Schenectady, N.Y., December 13, 2006 — In another busy day for economic development in Schenectady, both Metroplex and the City Industrial Development Agency held meetings today.
The Metroplex Board of Directors today approved a series of measures designed to continue progress in the Upper Union Street business district as well as efforts to revitalize downtown Schenectady.
Metroplex approved a $25,000 grant to continue work on the Upper Union Street Façade Improvement Program. The Upper Union Street BID will use the funding to do architectural design work on additional projects during the winter months so that construction can begin in the spring. Nineteen façade projects have already been completed since the program started in this key shopping and business district in Schenectady.
In other actions, the Metroplex Board agreed to enter into a long term lease with Amtrak for the parking lot at the corner of Liberty Street and Erie Boulevard. Metroplex will pay Amtrak $300 a month to lease the lot. The lot will add to the unified parking system operated downtown bringing to eight the number of surface lots operated by Metroplex, plus the parking garage on Broadway.
The new lot will provide more than 50 new spaces in the heart of downtown in an area where there is lots of activity with several new restaurants and clubs. The new lot is also located just a couple of blocks from Proctors and the new cinema/office complex at the corner of State and Broadway.
“Our parking lots are clean, well-lit and are adding to the vibrancy of downtown,” said Metroplex Chair Ray Gillen. “Parking is key to a successful downtown and we continue to build on our parking assets to insure that everyone who shops and works in our new downtown can benefit from our parking infrastructure.”
The Metroplex Board also approved a contract for $120,000 to Pachuki Trucking Company of Schenectady to maintain eight surface lots, the parking garage and other parts of the downtown entertainment district. This includes plowing, repairs, landscaping, trash pick up and plowing. Metroplex awarded the contract via competitive bidding as required by the public authorities law.
At its meeting, the City IDA approved spending up to $20,000 to remove the last remnants of debris from a lot on Peek Street. The IDA will transfer ownership of the site in 2007 as part of the College Park project.
“This closes the book on Peek Street,” said Ray Gillen, Metroplex Chair. Metroplex administers both the City and County IDA. “We inherited a blighted site with a burnt-out structure on it from the from the previous IDA administrator. We cleaned up the site, got back taxes paid to the City of $40,000 and today’s action will finish the clean-up of this parcel which will then become part of the new College Park development.”
For College Park, the City IDA approved an exemption on sales tax for construction materials and an exemption on the mortgage recording tax. The developer, the Galesi Group of Rotterdam, has put financing in place to construct three office buildings at the site with work commencing in 2007. A new YMCA will also be built as part of the four-building project.
The IDA also approved a sales tax exemption for the Bow Tie Cinema project under construction at the corner of State and Broadway in downtown Schenectady.