Construction of apartments for 300 students behind SUNY Potsdam begins in the spring
Friday, November 18, 2011 - 11:40 am

POTSDAM – Dozens of cottage-style buildings for the college housing market will begin going up in the spring along Main Street behind the SUNY Potsdam campus.

Buffalo developer Chason Affinity has purchased about 100 acres across Main Street from the college’s running track and will use 20 acres to build about 50 small buildings designed to house between four and six students each, with total capacity to be not more than 300 beds.

Each resident will have his or her own private bath and private parking.

The plan includes a community center with a community room and kitchen, and four specially built music practice rooms.

Chason Afinity CEO Jeff Birtch said the first units will be built beginning in the spring and will be ready for occupancy by next fall.

The schedule for completion of the whole project isn’t firm, Birtch said.

“It will take one or two years,” he said. “We’ll see how it goes.”

Birtch said he was not ready to talk about the total cost of the project.

“As far as cost goes, we still have some negotiating to do,” he said.

Rents, he said, will be “comparable to those on campus.”

The next steps involve “normal engineering issues” such as getting soil borings and gathering other information on the site.

“Most people in town we’ve spoken to about this are pretty excited,” Birtch said. “We’re looking forward to this project.”

Chason Affinity Companies have 80 years of experience in the real estate development market, primarily with multifamily and student housing all around the country.

The company has owned and operated Lawrence Avenue Apartments in Potsdam since 1979. That development is undergoing renovation, the company said.