A local restaurant owner intends to purchase about half of the Troy Italian Community Center, according to documents filed with the city and obtained by The Alt.
Michael LoPorto, a former city councilman and longtime owner of LoPorto Ristorante Cafe, is seeking approval from the city’s land-use boards to subdivide the two-acre parcel into three lots. The ICC would retain the southern half of the building and a sliver of parking near the northern property line, and LoPorto would acquire the northern portion of the building, “currently a banquet facility,” according to his zoning board of appeals application.
LoPorto would manage the banquet facility and not change its use, his application says. He would also use the space as a “production kitchen for his catering business.”
“The subdivision will allow the ICC to continue [its] activities of club and community events and bocci,” according to the application. The built spaces “will remain exactly as they are,” though green space will be increased outside.
Reached by phone on Thursday night, LoPorto declined to discuss the plans in detail or share a potential purchase price but said the endeavor is intended “to help the community.” LoPorto Ristorante Cafe will remain at its Fourth St. location.
The Alt was unable to reach an ICC representative on Thursday via the phone number listed on its Facebook page.
Late last year, now-former Rensselaer County Executive Kathleen Jimino announced plans for the county to purchase the ICC, located at 1450 Fifth Ave., for $685,000 and make it the new home of the Troy Area Senior Services Center. The county legislature tabled the deal in mid-December, and the new county executive’s administration had seemed more skeptical of its purported merits.
LoPorto’s proposal appears on the zoning board of appeals’ July 10 agenda.