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February 6, 2014

Officials: Some Hillside apartments 'sold out'

Hillside Commons has leased about 50 percent of its student apartment space, officials said, and construction of the 331-bed complex is on schedule for occupancy by Aug. 15.

Also, the Oneonta Common Council this week approved the purchase of two buses and a service agreement to provide students with rides from the 150 Blodgett Drive apartment building to the SUNY Oneonta campus and downtown.

Newman Development Group, a private developer, has reported that the foundation work for Hillside Commons is “essentially completed,” Oneonta Mayor Dick Miller said in a Feb. 3 memo to the Common Council and city officials.

Modular units will be delivered to the project site beginning Feb. 17, and the police department is working with the developer on details about deliveries, which will be between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. weekdays and may impede traffic on Lettis Highway, Maple Street East Street, Bugbee Road and Blodgett Drive.

Jeffrey Smetana, a vice president with Newman Development, will report on the four-story, $23 million project at the Common Council meeting of Feb. 18, Miller said.

Hillside Commons on Blodgett Drive is located not far from Hunt College Union on campus and nearby athletic fields. Last year, as the city reviewed environmental impact documents and prepared a payment-in-lieu-of-tax agreement, some local landlords and residents objected to the project based on economic, traffic and other concerns.

The fall semester at the State University College at Oneonta starts Aug. 25. Generally, students are required to live on-campus their freshman and sophomore years. SUNY Oneonta enrolls about 6,000 students, and last year, officials said about 3,350 students live on campus.

Amanda Masterjohn, leasing and marketing manager for Hillside Commons, said 153 of 331 beds had been leased as of Wednesday. The complex has 117 units, she said, and the average rent is $765 monthly with leases running from August to the end of July.

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