City IDA to Purchase Former Fireside Building at 1631 Eastern Parkway

January 3, 2024

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — The City of Schenectady Industrial Development Agency (IDA) is purchasing the former Fireside Restaurant at 1631 Eastern Parkway for $110,000.

Metroplex administers the City IDA as part of Schenectady County’s unified economic development team. The IDA is buying the building because it is vacant and blighted. The IDA will use funding from fees collected from developers on other projects to fund the purchase. The IDA is also seeking to purchase the structure next to the former Fireside, which is also vacant and in poor condition.

“The absentee owner of 1631 Eastern Parkway has never improved the building and the façade is in terrible condition,” said Ray Gillen, Metroplex Chair. “Despite code enforcement efforts by the city, the owner based on Long Island never made needed repairs, so we are buying the building to improve the neighborhood and remove this blight.”

Mayor Gary McCarthy said, “We are pleased that the City IDA is taking this action to address a longvacant and neglected building close to the Upper Union Street neighborhood in an important commercial corridor.”

“We cannot let absentee landlords and owners continue to neglect property in our community,” said Richard Ruzzo, Chair of the Capital Region Land Bank, and a member of the Schenectady County Legislature. “We are sending a clear message today to landlords to make needed repairs, bring properties up to code, and respect our neighborhoods. If you do not, our team will take the necessary action to address any blighted structure that negatively impacts public safety and property values.”

Metroplex will immediately evaluate the building to see if it can be repaired and sold or whether demolition is warranted.

The neighboring property at 1627 Eastern Parkway has also been targeted by the City IDA. The owner is based in New Jersey and has not responded to repeated requests to fix the blighted, vacant property. The County’s unified economic development team may consider condemnation of this building as part of a larger project to improve the Eastern Avenue/Eastern Parkway commercial corridor.

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