Meeting Minutes

October 22, 2014

Present:             Ray Gillen, Brad Lewis, Bob Wall, Sharon Jordan, Ed Capovani, Bill Chapman, Neil Golub, Bob Mantello, John Mallozzi and Karen Zalewski-Wildzunas

Absent:              None

Others:              Jayme Lahut, Jim Callander and an audience of 6

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 October 8, 2014 meeting minutes; seconded by Ms. Jordan and approved. (Mr. Lewis was absent.)

2.        Mohawk Harbor Development Project: Resolution 925-14 — Adopt SEQRA Findings Statement

Resolution 925-14 completed the state-mandated environmental review of the Mohawk Harbor project by adopting the final statement that will guide local and state agency review of all future development activities on the site. The findings statement concluded that no significant adverse effects are expected to occur either singularly or cumulatively and that no adverse impacts were identified that cannot be avoided or mitigated. Mr. Lewis moved resolution 925-14; seconded by Mr. Golub. Following brief discussion, Resolution 925-14 was approved unanimously.

3.       DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Project: Resolution 926-14 — SEQRA Negative Declaration

Resolution 926-14 designated the project as an Unlisted Action pursuant to SEQRA with no significant effect on the environment. The action involved the reconstruction of the former Holiday Inn to a 124-room DoubleTree by Hilton located at 100 Nott Terrace in Schenectady.  Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas moved Resolution 926-14; seconded by Mr. Lewis and approved.

4.       DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Project: Resolution 927-14 — Adopt the General Project Plan

Resolution 927-14 authorized making a $250,000 as part of the conversion of the Holiday Inn to a DoubleTree by Hilton. Plans call for a larger facility with upgraded building systems, swimming pool and other amenities. An affiliated entity of Schahet Hotel, owners of the downtown Hampton Inn, is investing $13 million in the project. TD Bank is the lead lender. Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas moved Resolution 927-14; seconded by Mr. Lewis. After discussion, Resolution 927-14 was approved.

5.        NYBizLab Façade Project: Resolution 928-14 — Adopt the General Project Plan

The former First Niagara Bank building at 251 State Street was purchased by Civco Realty Corporation that previously redeveloped 440 State Street as headquarters for Transfinder. Civco has been certified by New York State to undertake a business incubator and accelerator project under the Start-up New York initiative. The building will house software and technology businesses participating in the State’s tax-free start-up zone as well as retaining First Niagara Bank branch on the ground floor. Civco is investing $1.8 million in asbestos abatement, significantly upgrading the building facades on State Street and Liberty Street, and tenant fit-up in 26,000 square foot facility. Metroplex’s financial assistance involved a $300,000 façade grant. Mr. Lewis moved Resolution 928-14; seconded by Ms. Jordan. After discussion, Resolution 928-14 was approved.

6.       FY-2015 Budget: Resolution 929-14 — Adopt Fiscal Year 2015 Budget

The Fiscal Audit Committee recommended adoption of the 2015 budget, which reflected growth in sales tax revenue, slightly higher operating expenses, and a modest increase in the predevelopment budget that keeps pace with development activities. Mr. Lewis moved Resolution 929-14; seconded by Mrs. Zalewski-Wildzunas and approved following discussion.

Public Comment: David Buicko, Galesi group COO, thanked the Board for its diligence in completing the SEQRA review for the Mohawk Harbor project.

Board Comment: Mr. Gillen updated the members about revitalizing Eastern Avenue neighborhood in Schenectady with the recent Land Bank award of $3 million and the City’s complementary efforts in securing $3 million in HUD 108 funding. Mr. Golub spoke about activities at MiSci including the Challenger Learning Center initiative.

Adjournment: Mr.  Golub moved to adjourn, seconded by Mr. Lewis. The meeting was adjourned at 6:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Jayme B. Lahut
Executive Director