Before they were luxurious Apartments in Menands, the Albany Lofts at One Broadway were the historic and picturesque headquarters for the former Albany Felt Company. With vine-covered brick walls, wrought-iron fences, lush landscaping, even swans imported from Australia, the plant and its sprawling grounds exuded class and pride.
Founded in 1895 as a leading producer of heavyweight industrial felt used in paper manufacturing, Albany Felt Company moved to the Albany-Menands site in 1902 and, after a merger in 1969, changed its name to Albany International. The company’s stock was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1972 and again in 1988, following a brief period under private ownership in 1983. Throughout the history of the Albany Felt Company, the business grew from a $40,000 start-up to an industry leader valued at $5 million.
Albany Landmark Faces Decline
Unfortunately, the digital revolution with its emergence of smart phones and tablets, crushed the demand for paper manufacturing. Albany International would survive the shift, finding success with a new product line of advanced materials used in the next generation of jet engines, but the Albany factory suffered. In 2010, the 115-year-old Albany company announced plans to move its corporate headquarters to Rochester, New Hampshire to focus on its growing aerospace composites operation.
While the Albany community was devastated by the loss of this 19th century hometown industry giant, those who sought to preserve the region’s history saw a glimmer of hope when developer Uri Kaufman expressed interest in the historic building at One Broadway in early 2013. Kaufman had years earlier transformed the abandoned Harmony Mills building in Cohoes from a manufacturing plant into residences, and with the completion of that project, he turned his attention to the Albany International building. Albany Felt Company would once again exude class and pride.
Upscale Albany Apartments with Historical Significance
In December 2016, the Albany Lofts at One Broadway were unveiled in a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The former Albany Felt Co. now converted into 145 upscale apartments, many with historic details, high ceilings and oversized windows. Located in Menands, less than two miles from downtown Albany and just minutes from Empire State Plaza, these Manhattan-style lofts are a glamorous union of modern comforts and historical architecture – a nod to its former tenants, Albany Felt Company.
Interested in owning a piece of Albany’s history? Amenities at the Albany Lofts at One Broadway include stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, covered parking and pet-friendly apartments. Rents range from $1,125 for a one-bedroom, one-bath apartment to $3,525 for a three-bedroom, 2.5-bath apartment with den. For more information, apply online or call (518) 313-3570.