A a plan is underway to turn what was once a shoe and boot factory, then a cigar factory, into an apartment building.
The three-story building approximately 250 feet long by 40 feet wide is located at 15 N. Cherry St. in Poughkeepsie. North Cherry Holdings LLC, based in Monsey and chaired by Chiam Hirsch, has developed an adaptive reuse plan that would convert the structure into a 42-unit residential complex. An adjacent one-story masonry building would be used for a gym and co-working space for residents.
The current building was part of a complex originally built by John Osborne Whitehouse’s JO Whitehouse Company which made shoes and boots. The complex began on Main Street and ran to North Cherry Street and extended to one bank of Fall Kill Creek.
According to information from the Poughkeepsie Public Library, at its peak the shoe and boot factory had 400 workers. In 1879, a lightning strike started a fire that virtually destroyed the factory. Instead of being rebuilt as one massive complex, the factory was rebuilt in two sections, with one of the sections at 15 N. Cherry St. This section became the headquarters of the Consolidated Cigar Company.
The Poughkeepsie Planning Board is expected to hold a public hearing in May as part of its review of North Cherry Holdings’ application.
According to architect from Manhattan-based developer AB Architekten, “The development takes advantage of the existing building’s long, narrow floor plate with east and west exposures. The through layout of the units provides desirable double exposure and cross ventilation for residents. »
The building’s redesign by AB Architekten adds exterior staircases and balconies to the facade facing North Cherry Street.
“The industrial character of the converted manufacturing building is preserved and celebrated while providing a more residential complexion when viewed from the street,” the architectural firm said in a filing with Poughkeepsie. “The composition of the exterior balconies and stairs create a memorable formal expression, with which residents can identify and connect, while lending individuality to the variety of units.”
The building would contain a mix of one-bedroom and two-bedroom units. A children’s play area and a dog park are proposed for the north side of the building.
Waivers would be required from the city due to the parking situation. A total of 73 parking spaces are required under city code, but the developer proposes to provide only 22 spaces on site. Additionally, the city does not allow more than 12 continuous row parking spaces uninterrupted by landscaping. The developer proposes the 22 spaces in a continuous row in the front yard of the building.
“Consideration of a reduced parking requirement is sought in light of the project’s proximity to Main Street where public transportation is available,” said AB Architekten. “The development aims to attract an active, forward-thinking population, while providing parking for less mobile residents. The remaining portions of the improved property should be landscaped to provide a buffer zone, minimize erosion and stormwater runoff, and improve site aesthetics. »
The developer originally considered putting apartments in the basement, but that idea was scrapped due to concerns that the site was on a 100-year-old floodplain. Whether the basement space could be used for storage or additional amenities was under consideration.