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CityPoint to unveil new design

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The city’s Public Design Commission (PDC) is expected to see initial designs for the long-stalled CityPoint tower project next week, according to city officials.

The news came from city Economic Development Corporation (EDC) officials, who gave an overview presentation of the project at a recent Community Board 2 meeting.

Last month, the project, located at the old Albee Square Mall site where DeKalb Avenue meets the Fulton Mall just west of Junior’s Restaurant, was greenlighted to use $20 million in tax-exempt bonds through the federal stimulus bond program established by President Obama.

The tax exempt bonds will only cover the retail first phase of the mixed retail space/residential project, which is expected to create 328 construction jobs and 108 permanent jobs.

This first phase includes a 184,000 square-foot retail space, which is expected to break ground early next year.

The 210,000 square feet residential second phase the developer has to finance separately. It will include 262 units of housing with 120 of those being for affordable to moderate- and low-income residents.

The city has been in negotiations with the new ownership Albee Development LLC, a consortium of PA Associates/Acadia Realty Trust/McFarlane Realty, since the group purchased the long-term lease for the land from developer Joe Sitt for a reported $125 million in 2007.

Since the project is on city property, the building design must get PDC approval. Sources familiar with the PDC review process said there’s a lot of give and take and multiple presentations before final approval is granted.

EDC Senior Project Manager Mark Spector also told CB 2 members that the first phase of the project will be a mix of national and local retail.

The developer has agreed to offer former Albee Square tenants space before broadly marketing the space, he said.

Spector said the goal of the CityPoint project is to build on and enhance the vibrancy of the already successful Fulton Street corridor, and to not make dramatic changes to the character and makeup of the neighborhood.

Albee Development spokesperson Tom Montvel-Cohen elaborated on EDC comments, saying that although former Albee Square Mall tenants will be offered rental space, it will be at market rates.

“We look forward to working with the Public Design Commission and to a successful ground breaking,” he said.

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