By Lisa Balschunat
“Glens Falls is a city on the rise,” said Peter Hoffman, developer and president of Glen Street Associates. “I have seen such positive growth in this community and am happy to be a part of it.”
The developer recently acquired two buildings in Glens Falls—at 74 Warren St., formerly the American Red Cross, and 80 Warren St., formerly Mailings Made Easy.
There are also 50 to 60 parking spaces between the two buildings.
Hoffman is also preparing to develop another building in the city and recently sold one of his anchor properties, the historic 1786 Power’s Inn and Pub in Clifton Park, to longtime chef and manager Bryah Gifford.
At 74 Warren St., the first floor of the 12,000-square-foot building will be home to the Dance Center of Queensbury. The second floor has been remodeled into a quaint two-bedroom apartment with an open floor plan.
“The dance studio has been a phenomenal tenant,” Hoffman said. “They’ve been across the street at 79 Warren for 10 years. We are thrilled to be able to provide them with this new permanent space.”
The dance center—with an entrance donning two granite globes on spiral columns, a tin roof overhang and period cornices—includes a reception area, changing room, a large room for group lessons with a slider barn door to divide the room into two for multiple classes, and additional dance room. The existing windows and new high block windows provide natural light and complement the dance mirrors and ballet barres.
At 80 Warren St. an established restaurant from downstate will be occupying the building by the end of April.
“I cannot yet share the name of the place, but I am sure people will be happy about it,” Hoffman said.
The pair of Warren Street buildings is Glens Falls Associates’ 11th acquisition in Glens Falls and 14th in the Warren, Washington and Saratoga counties. They include the former Glens Falls Post Office, Civic Center Plaza, 21 Bay Street, 86 Glen Street, 100 Glen Street, 136 Glen Street, 140 Glen Street, Smith Flats and Warren Street Square.
Hoffman said he makes every effort to restore lighting, accoutrements and accents. If originals are not available, then his wife and business partner, Suzanne, goes to great lengths to secure period replicas to bring a building’s history to life.
“When I look through the windows of a building at night, that’s when I see its character,” Hoffman said. “When the interior lights are on that’s when I see its real potential.”
For decades, Hoffman was best known for his amusement park, Hoffman’s Playland in Latham. He sold the property in 2014 and began investing in Glens Falls the same year. He also has restored properties in Hudson Falls, including Park Place and Bank Commons.
Glens Falls Associates is headquartered at 100 Glen St., just beyond Centennial Circle. The building has been fully leased with multiple tenants for six years.
“Back then,” he said, “I’d look out the window at the circle and saw such potential. Then, people like Roy Atkins, Ed Bartholomew, Dan Burke and others in the Glens Falls IDA (Industrial Development Agency) and EDC (Warren County) were crafting a vision for Glens Falls.”
Hoffman became a part of that group through his passion to restore architecture and provide the area with commercial and residential properties with architectural interest.
“The people of the city accepted me and welcomed me into the community,” he said. “There was a great amount of inventory here 10 years ago, as far as buildings go … Not so much now.
“It’s great to see young guys like Chris Patten investing on the corner of Glen and South streets, and Tim Moriarty on Maple Street.” Hoffman said. “Projects like these keep moving the city forward.”
By Lisa Balschunat