ALBANY — A downtown development project delayed in part due to the COID-19 pandemic is back on track with plans for a grand opening of the Gordon Hotel in about two years.

The $13 million to $14 million renovation of the historic building that at one time housed Albany Utilities offices will be an effort to preserve some of the old and bring something new, developers said.

Owner and developer Jason Benedict and chief designer Nina Grondin gave the update on Tuesday during an Albany City Commission work session. One thing that will be new is the minimum 43 jobs that will be created, some of which will be “high-paying” positions, Benedict said. It also will bring in additional tax revenue to the city and county. And the development also will create a buzz when cranes go up and work begins, he said. The company plans to request building permits in the next few months.

“The value of the development when it is completed will be significantly greater than it is today,” Benedict said. “We think it will provide a rising tide of property values (downtown).

“The concept is to bring back the Hotel Gordon in a modern format (and) bring a 3 1/2-star bedding and dining concept to downtown Albany. The results of this project is it is going to create jobs and provide a large economic impact to this community.”

The work will preserve much of the historical exterior appearance of the six-story building, Grondin told commissioners.

It will include pocket parks to provide an “urban oasis.” The hotel will have a second-floor ballroom and “rooftop element” as well.

“What we’re really looking to do is bring back the beauty and history of this building,” she said.

In other business Tuesday, the commission:

♦ Delayed discussion of proposed changes of the city’s dangerous dog ordinance until October;

♦ Heard an update on the 211 N. Jefferson St. Pace Building. Commissioners previously agreed to limit the scope of the renovations to providing space for an employee health clinic and look at locating other city operations in excess space at a later time. The property acquisition and renovation project is expected to cost about $1 million;

♦ Discussed a proposed $561,000 sidewalk project. The project would provide a total of 2.4 miles of sidewalks on Magnolia Street, East Broad Avenue and Old Dawson Road.

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