Meeting Minutes

May 20, 2015

Present:             Ray Gillen, Brad Lewis, Bob Wall, Neil Golub, Bill Chapman, Robert Dieterich, and Bob Mantello

Absent:              Sharon Jordan, Karen Zalewski-Wildzunas, and John Mallozzi

Others:            Jayme Lahut, Jim Callander, David Hogenkamp and an audience of 2

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

1.      Approval of Minutes: Mr. Lewis moved adoption of the April 15, 2015 meeting minutes; seconded by Mr. Chapman and approved.

2.      Treasurer’s Report: Mr. Wall reviewed the Treasurer’s Report for the period ending April 30, 2015, which was distributed prior to the meeting. He noted that revenues were lower than anticipated in the first quarter primarily due to the colder than average winter. Operating expenses were slightly higher due to purchasing office equipment and other one-time expenditures. Predevelopment expenses were on budget. Cash on hand totaled $7.38 million. Following brief discussion, Mr. Golub moved to accept the Treasurer’s Report; seconded by Mr. Lewis and approved.

3.      Schenectady Armory Improvement Project: Resolution 966-15 — Adopt the General Project Plan

Legere Center, LLC, an affiliated entity of Schenectady-based Legere Restorations, acquired the 65,000 square foot facility in 2012. Plans call for conversion of the facility as a multi-use sports, conference and entertainment venue with a total budget of nearly $600,000. Metroplex participation involved a $90,000 grant and an exemption from sales tax. Mr. Golub moved Resolution 966-15; seconded by Mr. Lewis.  After discussion about the scope of work and challenges of parking nearby, Resolution 966-15 was approved.

4.    Schenectady County Visitors Agency: Resolution 967-15 — Adopt the General Project Plan

The action involved making a $23,500 grant to the Schenectady County Visitors Agency (SCVA) operated by Proctors to promote Schenectady County as a place for events, conferences and by organizing the hospitality, lodging and cultural entities throughout Schenectady County.  By improving the existing visitschenectady.com website, attending regional tradeshows and developing marketing material on Schenectady’s many unique venues, the SCVA will position the County to attract and secure meetings, events, board retreats, and small conferences.  Mr. Lewis moved Resolution 967-15; seconded by Mr. Dietrich. After discussion, Resolution 967-15 was approved.

5.     Convey Property to Amtrak at 320 Liberty Street: Resolution 968-15 —No Significant Effect on the Environment

Construction of the new Amtrak station starts later this year. The existing station sits lot line to lot line. Amtrak and NYS DOT requested that Metroplex convey a 2,500 square foot parcel necessary for the new station’s vestibule and sidewalks. Amtrak will maintain the building and sidewalks. The overall project will involve demolition of the existing station with construction of a new station; reconstructing the parking lot and adding new lighting and landscaping; and reconstructing the Amtrak parking lot across the street and establishing a temporary station for the construction period through mid-2017. Resolution 968-15 addressed the state-mandated environmental review by characterizing the project as an Unlisted Action with no significant effect on the environment. Mr. Mantello moved Resolution 968-15; seconded by Mr. Dietrich. Following discussion about the project, Resolution 968-15 was approved.

6.     Convey Property to Amtrak at 320 Liberty Street: Resolution 969-15 — Adopt the General Project Plan.

Resolution 969-15 conveyed an approximately 2,500 square foot parcel to either Amtrak Corporation or NYS DOT for nominal consideration. Mr. Golub moved Resolution 969-15; seconded by Mr. Mantello and approved.

7.     Robinson Block Redevelopment Project: Resolution 970-15 — Hold a Public Hearing

Resolution 970-15 authorized Metroplex to hold a public hearing on the $20 million project that includes ground-floor retail, 105-units of market-rate apartments, and on-site parking for about 120 vehicles. Metroplex will sell three properties at market values. The $1.2 million NYS CFA grant awarded to Metroplex addresses poor soil conditions. Other financial assistance is still being determined with the developer, Highbridge/Prime Associates, and its lead lender. Mr. Golub moved Resolution 970-15; seconded by Mr. Dietrich. After discussion about the location and scope of the project, Resolution 970-15 was approved.

Public Comment — Diane Hart, Niskayuna resident, commented favorably on development activities throughout the County boosted her confidence in relocating here from Syracuse.

Board Comment: Mr. Gillen updated the Board on the recent opening of the Challenger Learning Center at the MiSci Museum, Land Bank demolition activities, and other projects.

Adjournment: Mr. Golub moved to adjourn, seconded by Mr. Mantello. The meeting was adjourned at 6:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Jayme B. Lahut
Executive Director