A proposed development at 239 Main Street in downtown Poughkeepsie is currently under review by the Planning Board, aiming to transform an existing office building into a vibrant mixed-use space comprising retail and residential units. 

During a recent meeting, the City of Poughkeepsie Planning and Zoning Board discussed the most recent proposed conversion plans for the privately funded project. The project, spearheaded by owner Alberto Fernandez, seeks to revitalize the area by repurposing the former office building to accommodate 6200 square feet of retail space on the ground floor, with plans to introduce 22 apartment units on the upper floors and a portion of the first floor. 

Initially granted site plan approval in August 2020 for a project comprising 28 residential units and 2044 square feet of retail space, the proposed development has undergone modifications to better align with the community’s evolving needs and market demands. Notably, the commercial component has been expanded from 2 units to 6 units, enhancing opportunities for local businesses to establish a presence in the heart of downtown Poughkeepsie. 

The residential units include studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments. Studios are estimated to span approximately 700 to 800 square feet. One and two-bedroom units will range from 1000 to 1100 square feet each, providing ample living space for residents from singles to couples and families. 

Significant structural changes have been undertaken with the current building department’s approval and oversight, including adding an elevator shaft and gutting the building’s interior, rendering it a shell awaiting transformation. Although members of the Board expressed positive feedback on the condition of the exterior renovations, further review by the board’s consulting architect and city staff members is pending to ensure compliance with regulatory standards and architectural integrity. 

Members of the Board remarked that this property is “a critical piece” of a “significant corridor” in downtown Poughkeepsie and that they are looking forward to seeing the transformation of this vacant building. The proposed retail spaces will be oriented towards Market and Main Streets, contributing to foot traffic in the Main and Market business corridor. Despite the extensive renovations, certain features of the original building, such as the windows, facade, and lobby on the ground floor, will be retained. The Board is expected to consider approval of the new site plan at a future meeting. Planning Board agendas are posted on the City of Poughkeepsie website at www.cityofpoughkeepsie.com.

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