adjacent building for a first-floor commercial space. Above what is likely to be a restaurant will be the rest of the mixed-use development: Commercial, residential and perhaps conference rooms.

"From what I understand, that corner had always been integral to the community," Buell said. "It's only logical that it becomes that kind of (communal) space again."

The Hoosick Rising meetings are intended to look at more than what private development can do.

Representatives of Camoin Associates took the first meeting in May to introduce themselves and the realities of what Camoin is able to do in assisting with economic revitalization. The second meeting asked members of the community to point out what strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats that Hoosick has to its socio-economy.

On Tuesday, everyone split into groups to think of specific ideas attuned to those community attributes. As an economic planning service, Camoin plans to gear some of the knowledge Hoosick residents have into some concrete plans.

"The community can't do everything, so our role is to facilitate focus: What is priority," said Camoin's president and CEO, Rob Camoin. "We have it down to five or six theme areas, and from that focusing on goals and objectives that could turn into projects or initiatives."

Camoin said that his organization understands some of the best practices in economic development being carried out by many rural communities in the region. The village leaders and residents contribute local knowledge and opinion to help Camoin develop a coherent plan that incorporates regional development rather than just town development.

"Part of this is just getting more people to the table: Getting them involved in community development," said Camoin economic development specialist Christa Franzi. "The other piece of this is just harnessing all these ideas and putting them into actionable strategies, things that we can actually do."

For more information about Camoin Associates, visit http://www.camoinassociates.com/index.aspx.

For more information about Sequence Development, visit www.sequencedevelopment.com.

Visit http://www.villageofhoosickfalls.com/index.html for upcoming Hoosick Rising meeting dates.

Contact Tom Momberg at tmomberg@benningtonbanner.com. Follow him on Twitter @TomMomberg.