BY MICHAEL DEMASI, Albany Business Review
SCHENECTADY – Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Blake, Realtors is opening an office in downtown Schenectady, New York — marking a return for the brokerage service after a 30-year absence.
The small office will open within the next couple weeks on State Street next to Proctors and Aperitivo Bistro.
“We just feel like with everything going on in downtown Schenectady and the resurgence it just made sense to do it,” said Jay Christiana, president/principal broker.
Christiana’s great-grandfather, Samuel Blake, started the business on Wall Street in Schenectady in 1922.
The office later moved to State Street, but closed in 1987, one of many that left downtown as the city’s population nose-dived and tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs were eliminated at General Electric Co. and American Locomotive Co.
Downtown has staged a comeback over the past two decades with the financial help of the Schenectady Metroplex Development Authority, with new restaurants, bars, a movie theater, professional offices, and apartments.
More private- and public-sector investments are happening.
Jim Salengo, executive director of the Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corp., isn’t aware of any other real estate offices downtown.
The new office will be staffed daily by agents. It’s an extension of the branch in Niskayuna, which is managed by Ryan Clark.
“I grew up in Rotterdam,” Clark said. “Seeing the transformation of Schenectady in that downtown area it just seemed like the next logical step for us. A storefront next to Proctors. It was just absolutely perfect for what we want to do.”
The office will boost awareness downtown of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Blake, Realtors, the fourth-largest residential real estate broker in the region, according to the Albany Business Review List. Total sales volume was $375.1 million.
“We’re going to get a lot of the walk-up traffic,” Clark said.