POTSDAM The ground is being cleared for Affinity Potsdam Cottages to begin construction on a 100-unit student housing complex, almost half of which will be completed before the next school year begins.
Construction season is coming to a close as winter approaches, but Affinity plans to have the ground cleared and foundations laid before construction stops in November, according to Chief Executive Officer P. Jeffrey Birtch.
The company plans to eventually build 50 cottages, 24 of which are slated for completion before the next school year begins in September 2013. The remaining apartments will be complete in 2014.
Every cottage will have two apartments, which can house three residents each.
The apartment complex, located at 206 Main St. just behind SUNY Potsdam, will also have a main building with offices and lounge areas for residents. Main Street runs parallel to state Route 56 in the SUNY Potsdam area.
Students are the primary market for these apartments, which will likely cost $700 per person per month, Mr. Birtch said.
The company originally planned to have some apartments ready in time for the 2012-13 school year, but the start of construction was delayed as Affinity attempted to convince local leaders to approve a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement. If it had been approved, Affinity would have paid a portion of a fixed $5.5 million assessment on the property for the first 12 years of the project.
The agreement was approved by the village of Potsdam, but was denied by the town. The school board did not vote on the proposal. Attempts to bring the agreement back to the table have so far been unsuccessful.
Affinity is currently looking for other funding options, although Mr. Birtch declined to provide specifics.