Meeting Minutes

November 9, 2016

Present:             Ray Gillen, Brad Lewis, Sharon Jordan, Karen Zalewski-Wildzunas, Neil Golub, and Paul Webster

Absent:              John Mallozzi, Todd Edwards, Nancy Casso, Robert Dieterich and Bob Mantello

Others:           Jayme Lahut and David Hogenkamp

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

1.       Approval of Minutes: Mr. Golub moved adoption of the September 14, 2016 meeting minutes; seconded by Mr. Webster and approved unanimously.

2.       Treasurer’s Report: Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas summarized the financial report that was distributed in advance of the meeting. Income was now ahead of budget due to rising sales tax receipts and operating expenses were within budget. Predevelopment expenses were running higher than budgeted due to higher levels of activities, which the Fiscal Audit Committee was tracking. Cash on hand stood at $2.37 million. Mr. Golub moved to accept the Treasurer’s Report, seconded by Mr. Lewis and approved.

3.       JMR Development Company Project: Resolution 1077-16 — Amend General Project Plan

Bechtel Marine Propulsion Corporation was recently identified as the tenant occupying 73,000 square feet in the former Two Guys building at 600 Liberty Street. The project adds 350 jobs and costs $5.9 million. The project also triggers a steep increase in Pilot payments. In January, the Board approved a smaller grant but due to the scale of the fit-up, Resolution 1077-16 increased the grant to $175,000. Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas moved Resolution 1077-16; seconded by Mr. Lewis and approved following discussion.

4.       Mohawk Harbor Townhouse Project: Resolution 1078-16 — Adopt General Project Plan

A public hearing was held on October 27 and no written or oral comments were received. Resolution 1078-16 authorized an exemption from sales and mortgage recording taxes. The project budget of $9.2 million established 15 townhouse or condominium units located at the northwestern portion of the site along the Mohawk River.  Resolution 1078-16 was moved by Mr. Lewis; seconded by Mr. Webster and approved following discussion.

5.       Downtown Parking Project/ Weigh Station Roof Project: Resolution 1079-16 — Award Contract

The roof replacement project is needed to keep the historic structure dry and allow for future restoration and preservation. Metroplex competitively bid the work, which Mid-State Industries (Schenectady) posted the lowest qualified bid at $210,600. Resolution 1079-16 awarded the contract to Mid-State Industries. Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas moved Resolution 1079-16; seconded by Ms. Jordan. Discussion followed about the project, downtown parking, and the new lighting improvements in and around the Broadway Garage. Resolution 1079-16 was unanimously approved.

6.       SMJ Realty/ River Street Apartment Project: Resolution 1080-16 — Adopt General Project Plan

Resolution 1080-16 approved a $25,000 grant as part of a $500,000 renovation of a six-unit apartment building near the Rivers Casino at 4-6 River Street. The developer previously renovated the former MVP Building on Liberty Street. Mr. Lewis moved Resolution 1080-16, seconded by Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas and approved.

7.       Mill Artisan District Project: Resolution 1081-16 — Hold a Public Hearing

Resolution 1081-16 authorized a public hearing on the Mill Artisan District project. Metroplex has been working with the development arm of Reform Architecture for the purchase and renovation of vacant or underutilized buildings on the 100-block of State Street, South Church Street and Mill Lane. The adaptive reuse project is focused on ground floor retail for artisan businesses, as well as artist lofts and creative economy businesses on upper floors.  A New York State CFA grant request is pending.  Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas moved Resolution 1081-16; seconded by Mr. Lewis and approved.

8.       Mill Artisan District Project: Resolution 1082-16 —SEQRA Lead Agency Designation

Resolution 1082-16 authorized Metroplex requesting to act as lead agency for the project. The project is classified as a Type 1 action due to the proximity of the project to historic properties and the Stockade District. Mr. Webster moved Resolution 1082-16; seconded by Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas and approved.

9.       Community Builders Housing: Resolution 1083-16 — Adopt the General Project Plan

Resolution 1083-16 approved financial assistance for an ambitious project that involves the purchase of 11 vacant and blighted properties and conversion 58-units of affordable housing. Financing for the residential component of the project has been committed. Metroplex participation involved a $75,000 grant to assist with the purchase of the former Craig Street School and allotting $150,000 as a 5-year lease guaranty dedicated to transforming the first floor of the former Horace Mann School as artisan makerspace operated by the Albany Barn as art incubator space. Mrs. Jordan moved Resolution 1083-16, seconded by Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas and approved following discussion.

10.   108 Union Street Project: Resolution 1084-16 — Adopt the General Project Plan

Resolution 1084-16 allocated a $75,000 grant for the renovation and adaptive reuse of the former Schenectady County Courthouse at 108 Union Street, a property dating back to the 1830’s by local developer Reza Mahoutchian. The project will create 9 market-rate apartments, primarily 2-bedroom units, and art gallery space totaling 3,600 square feet.  Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas moved Resolution 1084-16; seconded by Mr. Lewis and approved.

11.   101 Nott Terrace Redevelopment Project: Resolution 1085-16 — Hold a Public Hearing

Resolution 1085-16 authorized holding a public hearing related to the redevelopment of the long-vacant former Annie Schaffer Senior Center at the corner of Nott Terrace and Eastern Avenue. Rosenblum Property Services, LLC, an affiliated company of the Albany based Rosenblum Companies has proposed converting the building to residential uses, adding a third floor and establishing 30 market-rate apartments. Resolution 1085-16 was moved by Ms. Jordan, seconded by Mr. Lewis and approved following discussion.

12.        101 Nott Terrace Redevelopment Project: Resolution 1086-16 — MOU with the City of Schenectady

The City of Schenectady applied for economic development funding for the fourth round of the Restore New York program. Resolution 1086-16 authorized a Memorandum of Understanding that allows Metroplex to manage the grant on the City’s behalf and coordinate redevelopment of 101 Nott Terrace with the Rosenblum Companies. Ms. Jordan made a motion to approve Resolution 1086-16; seconded by Mr. Lewis. Resolution 1086-16 was approved following discussion.

Public Comment: None

Board Comment: Mr. Gillen summarized the meeting by noting that the Board had considered over $37 million in new investment that will redevelop nine vacant buildings and build four new structures. If the CFA and Restore NY applications are successful, this will result in $57 million in investment, 16 building rehabilitated, and four new buildings.

Adjournment: Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas moved to adjourn, seconded by Mr. Lewis. The meeting was adjourned at 6:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Jayme B. Lahut
Executive Director