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February 26, 2014

Delivery of student housing units begins

Prefabricated units for the rising Hillside Commons will be delivered now through the next 10 or 12 weeks.

The Oneonta Police Department is ready to help as the tractor-trailers carry the modules along city streets, with the first regular delivery expected at about 10:30 a.m. today, Lt. Douglas Brenner said Tuesday.

Newman Development Group, a private company in Vestal, is building a four-story, 331-bed apartment complex at 150 Blodgett Drive near the campus of the State University College at Oneonta.

The $23 million project is on schedule with completion of the building set for June, officials said, and interior work will follow with occupancy slated for mid-August.

One-, two- and some three-bedroom apartments are “sold out,” the Hillside Commons website said. A dance party to promote the complex and generate a sense of community will be held at the Oneonta Theatre downtown Thursday night, officials said.

Last year, the project was opposed by some local landlords and residents based on concerns about the student housing market and impact on the neighborhood and municipal resources, among other issues.

On Tuesday, Jeffrey Smetana, a vice president with Newman Development, said about 250 modular units manufactured by DeLuxe Building Systems, Berwick, Pa., will be delivered to Oneonta for the project.

Newman Development is using the prefabricated units for the first time in the construction of Hillside Commons, a decision based on the expectation of a higher quality of construction for the same price, he said.

Smetana said a crane will be delivered Friday and set up in time to begin placing units into the structure starting Monday. Trucks with poles previously went through the city to test height issues, Smetana said, and the first modular unit was delivered Monday.

Brenner said the department didn’t receive any complaints about the delivery Monday.

The delivery route is from Maple Street to Spruce to East Street to Bugbee Road and to Blodgett Drive, police said, and temporary “No Parking between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.” signs have been posted on that section of Spruce Street. In general, 16-foot wide units will arrive at about 11 a.m., and 14-foot wide units will arrive at about 1:30 p.m. on weekdays.

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