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Meeting With Developer

On April 28th, 2009, members of the Troy Proctor’s Committee met with representatives of Columbia Development at their offices in Albany. The meeting was friendly and productive, and gave both sides an opportunity to speak candidly about their positions.

The following letter, sent on May 4th to Joseph Nicolla of Columbia Development and copied to numerous local and state officials, summarizes the results of that meeting:


Joseph R. Nicolla
Columbia Development Companies
302 Washington Avenue Ext.
Albany, NY 12203
May 4, 2009

Re: Troy’s Proctor’s Theater

Dear Mr. Nicolla,

I wanted to again thank you for taking so much of your time to meet
with our group and discuss the plans and future of Troy’s historic Proctor’s
Theater. Most importantly, I wanted to thank you for your offer to work
with our group and consider alternative plans which would call for the
adaptive reuse of the theater structure, and your willingness to modify or
alter your tentative plans which call for its demolition and replacement
with an office building.

Specifically, you indicated that you would review any alternative
plans for such adaptive reuse, and would even include it with your
application for Restore NY grant funding. However, insofar as this offer
came less than a week prior to the application’s submission date, I hope and
trust you will understand that, while we have several tentative plans for
such reuse and even a preliminary report for adaptive reuse, we very much
wanted to provide you with a more complete and detailed proposal than we
were able to muster in such a short period of time. Knowing what goes into
such plans and projects, I have no doubt you will agree that six days is a
wholly inadequate time frame to present plans worthy of such a significant
project.

We very much encourage Columbia Development to continue to work on
development projects in Troy. Specifically, I wish to reaffirm our group’s
eagerness to collaborate with you and Columbia Development in the sensitive
work of redeveloping the Proctor’s / Chasan Buildings. However, and in
order to avoid any potential confusion, this will further clarify and
confirm that our support for any such redevelopment is contingent upon a
final plan which not only preserves and reuses Proctor’s façade, lobby and
office / retail space, but that specifically maintains the theater structure
as an integral part of the whole redevelopment project, whether as a theater
or an alternative, adaptive reuse.

Thank you again for your time and consideration, and we look forward
to future meetings between our group and Columbia Development with an eye
towards moving this important and historic project forward.
Very truly yours,

Jim de Sève
Representative, Troy Proctor’s

cc. Tom Keaney, project manager; Claude Rounds,Vice President for Administration
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; New York State Office of Historic Preservation;
Empire State Development Corporation; Harry J. Tutunjian, Mayor Troy, NY; Mike
Russo, District Rep for Senator Gillibrand; Ronald J. Canestrari, NY State Assembly
Majority Leader; Troy City Council

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