By Paul Kirby, Daily Freeman
POSTED: 09/24/17, 2:59 PM EDT

KINGSTON, N.Y. >> City officials got their first glimpse last week of what the inside of RUPCO’s project known as “The Metro” will look like once it is constructed.

Kingston Engineer Scott Dutton, who is designing the project at 2 South Prospect St., has come up with a dozen or so computer-generated images showing what the space inside will turn into once the project is completed.

Last week, Dutton submitted the images to the Planning Office which posted them on the city’s website.

When completed, The Metro is to house, among other things, a TV and film production center called Stockade Works that will be headed by actress and Dutchess County resident Mary Stuart Masterson.

Besides Stockade Works, The Metro is to have rent-paying tenants that RUPCO calls “makers,” which could include craftspeople as chocolatiers, candle makers and handbag designers.

Dutton said the interior design was based on a few key elements inside the building which was once the Pilgrim Furniture Company.

“The proposed plan was designed with a couple of key features in mind,” Dutton said in an email. “First, to preserve the vastness of the large open industrial floor space of the former pilgrim furniture factory ...

“Second, to honor the original architecture by keeping it exposed and juxtaposing it with unique and independent shapes, forms and materials for the various maker spaces.”

Dutton said that each individual space will have its unique characteristics.

“Each maker space or function has been designed as kind of a “house within a house” each with its own identity,” Dutton said. “One of the unique features of the space is a 60-foot wide clear span macomber bowstring truss that allowed us a great deal of flexibility with the design of the spaces and functions that will inhabit the 67,000 square foot building.”

Dutton said once window work is done, it is expected that the interior will be awash in sunlight.

“After the original clerestory windows are uncovered we expect the interior of the building to have an abundance of natural light penetrating deep into the space,” Dutton said.

Last week, the city’s Planning Board declared itself lead agency in connection with the environmental and site plan review of the project. That examination was expected to continue at the board’s November meeting.

RUPCO, an affordable housing agency making its first foray into an all-commercial project, recently bought the former Metropolitan Life Hall of Records building at 2 S. Prospect St. for just under $2 million.

Already secured as tenants are local enterprises Chronogram and Steintex, according to RUPCO.

RUPCO has said The Metro will be a “community wealth-building” endeavor that “focuses on creating jobs while producing materials and value-added products/services within a community, instead of outsourcing those same products and sending hard-earned local dollars out of the region.”

RUPCO previously rehabilitated the Lace Mill building on Cornell Street in Midtown Kingston, creating living and working spaces for artists; and the former Kirkland Hotel at Main Street and Clinton Avenue in Uptown Kingston, which now has commercial and residential space.

The agency also plans to put up a residential/commercial building called Energy Square at the site of the shuttered Mid-City Lanes bowling alley on Cedar Street in Midtown Kingston. And it wants to turn the former Alms House building on Flatbush Avenue into apartments, though the agency has been denied the city zoning change that’s necessary for that project to move forward.

RUPCO purchased the South Prosect Street building through a mortgage issued by the Leviticus Fund. The total cost of creating The Metro is expected to be $14 million.

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