Schenectady DRI enters voting phase for how to spend $10M

Ballots going out to local panelists guiding state effort

August 28, 2020

BY PETE DEMOLA, The Daily Gazette

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — It’s go-time.

Ballots will be sent to panelists on Friday and must be returned by Sept. 3.

Consultants guiding the Schenectady Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) formally submitted the portfolio of projects to decision-makers on Thursday.

The package bundles together 18 projects seeking a collective $13.5 million in state funds.

Two developers are seeking nearly half of that, or $5.75 million.

Highbridge Prime Development wants $3 million to raze two of their buildings between Electric City Apartments and the Mill Artisan District on lower State Street and build a five-story mixed-use building with 17 apartments and nearly 300 parking spaces, an $8.2 million effort.

On the other side of downtown, Redburn Development Partners is asking for $2.75 million for a sprawling project to redevelop three underused blocks of Clinton Street.

The $38.7 million effort includes redevelopment of the former OTB building, the construction of a 49-unit apartment building on the footprint of the former Citizens Bank site at 501 State St. and renovation of the Bank of America building across the street.

The latter has not been publicly discussed at any of the four previous Schenectady DRI meetings or three public sessions (but was alluded to by Redburn at a city Board of Zoning Appeals meeting on Aug. 5 when they sought a parking variance for the 501 State St. project).

“It’s very significant,” said Schenectady Metroplex Development Authority Chairman Ray Gillen, who said the developers aim to use historic tax credits to preserve the structure.

Acquisition of the site at the corner of Clinton and State streets would further cement Redburn’s presence on the 500 block of State Street, joining its Fitzgerald and Foster buildings, as well as the site of the former Citizen Bank building, which was torn down earlier this summer.

Consultants formally outlined priority projects earlier this month, and little changed from the previous meeting on Aug. 13.

Numerous public infrastructure projects are also on the ballot, which totals $59.9 million in collective spending.

To read the complete article on the Daily Gazette’s website, click here.

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