More Affordable Homes Coming to Schenectady

Mayor Gary McCarthy Asks City Council to Approve Sale of Long-Vacant Warehouse on Rankin Avenue to Habitat for Humanity

June 2, 2023

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — Mayor Gary McCarthy announced today that a long vacant warehouse building that sits in the middle of a City neighborhood will be coming down with three new homes built in its place if the City Council approves a resolution proposed by the Mayor at the next council meeting.

“I am asking the City Council to transfer this vacant, blighted property to Habitat for Humanity of Schenectady County so we can demolish it and ready the site for new home ownership opportunities for three families,” Mayor McCarthy said.

The existing building on the .84-acre site will be demolished by the Capital Region Land Bank, which is administered by Metroplex as part of Schenectady County’s unified economic development team.

Mayor McCarthy said, “This is a good example of our efforts to replace blight with progress in our neighborhoods as we partner once again with the Land Bank and Habitat for Humanity.”

The building at 715 Rankin Avenue is an oddity. It is a large vacant derelict former warehouse building. The property is overgrown, and its unkempt condition negatively impacts the neighborhood, which is located just off Eastern Avenue.

Richard Ruzzo, Chairman of the Capital Region Land Bank, and a member of the Schenectady County Legislature said, “Sale of this property to Habitat adds value to surrounding homes, eliminates blight, improves the neighborhood and the environment, and saves the City money. We are pleased to partner with Habitat and the City to make this positive change happen.”

Kathy Fernandez, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity said, “First-time homeownership provides strength, stability, and security to our neighborhoods. Habitat for Humanity of Schenectady County is pleased to partner with the City and Land Bank to provide safe, affordable homes to three more families in Schenectady.”

By selling the site for $3,000 to Habitat, the City is relieved of the $150,000 expense of taking down the structure on its own. The Land Bank will use funding it recently received from NYS Homes and Community Renewal to help revitalize neighborhoods by eliminating zombie properties. The sale also ensures that the Rankin Avenue site will be developed as single-family homes and that the homes will be affordable to neighborhood residents.

The demolition work will be performed by Jackson Demolition based in Schenectady under the supervision of the Land Bank. Work is slated to begin later this summer.

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