Schenectady, N.Y. – The Schenectady County Metroplex Board of Directors met today and approved the purchase of the former Olender Building in downtown Schenectady for $85,000. Metroplex also approved the purchase of the former Robinson Furniture site next door to the Olender Building under an existing option agreement with the City of Schenectady.
Metroplex plans to demolish the former Olender Building. The site will then be combined with the adjoining Robinson site to create a nearly one acre shovel ready parcel facing both lower State Street and Erie Boulevard. Metroplex will sell the parcel for fair market value to a developer who will construct a mixed-use project at the site.
Olender Mattress closed all of its Capital Region stores including the location in downtown Schenectady in 2011. The building at 254 State Street has a very outdated façade that is in very poor condition along with severe water damage and structural issues inside the building. Metroplex will buy the building for $85,000 and issue bids for demolition.
The Metroplex Board also approved the purchase of the former Robinson site at 238, 240 and 248 State Street. The building at this site was demolished in 2007. Metroplex has an existing option agreement with the City to acquire the site for $1 and then provide half the proceeds to the City when Metroplex sells the parcel for fair market value.
Metroplex has completed extensive due diligence on both the Olender building and the Robinson site. A detailed environmental survey including drilling at the site found no environmental issues so the site is ready for redevelopment. Metroplex will complete the demolition of the Olender Building and then turn over a shovel ready site to the developer.
“We are taking a major step forward with our redevelopment effort on lower State Street with the approval of the purchase of the Olender and Robinson sites,” said Ray Gillen, Metroplex Chair and Commissioner of Economic Development and Planning for Schenectady County.
Mayor Gary McCarthy said, “The City of Schenectady will continue to work closely with Metroplex to redevelop lower State Street and tonight’s action by the Metroplex Board is certainly something that we support as it will be a catalyst for future growth in this part of downtown.”
In other action, the Metroplex Board called for a public hearing to be held on its next bond issuance. Metroplex plans to issue bonds in early 2014 for a number of projects including the GE Battery plant, lower State Street redevelopment, downtown infrastructure work, parking improvements and upgrades to Business Parks in Schenectady County. Metroplex has an A+ credit rating from Standard and Poor’s and a comparable A1 rating from Moody’s Investor Services.