Meeting Minutes

February 15, 2017

Present: Ray Gillen, Brad Lewis, Sharon Jordan, Karen Zalewski-Wildzunas, Todd Edwards, Nancy  Casso, and Robert Dieterich

Absent: Neil Golub, John Mallozzi, Bob Mantello and Paul Webster 

Others: Jayme Lahut, Jim Callander, and David Hogenkamp

Call to Order:  Mr. Gillen called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.

1.     Approval of Minutes:

A motion to approve the minutes of the January 11, 2017 meeting was made by Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas; seconded by Ms. Jordan and approved.

2.     Viaport Rotterdam Project: Resolution 1101-17 — No Significant Effect on the Environment

The project renovates and converts a large portion of the vacant former Macy’s at Viaport Rotterdam to office uses.  A coordinated environmental review was undertaken with Metroplex serving as lead agency; classified the project as an Unlisted Action; and determined the project will not result in any adverse environmental impacts. Mrs. Casso moved Resolution 1101-17; seconded by Mr. Lewis and approved after discussion.

3.     Viaport Rotterdam Project: Resolution 1102-17 — Adopt the General Project Plan

Resolution 1102-17 approved Metroplex’s participation that involved a $970,000 grant and sales, mortgage and real property tax exemptions. A public hearing was held on January 25, 2017 and no comments were received. The revitalization of the former Macy’s is being led by Viaport New York, LLC and Rotterdam Ventures, Inc., an affiliated entity of the Galesi Group.  The project is budgeted at $8,515,000. Mrs. Casso moved Resolution 11102-17; seconded by Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas and approved following discussion.

4.     487 Nott Street Redevelopment Project: Resolution 1103-17 — No Significant Effect on the Environment

Metroplex classified the project as an Unlisted Action pursuant to SEQRA and conducted the environmental review. The review concluded that the project preserved an existing facility that is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, will positively impact Nott Street and the neighborhood, and does not result in potentially adverse environmental effects. Ms. Jordan moved Resolution 1103-17; seconded by Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas and approved.

5.     487 Nott Street Redevelopment Project: Resolution 1104— Adopt General Project Plan

A public hearing was held on January 25 and no comments were received. The former Nott Street School and County DSS will be historically preserved with 15 apartments through an investment of $3 million. The project sponsor, 487 Associates, LLC, an affiliated entity of the Galesi Group applied for a $100,000 grant, sales, mortgage and real property tax exemptions. Ms. Jordan moved Resolution 1104-17; seconded by Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas. Following brief discussion, Resolution 1104-17 was approved.

6.     The Nott Apartment Project: Resolution 1105-17 — No Significant Effect on the Environment

Metroplex conducted the environmental review pursuant to SEQRA and classified the project as an Unlisted Action. Resolution 1105-17 stated that the project resulted in no potentially adverse environmental impacts and will have positive impacts for the Eastern Avenue corridor. Ms. Jordan moved Resolution 1105-17; seconded by Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas and approved.

7.     The Nott Apartment Project: Resolution 1106-17 — Adopt the General Project Plan

A public hearing was held on December 6, 2016 and no comments were received. The project adaptively reuses the long-vacant Annie Schaffer senior center and converts it to about 30 apartments by adding a third floor and giving the building a major facelift. The $5.75 million investment from 101 Nott Terrace, LLC, an affiliated entity of Rosenblum Property Services, LLC, will receive from the Capital Region Land Bank and Restore New York grants. Metroplex’s financial assistance involved a $450,000 grant, sales, mortgage and real property tax exemptions. Mr. Lewis moved Resolution 1106-17; seconded by Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas.  Following discussion, Resolution 1106-17 was approved.

8.     Live In Schenectady Project: Resolution 1107-17 — No Significant Effect on the Environment

Metroplex conducted the environmental review pursuant to SEQRA and classified the project as an Unlisted Action. Resolution 1105-17 stated that the project resulted in no potentially adverse environmental impacts. Ms. Jordan moved Resolution 1107-17; seconded by Mr. Dieterich and approved.

9.     Live In Schenectady Project: Resolution 1108-17 — Adopt General Project Plan

A public hearing was held January 25 and no comments were received. Metroplex financial assistance involved sales, and real property tax exemptions. The Live in Schenectady project with many notable local investors, assembled 1.1 acres for construction of up to 25 townhouse-style and single family residences in and around Barrett and Huron Streets. Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas moved Resolution 1108-17; seconded by Ms. Jordan and approved.

10.    Glenville Business and Technology Park Project: Resolution 1109-17 — Hold and Public Hearing and Seek Designation as Lead Agency for Environmental Review

Resolution 1109-17 called for holding a public hearing, initiated the state-mandated process for disposition of real property for fair market value, and authorized undertaking a coordinated environmental review pursuant to SEQRA.  The Authority has developed a project in Glenville that involves acquisition of a 40-acre+/- parcel and represents significant private investment and new production jobs.  Metroplex intends to purchase the parcel from the federal General Services Administration (GSA) under terms of a negotiated sale for economic development purposes with the intention of re-selling the property.  Resolution 1109-17 was moved by Mr. Dieterich; seconded by Mr. Lewis. After discussion, Resolution 1109-17 was approved.

11.    Environment One Corporation Expansion Project: Resolution 1110-17 — Hold and Public Hearing

Environment One Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. with 130 employees headquartered in Niskayuna proposed building a 40,000 square foot production and assembly facility for a new product line for battery technology. The project will generate 80 additional jobs. Metroplex’s financial assistance may involve sales, mortgage and real property tax exemptions. Resolution 1110-17 called for a public hearing related to the project.  Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas moved Resolution 1110-17; seconded by Mr. Lewis and approved.

12.    Lower State Street Sidewalk Project: Resolution 1111-17 — Adopt General Project Plan

Resolution 1111-17 allocated $390,000 for the final sidewalk and curb improvements on lower State Street between South Church Street and Washington Avenue. CHA designed the project, which will be bid shortly. Ms. Jordan moved Resolution 1111-17; seconded by Mr. Lewis and approved.

13.    Downtown Ambassadors Program: Resolution 1112-17 — Adopt General Project Plan

The program for 2017 continues support for the Ambassador services at key locations downtown throughout the year.  Metroplex’s participation involves a grant of $96,000 to the City Mission for these services.  Resolution 1112-17 was moved by Ms. Jordan; seconded by Ms. Zalewski-Wildzunas and approved.

14.    Five-Year Capital Project Plan: Resolution 1113-17 — Hold a Public Hearing

Resolution 1113-17 authorized holding a public hearing. At its February 7 meeting, the Governance Committee accepted an updated Five-Year Capital Projects Plan. The Plan is focused on Metroplex properties and assets that may require physical improvements or preservation.  Ms. Jordan moved Resolution 1113-17; seconded by Mr. Lewis and approved following discussion.

15.   Project Reconciliation and Accounting: Resolution 1114-17 — Release Unexpended Project Obligations

Resolution 1114-17 classified 11 projects as closed and recaptured $402,763 in unexpended project funds. Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas moved Resolution 1114-17; seconded by Ms. Jordan and approved.

16.   Project Reconciliation and Accounting: Resolution 1115-17 — Allocate Additional Funding

Resolution 1115-17 allocated $65,501 in the aggregate to 6 projects that exceeded Board authorized allocations. These projects are now closed. Resolution 1115-17 was moved by Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas; seconded by Ms. Jordan and approved.

Public Comment: None

Board Comment: Mr. Gillen spoke about the opening of Rivers Casino and his annual presentation to the Schenectady County Legislature about Metroplex activities over the past year.  His presentation can be viewed on the Metroplex website.

Adjournment: Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas moved to adjourn, seconded by Mr. Edwards. The meeting was adjourned at 6:35 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Jayme B. Lahut
Executive Director