Published: 01 April 2010 01 April 2010
The public housing towers located beside I-787 in Albany, New York have looked half empty for years. In fact, the Albany Housing Authority web site mentions that in the 1980’s they went through extensive renovation and dedensified. In other words, they’re filled with empty apartments.
The next time that the State, County or City governments need additional office space, rather than new construction or seeking space in private, commercial buildings, government officials should seriously consider leasing space in these buildings.
Locating in partially abandoned public housing would accomplish the following:
Help create a safer environment by having government employees on the premises during working hours;
Devote part of the leased space as a business incubator, such as giving free / reduced rent to project residents interested in starting their own businesses;
Encourage private retail entrepreneurs to rent storefronts in nearby buildings;
Prevent further physical deterioration of the structures.
If successful, reuse of these buildings could become a model for the rest of the state and the country as a whole. All that’s needed are government officials with imagination.