18-22 Utica Street To Be Razed, Replaced With Mixed-Use Building

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Demolition to begin in February, followed by expected 21-month construction period

A new four-story, mixed-use building, designed by Maurice Walters, will replace the existing 18–22 Utica Street buildings in the Village of Hamilton. Demolition is slated to begin in late February, followed by an estimated 21 months of construction. Exterior plans include a brick facade and design elements to match and enhance the historic character of downtown Hamilton.  

Once complete, the building will feature 41 apartment units, one restaurant, two retail locations, a new 3,471 sq. ft. office space facing Madison Street, and the Partnership for Community Development coworking space, the HUB. The new apartments will be designated for Colgate faculty, staff, and for people seeking to live full-time in the community. These apartments will not be available to students. 

Situated between Main Moon and the building that houses Maxwell’s Chocolate, construction plans include the expansion of an existing alleyway to create a functional pedestrian courtyard with space for a small outdoor stage and seating for events and activities. 

Rendering of people walking in courtyard
A view into the east courtyard

Eighteen to 22 Utica Street is owned by the Hamilton Initiative and the project is being funded entirely by Colgate University. This construction is part of Colgate’s Third-Century Plan commitment to increase housing options for faculty and staff as well as local residents and demonstrates the University’s continued support for economic development within the village of Hamilton. Engineers determined that replacing the former Parry’s Building was the best solution for the future, as the 128-year-old building was in need of major structural and infrastructure repairs.

“This is another step toward taking care of our local housing shortage,” said Colgate Associate Vice President for Community Affairs and Auxiliary Services Joanne Borfitz. “This will also add such vitality to the village core. You can imagine, there will be up to 80 people waking up in the morning, walking on the village streets, and buying coffee and lunch in the village, and they’ll be around on the weekends. It’s really going to increase the foot traffic downtown, and that will benefit everyone.”

Most apartments will have outdoor areas, with small balconies or patios, and the fourth floor will include a shared amenity room for residents, where Borfitz says she can envision residents hosting book clubs, game nights, or birthday parties. The fourth floor will also include access to a furnished outdoor rooftop patio. The Hamilton Initiative plans to staff the building with a full-time manager to assist residents, plan entertainment activities, and to oversee the building’s public spaces. On the Madison Street side, 37 parking spaces will be created for residents, and about half will be covered from the elements. 

Rendering of people sitting in courtyard
A view from the east courtyard

Planners have worked diligently to limit construction impacts for area residents. Project Manager Ray Cudney said the biggest pedestrian change will be the need to close the sidewalk in front of the building. In the meantime, curb fencing and jersey barriers will help temporarily funnel walking traffic around the site, and the existing parking spaces will be used as the bypass. Utility work on 12B will also lead to a few days of one-lane traffic while water lines are connected. 

“All the demolition is going to happen from the Madison Street side, so we’re going to be working from behind the property and pulling it back,” Cudney said. “Crane work for steel will be done the same way. We’re trying to avoid major disruptions on Utica Street.”

Village of Hamilton Mayor Ruthann Loveless said she thinks the new construction will go a long way toward addressing a critical need within the community.

“The village, town, and Colgate have all identified the need for more housing as a top priority. Too many current and potential new hires find it impossible to live in the community where they work,” Loveless said. “This new mixed-use development will help address this issue, as well as add to the economic vitality of the village and increase the tax base. I am excited and so pleased that this project is moving forward.”