BY JEFF WILKIN, The Daily Gazette
NISKAYUNA, N.Y. — Niskayuna is expected to consider a change in town law that, if approved, will expand the Metroplex Development Authority service district within town borders.
The larger district will allow Metroplex to help the town deal with “zombie” properties — long-vacant homes that have fallen into extensive disrepair.
Ray Gillen, chairman of Metroplex, and Paul Webster, Niskayuna’s Metroplex representative, on Tuesday appeared before the Town Board to discuss zombie properties and how Metroplex can help.
Metroplex has worked in the town before on such projects as the development and re-branding of Niskayuna Commerce Park and helping to redevelop St. James Square, now ShopRite Plaza. More recently, Metroplex assisted the town in the redevelopment of the former Williams auto scrap yard into a high-end apartment complex project.
Gillen wants to do more with zombie properties.
“We have a pretty serious zombie property problem in Niskayuna,” he told the Town Board. People sometimes purchase homes, are unable to maintain them, and then leave, he said.
“Banks wind up taking charge of these parcels,” Gillen said. “They’re not maintained and they start to fall apart. And if you live next to one of these things, it ruins your life. Go to Mohawk Road, it’s ruining the lives of people on that road.”
Gillen talked about 1125 Mohawk Road, an abandoned house that is surrounded by grass, weeds and plants that have grown several feet high.
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