Four Businesses Move to Downtown Schenectady

New Restaurant, Florist, Health Care Firm, Ad Agency Add to Momentum Downtown

October 28, 2004

Schenectady, N.Y. — Schenectady County officials joined with the City of Schenectady and Metroplex to announce today that four more businesses will establish operations in downtown Schenectady adding to the momentum established under the unified County/City/Metroplex economic development effort.

“Schenectady County is on a roll,” said Schenectady County Legislative Chair Susan E. Savage.  “After years of fractious economic development efforts, we now have a totally unified team approach to economic development that is working.  There is a sense of momentum and excitement about what’s coming next to our community that we haven’t seen in a generation.  We welcome these four businesses to Schenectady County with the understanding that they will help us continue to expand our economic base.”

Schenectady Mayor Brian U. Stratton said, “It just keeps getting better and better in downtown Schenectady and we keep the ball rolling today by welcoming these four businesses to the new and improved downtown Schenectady.  The message is clear – real change has arrived – Schenectady is coming back strong.”

The four new companies include Clinton’s Ditch, a new restaurant on South College Street along Erie Boulevard once home to the Erie Canal; Absolute Perfection, a florist setting up on Jay Street; Accent Health Care, a private health care company establishing an office on Franklin Street, and Potratz Partners Advertising, a full-service ad agency establishing operations on Clinton Street close to the site of the new Hampton Inn Hotel.

Clinton’s Ditch will open as a full service restaurant at 112 South College Street following a major renovation of a now vacant and boarded up building.   The new owner,  Tim Trier, will perform a total renovation of the structure including a new interior, electrical and HVAC systems, roof and façade.  The cost of the renovation is $310,000.

Mr. Trier  is providing owner equity and bank financing of $260,000.  The Metroplex Board will be asked to approve a $50,000 loan to complete the project financing.  Clinton’s Ditch plans to create 13 jobs within two years.

Tim Trier said, “We have seen great change in the city in recent months and the opening of Clinton’s Ditch is another step forward in Schenectady’s renewal effort.  It’s truly exciting to see the recent surge of new businesses committing to the city and I look forward to working with the Metroplex to achieve it’s goal of making Schenectady the Capital District’s destination for both work and entertainment.”

Absolute Perfection is a new florist shop that will open at 148 Jay Street next to Ambition.  The shop will feature 2,200 square feet of space housing a full-scale commercial florist with an emphasis on corporate accounts, weddings and special occasions.  The store will feature classes in floral design and will also display in a gallery setting the works of local artists and craftsmen.   The owners plan to create 7 jobs within the next two years.  A $183,000 investment is planned.  The Metroplex Board will be asked to approve a $10,000 grant to help finance leasehold improvements.  The company will also be eligible to apply for funding from the Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation’s (DISC) façade program.  Greg Salomon from the Jay Street Business Association worked closely with Metroplex to land the new retailer for Jay Street.

Freda Yorganson, co-owner of Absolute Perfection said, “Downtown Schenectady is absolutely the perfect place for our new enterprise.  We look forward to serving the growing customer base downtown and we appreciate the support we have received from Metroplex and the Jay Street Business Association.”

Accent Health Care Services, Inc. will lease 1,600 square feet of office space at 670 Franklin Street.  The firm is a certified, licensed home health care agency providing services for elderly and disabled clients in eight counties since 1992.  The firm will start with 3 office staff and 18 field staff at its new Schenectady office.  This number is expected to grow to 6 office staff and up to 100 field staff within five years.  Accent plans to purchase a building downtown to handle future growth within the two years. The Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation provided assistance to Accent Health Care Services in establishing operations downtown.

George Cox, Branch Manager of Accent Health Care Services said, “Our mission is to provide those in need of health care with kindness, understanding, support and security.  We look forward to contributing to the economic health and vitality of the new downtown Schenectady.”

Potratz Partners Advertising is a full service ad agency specializing in the automotive, medical and legal industries.  The firm plans to lease space 1,900 square feet of office space at 323 Clinton Street.  The firm employs 6 and plans on adding 6 more employees within the next 12 months to handle increased activity from corporate accounts from around the country.  Metroplex provided technical assistance to help the company gain approvals needed to establish operations at the new location.

Paul D. Potratz, President of Potratz Partners Advertising said, “Deciding to open our offices in Schenectady was our first choice.  Property is very affordable, opportunities are endless, and with the current leadership of Schenectady there are so many great things happening.  It was an easy decision to be part of it all.  Schenectady understands a strong business environment creates a strong community.”

Gary Hughes, Chairman of the County Legislature’s Committee on Economic Development and Planning said, “This is proof that our unified economic development team can work with small businesses as well as large companies.  Small businesses like these four companies are what will give downtown new vitality.”

City Council President Frank J. Maurizio said, “While the big projects get most of the headlines, Schenectady also depends on small businesses that serve a consumer niche and help strengthen our economic base. These new, diverse enterprises will enhance our downtown and strengthen its position as a destination spot for shoppers and business people.”

Ray Gillen, Metroplex Chair and Commissioner of Economic Development and Planning said, “We appreciate the confidence shown by these four firms in our new downtown.  Schenectady is winning again –we have momentum downtown and a united front when it comes to redeveloping our community.”

Metroplex Vice Chairman Brad Lewis said, “This is another example of Metroplex’s giving modest amounts of money to help firms relocate on city cites for which the costs of site renovation would be higher than elsewhere.  This concept of leveling the playing field works because these businesses know a downtown location would be an excellent place for them to flourish once they’ve moved in.”

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