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March 25, 2013


Filed under: Business,Features,News,Troy NY — duncan @ 9:48 am

For Immediate Release

Contact: Vic Christopher, 917-693-7430
Heather LaVine, 301-466-0309

Troy Couple Saving Downtown’s “Most Endangered” Building

Historic Clark House at 207 Broadway to be Preserved

TROY, N.Y. (03/25/13) — One of the most endangered buildings in downtown Troy has been spared from the wrecking ball.

The Clark House (207 Broadway, TroyOn Friday, Heather LaVine and Vic Christopher purchased 207 Broadway with plans to stabilize the building and return street-level retail. The upper floors will be mothballed while the couple meets with residential developers.

“Right now it’s an eyesore. But this is a beautiful building in the heart of downtown,” said Christopher. “And it would have been knocked down for a parking lot if someone didn’t step in to save it.”

Last year, the husband-and-wife team purchased and rehabbed 12 Second St. in Troy, where they opened the Charles F. Lucas Confectionery & Wine Bar in November. The rear corners of 12 Second St. and 207 Broadway are adjacent, and plans include connecting the wine bar to the new property via a shared garden walkway.

“People say we’re crazy for doing this, but we know this is hard work. And it make sense for us,” LaVine said. “Right now we’re turning away business because we don’t have the space. 207 allows us to create event space and open up additional retail opportunities in our neighborhood. We’d be crazy not to do this.”


The four-story, 10,900 square-foot building at 207 Broadway was constructed in 1876. It was once home to a boarding house and hotel, known as “The Clark House,” which featured many industrial, manufacturing and retail tenants through the years. From 1934 until 1979 the building was home to “The Tavern,” a popular Troy restaurant. The building’s sole remaining tenant is Broadway News, which has operated continuously since 1934.

While the property has a rich history and historical significance, deterioration and neglect have resulted in serious structural issues. In recent months, the veneer wall located on the south side of the property collapsed, exposing the building to the elements and igniting the talk of demolition.

LaVine and Christopher plan to stabilize the structure and rehabilitate the street-level commercial storefronts along Broadway, while securing the top three floors for future redevelopment. A small block building that is currently part of the parcel will serve as an expansion area for the adjacent Charles F. Lucas Confectionery & Wine Bar.

“The Clark House was one of Troy’s most prominent select family hotels during the Victorian era,” said Troy historian Don Rittner. “It is exciting to see this great architectural treasure brought back to life by a couple I know will put the same kind of thought and conviction in its restoration as shown with their recent wine bar project.”

LaVine and Christopher purchased the property from SCC Development LLC for $80,000. There were no banks or realtors involved in the transaction.

“We’re sending a message with this project,” Christopher said. “We hope to inspire others with this investment. We have hope for this building, hope for this city. And we’re not afraid to get our hands dirty.”


Acquisition: $80,000
Stabilization & beautification: $90,000
Retail fit-up: $100,000

Total Investment: $270,000

For information on this historic building, see Don Rittner’s essay on Troy’s top 10 endangered buildings of Troy, at:

For high-resolution photos, logos, architectural renderings and plans for the site, visit:

For information, contact:

Vic Christopher, 917-693-7430
Heather LaVine, 301-466-0309
Don Rittner (for building history),

Rendering of Proposed Garden behind 12 Second St. & 207 Broadway


March 19, 2013


Filed under: Business,Features,News,Troy NY — duncan @ 2:06 pm

For Immediate Release

Contact: Victoria Harris, (518) 213-1009

Major Developer Drawing New Business to Troy After State Pull-out

New First Columbia Tenants Fill 106,000 sq. ft. After State Frees 136,000 sq. ft.

TROY, NY (03/19/13) — Two major properties along the city’s riverfront are rapidly refilling after the state began vacating more than 130,000 square feet of rental space in 2012.

Hedley Park PlaceLatham-based developer First Columbia is making big gains in a strategy to draw out-of-town tenants to its historic Hedley Park Place and Flanigan Square properties on the Troy riverfront. The effort includes a $10 million investment to convert the space in both buildings into New York City-style, high-tech offices.

“We’re bouncing back,” said Victoria Harris, marketing director of First Columbia. “The whole point of bringing state workers here to Troy back in the ’90s was to help revitalize the downtown Troy economy. Now, First Columbia is in a position to do that again, with fresh companies and a new workforce.”

To date, new tenants have re-filled 106,000 square feet out of the 136,000 square feet vacated by the state.


The following tenants are already or will soon be leasing space at First Columbia’s Hedley Park Place:


Although City Hall and EOC were already located in other parts of Troy, the remaining new tenants at Hedley Park Place have re-located from outside the city.

“It wouldn’t be true growth if we were simply attracting tenants from one space in the city to another,” Harris said. “First Columbia is committed to bringing a fresh new workforce to downtown Troy.”

About 86,000 square feet of space is still available at Hedley Park Place, which is currently 74 percent occupied. About 87,476 square feet remain open at Flanigan Square, which is about 20 percent occupied.

“Hedley Park Place is really the best of both worlds,” Harris said. “It has that urban/ downtown/professional feeling — you can walk to restaurants and festivals. But it also has all the suburban office park amenities, like easy access from the highway, parking and modern fixtures.”

Prospective tenants can learn more about the properties and space available for lease by calling listing broker Deborah Mikhitarian-Russell at (518) 213-1088.


In 2006, First Columbia commissioned a master plan to redevelop roughly 25 city blocks surrounding its Hedley Park Place and Flanigan Square properties. Plans for “The Hedley District” include dozens of new office and condominium buildings, a seven-story hotel and a riverside promenade.

“Our goal is to help make Troy a place where you can truly live, work and play,” Harris said.


First Columbia is a diversified real estate/investment organization committed to planning, developing, and operating high quality facilities. Its projects include corporate buildings, office campuses, medical complexes, senior housing, retail, and high-tech facilities.

For high-resolution photography, architectural renderings and design plans, visit:

For information, contact: Victoria Harris, marketing director First Columbia at (518) 213-1009 or