Schenectady, N.Y., November 10, 2016 – The Board of Directors of the Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority met last evening and approved six projects that will renovate nine buildings and construct four new ones bringing almost $37 million in new investment to Schenectady County.
“Tonight’s meeting keeps us moving forward by attracting new investment and jobs to Schenectady County,” said Ray Gillen, Metroplex Chair.
The first project approved by the Board was a $175,000 grant that will bring a $6 million investment and 350 new jobs to downtown Schenectady. Bechtel Marine Propulsion Corporation (BMPC) has signed a five-year lease with an option to extend the lease term for more than 70,000 square feet of vacant space at One Liberty Plaza located on Liberty Street in the heart of downtown. Renovations are already underway.
The next item approved by the Board is the Mohawk Harbor Townhouse building, a $9.2 million project. “This project continues the momentum at Mohawk Harbor, Schenectady’s new $500 million waterfront,” Gillen said.
The third project approved by the Metroplex Board is a contract for $210,000 to renovate the Weigh Station building on Broadway. The winning bidder is Mid-State Industries Ltd. of Schenectady.
“This is an historic building that Metroplex took ownership of when we purchased downtown parking lots. This project replaces the roof and makes sure that the building is preserved. Metroplex is also applying to place the Weigh Station on the Historic Register,” said Gillen
Metroplex also voted to support another historic renovation project by approving a $75,000 grant toward the cost of filling vacant space at 108 Union Street. This building, located in the Stockade District, was built in the 1830’s. It once served as the County Courthouse and later was used by MVP for offices. The building will be upgraded with a private investment of $825,000 to transform vacant space into seven new apartments and two commercial office suites. Reza Mahoutchian, who has successfully renovated dozens of buildings in Schenectady including many properties in the Stockade and on Union Street, is renovating this historic property.
Another building in the Front Street neighborhood adjoining the Stockade is also being renovated. The Board approved a $25,000 façade grant. The building is receiving a $500,000 make over by Saverio Minucci who successfully renovated the former MVP headquarters at 111 Liberty Street. He is also a partner in several large developments in the Capital Region including Stoneledge Terrace in Troy and the Rivers Ledge in Niskayuna. The building at 4-6 River Street has been vacant for some time. The renovation project rehabs the building into six apartments.
The Hillside View Project also received final approval. This is a project that renovates two vacant school buildings on Craig Street with a $20 million investment by The Community Builders, a nationally known housing developer based in Boston. Metroplex is providing $225,000 for this project. In addition to renovating two vacant schools, the project also renovates three homes on Stanley Street and constructs three new buildings on Stanley and Emmett Streets.
Finally, the board authorized submitting grant applications to launch two new projects downtown.
On plans to renovate the former Annie Schaffer Senior Center at 101 Nott Terrace, the board authorized calling for a public hearing and authorized Metroplex to enter into an agreement with the City of Schenectady if a Restore New York grant is awarded for the project. A grant application was submitted last month and a decision is expected within the next few months. The project involves a major renovation to the long vacant 22,000 square foot building at the corner of Eastern Avenue and Nott Terrace.
The Metroplex Board also approved calling for a public hearing and begin the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) process for a new development project that would take place on lower State Street. Metroplex has applied for funding with the Governor’s Regional Economic Development Council to help renovate six buildings on lower State Street and on Mill Lane to create the Mill Artisan District. A decision on this grant application is expected later this year.
The Metroplex Board meets monthly to review projects that create jobs and bring new private investment to Schenectady County. For more information, see www.schenectadymetroplex.org.