Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Albany Council nixes St. Joseph's brewery plan

St. Joseph's Church
ALBANY -- While the good burghers of Watervliet continue to battle back and forth over the fate of the shuttered St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church that some want to be replaced by a Price Chopper, the Common Council here has taken an unusual step to block conversion of one of its city's unused churches.

Even though the city Zoning Board still is considering an application from Raven's Head, a New Jersey brewing partnership to convert the former St. Joseph's RC Church into a brewery and pub, the Common Council on Monday decided to interject itself and voted against the plan by a 10-1 margin, with three abstentions.

The vote was a non-binding one, but it certainly shows strong opposition among elected officials to the proposal.

The Historic Albany Foundation, which took over ownership of the Gothic-style church from the city, has been in favor of the Raven's Head plan, as have numerous other business people and some city residents.

However, opposition has been vociferous from people who live in the Ten Broeck Triangle neighborhood, just north of the Palace Theatre. They contend a brewery and pub would create a nuisance in an otherwise quiet neighborhood that presently is anchored by the historic Ten Broeck Mansion, headquarters of the Albany County Historical Association.

Where the St. Joseph's project goes next is anyone's guess.

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1 comment:

  1. Chad9976 writes:

    I can understand why the locals and the ACC are against this. There is nowhere to park and the people spearheading this project don’t have much business and/or brewing experience. It’s very likely this business would not last long-term.

    However, I take offense to comments made by Councilman Bailey who basically insinuated the neighborhood would be overrun with drunks and hoodlums getting tanked off $7.50-a-pint beer. Or that somehow the brewery and/or its patrons would disturb rehab clinics and shelters in the vicinity.

    C’mon people, really? You sound like you just time traveled from 1920 and are championing the 18th Amendment.

    Most likely this brewpub is not going to happen, but Albany really doesn’t have much to lose by approving it and letting it happen. If it fails, so what? The church will get repairs, the city will collect property and sales tax and the locals will know if their neighborhood can support business.

    That doesn’t mean “Ravenshead Brewing” shouldn’t pursue another brewpub in the Capital District elsewhere.