At 32 Cooper St. in Glens Falls, across the street from a side entrance to The Post-Star building, sits what is inarguably one of the dumpiest apartment buildings in Glens Falls. Paint is peeling, slate roof tiles are falling off and garbage is typically strewn around the property.
Police have pulled people out of there more times than I can count, after fights and drug activity. Only one apartment is occupied as far as I can tell.
Up the street is an industrial complex. On the other side are two bars, the Shirt Factory building and former Price Chopper store within sight as well. A complex of halfway houses is a block west.
This area of Glens Falls’ East End is a mixed industrial-residential neighborhood. It’s been that way for generations, a hardscrabble ‘hood where you see a wide range of personalities. It’s not Bedford Close or Hudson Pointe, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I’ve come to love this neighborhood during my decades working here.
A proposed housing development on the vacant site of a former foundry can only help this little section of town that has seen better days. It boggles my mind that there is such opposition to Warren-Washington Association for Mental Health’s project to construct a new 29-unit apartment building of affordable housing, for the homeless, domestic violence victims and those with mental illness. Many of the people who would live in this home are already in the East End, at the agency’s facility on Maple Street. Having covered the police beat here for more years than I want to admit, I can tell you I can’t remember the last time I heard of any trouble at that Maple Street site.
Let’s be clear about what the beef is here. It’s not the lack of tax payments. It’s NIMBYism. If this project was going into Ward 4, the west end of Queensbury or somewhere else, Ward 1’s elected officials and residents wouldn’t be up in arms. We’re not talking about criminals here. The residents of this aesthetically pleasing new complex would be victims, the homeless, those who need help. Many of these people are already our neighbors, the people we see walking to Family Dollar or Stewart’s. People we shouldn’t turn our back on.