United Neighbors Victorious: Moore Hall To Come Down

What a fantastic victory!

Briefly, Bonacio Construction and Norstar Development tonight asked that the Zoning Board of Appeals put their conversion proposal for Moore Hall aside and consider a radically new one.  They did a presentation of a very rough plan to tear down Moore Hall and replace it with a series of structures that will house twenty-eight condos with all of the required parking on site, almost all or it  underground (two spaces will be above ground).  The condos will be priced to sell for under $700,000.00.

The exciting thing here is really the extraordinary spirit, energy, and organization of the many people who devoted their time and skills to oppose this project.  This was a classic example of “people power” :   the signs throughout the Southeast sector of the city, the petitions, the research on the problems with the project, the publicity to get the word out, and the poise and dignity of the many speakers who attended the Zoning Board of Appeals meetings and the special City Council meeting.

To Sonny’s credit, he told the audience that he had run into opposition to every project he had worked on but he had never experienced the opposition he faced with his plans for Moore Hall.

So let me gloat for a few lines at Sonny Bonacio’s expense.  I do so with a certain good humor.  Sonny is a man of extraordinary charm.  He never seems threatened and his enthusiasm for his projects is to be admired.  Still let’s remember the narrative that appears to have evaporated:

  1. It is simply too expensive to take down Moore Hall.
  2. The only way to make the development of this parcel work is to put 53 mini units in the old dorm.
  3. If this project is turned down, this decaying building will be a liability to the community forever.

Well, miracles will never cease.  It is now possible to take down Moore Hall and to build twenty-eight condos.

This should also be a cautionary tale to all the people who accepted this narrative and told the neighbors that they would have to live with the plan to paint the pink palace brown,  cram it with “micro” apartments, and deal with all the accompanying  parking and traffic problems.

I will write more about this in a posting later this week.


7 thoughts on “United Neighbors Victorious: Moore Hall To Come Down”

  1. You get lots of credit for this, John. I actually did not think there would ever be this kind of outcome. Thanks for caring so much about our city.
    Carol Reynolds

    Sent from my iPad



  2. Disgust. Pure disgust. That’s all I can say John. I’m as disgusted as I can possibly be to see and hear citizens of THIS city cheering Sonny Bonacio on as some sort of ‘conquering hero’ for proposing even MORE condos that most wouldn’t have a prayer’s chance in hell to afford??

    To quote a line from a well known movie from my younger day:


    And he had the unmitigated gall to call this ‘workforce housing’ over and over and over again? I’ve have lived here my entire life – over 50 years now – and I don’t know anyone that could afford those units, let alone anyone that works in our downtown district. This was NOT a ‘win’ for anyone in this city except Sonny Bonacio, make NO mistake about that.

    Cheer him on if you like, but I’m calling him out on this because what I see is a bunch of lambs being led to the slaughter by watching even more of our city being ripped away by someone’s profits. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!

    Dave Morris
    Saratogians for Sustainable Housing


  3. We can only hope that Mr. Bonacio doesn’t hire the Olsen firm, as he often does, to design the new structures. They’re the talentless hacks whose third-rate designs are busy transforming Saratoga Springs into a place that resembles the capital of a post-Soviet backwater. It would be ironic if the cure were worse than the disease.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll go on record to say that no one will be cheering a few years from now about this project – and especially when everyone’s in that area taxes go sky high because their property values rose from it. I honestly see nothing good about this for the people of this city, except for lining the pockets of Bonacio again, and Higgins getting out from what had to be a disaster for him. Oh! And btw? BOTH of them serve on the city’s task force for affordable housing. How ironic….


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