845 Commons is a great example of adaptive reuse and historic preservation. Built in 1915, the former Mica Insulator Company factory had been abandoned long before being transformed into supportive housing for men, including veterans, disabled individuals, and those with mental illnesses. 155 furnished studio apartments now occupy the renovated factory. Each unit is about 400 SF and includes a bathroom and a small kitchen. Shared living and dining spaces are also available to all residents.
This project was a collaboration between many local and state partners, including the New York State Homes and Community Renewal (NYSHCR), Temporary Disability Assistance (NYSOTDA), the State Historic Preservation Office, the City of Schenectady, the Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority, the City of Schenectady Industrial Development Agency (IDA), and the Capital District YMCA, which manages the property. Together, these groups and the developer, Galesi Group, saw the opportunity and used the resources available to convert the city’s neglected buildings into much-needed affordable housing while preserving their historic character.
In April 2016, 845 Commons was honored with The Historic Preservation Award by The Preservation League of New York State. Sonny Bonacio, President of Bonacio Construction, Inc. said, “This was one of the most difficult projects in terms of complexity that we have dealt with but also the most gratifying. We replaced a vacant factory with safe, affordable housing for residents, including many vets who deserve a great building to call home. The Historic Preservation Award by The Preservation League of New York State for 845 Commons is something we are very proud of.”