Last week I received an email and an attached document from Richard DeVito of Paramount Development, one of the companies that responded to the High Rock RFP. I am posting both. The thing I value about this blog is that it is a source of information for people and I respect the readers of this blog to assess for themselves the value and accuracy of what I put up.
I know that many of the readers take exception to my assessment of Mark Baker and the multi-use proposals for developing High Rock. I continue to be extremely skeptical about both Paramount’s and Hyman’s plans. My concerns are consistent with those unanimously supported by the Technical Review Committee that evaluated the proposals. It is important to note that the committee was chaired by the Mayor’s deputy and included an appointee by John Franck. Both Yepsen and Franck have been the most enthusiastic supporters of the multi-use proposals. The two proposals by developers are by necessity extremely vague because for better or worse, a plethora of unknowns will only be resolved, should either receive approval, in what I expect to be a challenging and thorny gestation process. In that context I do not find it at all surprising that Mark Baker is less than enthusiastic about having his need for parking enmeshed with this process. The document that Mr. Devito attached included the email exchange he had with Mr. Baker. It is a little confusing but basically the text in black is what Mr. Devito wrote to Mr. Baker and Mr. Baker’s response is in red. I actually think Mr. Baker’s response is pretty straight forward and I encourage the readers of this blog to read the exchange carefully to make their own determinations.
Sent: Friday, March 04, 2016 11:09 AM
To: John Kaufmann
Cc: Chris LaBerge; Wayne Senecal; McCann Sue; PetrikHuff Jennica; Dave
Schlosser; Addy Kelsey; Anthony Ianniello
Subject: High Rock Lot
Attachments: Response to the Technical Review Committee.pdf
I read your article regarding Mark Baker and his presentation to the City Council regarding he proposed City Center Garage. I’m attaching some information that was send to the Commissioners yesterday for you to review.
Briefly, it is clear that the North Maple Lot can be developed as a garage that will handle all f the City Center’s needs without encroaching on the most important parcel for development that the City of Saratoga Springs has. This parcel should be dedicated to a broader mixed use development that will have significant benefits the the community at large, namely senior housing, workforce housing, and apartments and condominiums that are within the financial reach of regular folks.
We have also offered approximately 11,000 square feet of space at Lake Avenue to house the new court rooms that are desperately needed by the City.
Also, our proposed development will provide the City with more revenue than any other option, and substantially more than the City Center’s proposal.
I would ask that you take a very hard look at the development options on the table. If scrutinized carefully, I think you will see that what we a proposing is the best development option for the community and it all works without sacrificing the parking needed by the City Center.
Paramount Realty Group, LLC Partner