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Local News

January 23, 2013

Firm plans off-campus housing complex

Plans for a student apartment complex on Blodgett Drive are in the works, a developer said Tuesday, with goals to submit formal applications to the Oneonta Planning Commission soon and hopes of opening for the 2014 academic year.

Newman Development Group, a private company in Vestal, proposes building a structure at the end of Blodgett Drive, which is off of Bugbee Road, near the State University College at Oneonta campus.

The project is a private venture not affiliated with the public college.

Newman Development vice president Jeffrey Smetana reviewed the project during a sketch-plan conference with the Oneonta Planning Commission last Wednesday. The firm will submit more complete plans, possibly in the next couple of weeks, and move toward the formal review process, he said, and construction could begin this summer if all goes smoothly, with a projected opening for occupancy next year.

The Oneonta project would have 320 to 325 bedrooms, mostly in a three bed-room configuration, Smetana said. Each apartment would have a kitchen, living room, washer and dryer, he said, and each bedroom would have a bathroom.

College students are looking for “highly amenitized’’ housing options, which have developed in the past 15 years, Smetana said, and such prototypes are available to students attending colleges in Geneseo, Oswego and Brockport.

Dennis Finn, Oneonta Planning Commission chairman, estimated 40 to 45 people attended the meeting in Common Council Chambers last Wednesday. The meeting was to listen to the developer about the project, Finn said, and a time wasn’t designated for public comments.

The Planning Commission’s later review will include a State Environmental Quality Review Act study and a time for comments from the public during meetings, Finn said Tuesday.

The commission already has received some letters regarding a possible negative impact on Oneonta landlords with student-rental properties, said Finn, who encourages concerned citizens to write their comments in a letter addressed to the commission and sent to the attention of City Clerk James Koury, City Hall, 258 Main St., Oneonta.

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