Capital Region Land Bank Wins $1.76 million State Grant to Fight Blight in Schenectady and Amsterdam

May 10, 2023

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — The Capital Region Land Bank announced today that it has received a $1.76 million grant from New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) to continue efforts to replace zombie properties that negatively impact neighborhoods with quality housing.

“We want to express our thanks to Governor Hochul and HCR for this grant funding that will allow us to continue our efforts to fight back against blighted properties,” said Richard Ruzzo, Chair of the Capital Region Land Bank and a member of the Schenectady County Legislature. “This grant is recognition for our past work and it provides a major boost for our work in the neighborhoods going forward.”

New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “The elimination of blighted ‘zombie’ properties enhances neighborhoods and provides a necessary first step towards the construction of newer, safer, quality homes with improved energy efficiency for the next generation.  The State’s $1.76 million investment in the Capital Region Land Bank will improve neighborhoods across Schenectady County and the City of Amsterdam, empowering communities to pursue new opportunities on land which had been left to deteriorate.  Thank you to Governor Hochul for her commitment to providing localities with the support they need to improve neighborhoods.”

The actual grant amount is $1,757,475.  The Land Bank will use the funding to demolish vacant, blighted properties in the City of Schenectady, the City of Amsterdam and towns and villages in Schenectady County.

The new funding will be used to clear vacant structures so that major investments in quality housing can move forward such as a $13 million development on Summit Avenue and a $6 million development on Barrett Street in Schenectady.  Additional project locations in the City include Crane Street in Mont Pleasant and Van Vranken Avenue in the Northside, as well as in the towns of Rotterdam, Duanesburg and Niskayuna.

To date, the Land Bank has won more than $10 million in grant funding to help remove blight and assist in community revitalization.  This has supported efforts to demolish over 200 long- vacant or abandoned buildings, renovate an additional 33 structures and create more than 250 units of new quality affordable housing.

The Land Bank is administered by the Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority and is part of Schenectady County’s unified economic development team.

Demolition of the former Ritz restaurant at 1725 Van Vranken Avenue on January 25, 2023

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