Utica Artspace
December 13, 2023

Governor Hochul Announces Start of Construction On 43-Unit Affordable Housing Development In Utica

Governor Hochul Announces Start of Construction On 43-Unit Affordable Housing Development In Utica
Artspace Utica Lofts to Offer Housing and Gallery Space for Local Artists in City’s Growing Arts and Cultural District
Complements Utica’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative Strategy by Expanding Mixed-Use Affordable Housing Options Downtown

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that construction has begun on a 43-unit affordable housing development in downtown Utica. Artspace Utica Lofts will offer energy-efficient apartments for local artists and will include nearly 800 square feet of gallery space. The development furthers the city’s goal of expanding mixed-use affordable housing options as part of its $10 million New York State Downtown Revitalization Initiative award. 


“Everyone deserves to have a space they can call home, to know they have a safe place to go every night,” Governor Hochul said. “Artspace Utica Lofts not only builds upon our ongoing investments in downtown Utica, but also works toward our state’s housing goals. This development is a testament to the strong partnership between state and city officials, and by working together we can continue to enhance quality of life and walkability in Utica while providing secure, affordable, and sustainable homes for a talented and diverse population of artists.”


In the last five years, New York State Homes and Community Renewal has created or preserved over 1,000 affordable homes in Utica. Artspace Utica Lofts continues this effort and is also part of Governor Hochul's $25 billion comprehensive Housing Plan to create or preserve 100,000 affordable homes across New York, including 10,000 with support services for vulnerable populations, and to electrify 50,000 of those homes. 


Artspace Utica Lofts will be constructed on three vacant lots located on Park Avenue in Utica’s Arts and Cultural District and within the DRI target area. The site is centrally located between the Stanley Center for the Arts and Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute. Along the western edge of the property, a new public walkway/linear park will be created to connect with the city’s planned new public event space along King Street. 


All 43 apartments will be affordable to households earning between 40 and 80 percent of the Area Median Income and will serve artists and other eligible individuals and families. To ensure a diverse community of artists, Artspace will work with The Center (formerly the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees) to conduct an intentional outreach to artists of diverse cultural backgrounds and ethnicity. 


The four-story building is designed to meet the requirements of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s New Construction – Housing program. The all-electric building will feature highly energy-efficient heating, air conditioning and ventilation systems, along with new plumbing fixtures and lighting. Included in the project are four electric vehicle charging ports and four electric vehicle charging-ready connections for future expansion. The building will also utilize green infrastructure practices such as bioretention basins and permeable pavers to capture and treat stormwater runoff. 


The development team consists of Artspace Projects, Inc., as developer and owner and Calogero Partners as development consultant. 


State financing for the $18.6 million development includes $10.8 million in Federal and State Low Income Housing Tax Credits and $3.8 million in subsidy from HCR. The NYS Council of Arts awarded $1.3 million. The project was supported by a $650,000 grant from Utica’s DRI fund. NYSERDA has committed $172,000 in funding. The city of Utica awarded $700,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds. 


HCR Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “Artspace Utica Lofts will provide 43 affordable homes and gallery space to support downtown Utica’s growing and diverse creative arts community. The State’s investment in this development and many others, in tandem with the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative, will ensure that Utica’s reputation as a diverse, vibrant, and welcoming city only grows stronger. I thank Mayor Palmieri for his partnership on this project and so many others, and congratulate him on his many achievements during his tenure. And thank you to Artspace Projects, Inc. for making this exciting project a reality.” 


NYSERDA President and CEO, Doreen M. Harris said, “Once complete, Artspace Utica Lofts will demonstrate the key role energy efficiency can play in creating affordable mixed-use spaces that provide quality and comfort for residents who live and work there, while reducing harmful emissions and moving us closer to achieving New York’s clean energy goals. As part of Governor Hochul’s nation-leading clean energy and climate agenda, New Yorkers statewide are seeing tangible benefits that enhance their lifestyles and help lower energy bills.” 


Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez said, “The Downtown Revitalization Initiative is a multi-faceted economic development program weaving together businesses, jobs, housing and culture as part of a redevelopment plan and that’s why art and artists have become an increasingly critical piece of the fabric for a vibrant, diverse and inclusionary downtown. The fact that this project will purposefully offer affordable housing opportunities to immigrants and refugees is yet another testament to Utica’s commitment to ethnic diversity and socio-economic equity in its burgeoning downtown.”    


Katherine Nicholls, Chair of the New York State Council on the Arts said, “The New York State Council on the Arts is proud to support this important redevelopment construction with a $1.27 million Capital Projects award. Visionary initiatives like this move the ideals of arts and culture into direct action. We applaud Artspace Utica at the commencement of this project, which will create jobs, strengthen their community and invigorate the region’s residents and visitors. On behalf of the staff and Council, I wish to thank Governor Hochul and the Legislature for their support of these transformative projects which will deliver the measurable benefits of arts and culture for generations to come.” 


State Senator Joseph A. Griffo said, “The Artspace Utica Lofts will offer an affordable, energy-efficient housing option to artists in the area and a new space to showcase their work. Once completed, this project will build upon the growth that is already taking place in Utica, Oneida County and the Mohawk Valley.” 


Assemblymember Marianne Buttenschon said, “I look forward to the completion of the Artspace Utica Lofts project.  Redefining these vacant lots into the Utica’s Arts and Cultural District as well as creating affordable housing and a gallery and community spaces is an exciting addition to the Downtown Revitalization Initiative.  I want to thank New York State Homes and Community Renewal, Governor Hochul, and the City of Utica for their steadfast support.” 


Utica Mayor Robert M. Palmieri said, “Arts in the city has been a strong component of the quality of life in Utica, as evidenced through such institutions as Munson, Sculpture Space, the Stanley, Player’s Theatre, the Uptown Theatre for Creative Arts, Film Utica and many others too numerous to mention.  For the first time in the city’s history, however, Artspace Utica Lofts provides a home for artists of all kinds to live, work and collaborate. The announcement of the start of construction is the culmination of many years of hard work, going all the way back to 2016 when local architect Bob Heins raised the idea of bringing Artspace to our community.   I thank Governor Hochul, HCR Commissioner Visnauskas along with the NYS Council of Arts and NYSERDA for understanding the importance of this project to Downtown Utica and participating in the financing that has brought us to today’s announcement.” 

Becky Carlson St. Clair, Director, Property Development, Artspace said, “Artspace is thrilled to start construction on Artspace Utica Lofts.  It has been a long time coming and the community has been incredibly supportive as we navigated through challenges. We believe that this community-initiated project will be transformational for Park Avenue, the downtown, and will benefit the city as a whole.”