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New B&B planned for vacant house on Madison

February 25, 2015

by Hanna Teal

A Victorian building at 634 Madison Ave. could get a whole lot comfier with plans to turn the 4,500-square-foot building into a seven guest-room, high-end bed and breakfast.

The Board of Zoning Appeals Wednesday evaluated an application for a special use permit by Terra Stratton who is currently in the process of buying the building from a Bruderhof Community, a communal Christianity movement group, that once lived at the house. The Board of Zoning  reserved a decision until a later date and a further review of the renovation plans.

634 Madison Avenue/Hanna Teal

634 Madison Avenue/Hanna Teal

The building is located between South Lake Avenue and Robin Street across from the scenic Washington Park. Stratton said the house is the perfect spot for a bed and breakfast because of its appeal to business professionals, tourists, and travelers alike. She  hopes to convert the property with some inside improvements and call it The Madison House B&B. If all goes well, the business is expected to be open and running by June 1.

The property has been vacant for around seven and a half years and neighbors are ready to see a change.

“This will be great for the neighborhood,” said Felton McLaughlin, who owns a nearby property at 229 Morris Street, around the corner and behind 634 Madison Ave.

During the meeting, Board of Zoning Appeals member, Leslie Scott Manson, asked how Stratton planned to turn the one-to-two-family residential building into a bed and breakfast. She wants to add three bathrooms to the four-story building, with an attic live-in suite and a basement apartment. Stratton also plans to reside there and hire an innkeeper.

Stratton expects to use most of the existing walls and plumbing so renovations shouldn’t take long. As for the exterior of the house, aside from general maintenance and landscaping to the building,  she will be making no changes to the structure. The plan is to ensure the essential character of the neighborhood remains unchanged.

Stratton posing just before the meeting began/Hanna Teal

Stratton posing just before the meeting began/Hanna Teal

“I fell in love with the character of the house and the neighborhood,” said Stratton. “I wouldn’t want to change it.”

Stratton, who  lives in Voorheesville, New York, is not new to flipping properties having flipped the old jail located at 419 Madison Avenue into a rentable multi-family home. This bed and breakfast will, however, be the first time she will live at the property herself.

Aside from the quaint atmosphere of a small bed and breakfast, Stratton plans to add local art to the rooms as well as letting the contributing artist name them. Stratton said Albany is in a great need for an alternative to the likes of the Hilton and the Hampton Inn.

“Since I was little, I always wanted to open up my own bed and breakfast,” said Stratton. “Now I hope I finally get to do that.”-30-

Madison Ave B&B documents

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