Schenectady, N.Y. – Schenectady County and City leaders today joined with Metroplex to announce plans for a new $10 million cinema/office complex on the corner of State Street and Broadway in downtown Schenectady. The project adds to the rapid pace of development in the City which is being transformed by a major expansion at Proctors, new tech companies relocating downtown, loft housing, a new hotel and new dining and entertainment venues.
“Today we are proud to announce this major new investment in downtown by a proven developer and an outstanding cinema operator. This is the right project on the right corner at the right time,” said Susan E. Savage, Chair of the Schenectady County Legislature. “It is my pleasure to welcome Bow Tie Cinemas to Schenectady County and to thank the Galesi Group for their continued investment in our community.”
Schenectady Mayor Brian U. Stratton thanked Metroplex and Schenectady County leaders for their help in landing a world-class team to build and operate a new cinema/office complex in the heart of the City’s downtown. “The combination of Bow Tie Cinemas and the Galesi Group means one thing – we will have a first class building and hands-down, the best movie going experience in the Capital Region right here in downtown Schenectady,” Mayor Stratton said.
The new cinema/office complex in downtown Schenectady will feature a six screen first run cinema topped by Class A office space. The office complex will have a separate entrance and lobby on State Street while the cinema will have its marquee and entrance at the corner of State and Broadway.
The cinema complex will feature luxurious seating, state of the art sound and film projection equipment, an elegant lobby/concession area and will have a total capacity of over 1,000 seats. The new cinema is directly across the street from the Broadway Parking Garage with 1,100 spaces and within a short walking distance of another 1,000 parking spaces.
Bow Tie Partners is a New York and Colorado-based entertainment and real estate investment and development company specializing in the redevelopment of historic and architecturally significant properties. Bow Tie Cinemas is a subsidiary of Bow Tie Partners specializing in the development and management of deluxe first run cinemas.
The Bow Tie portfolio includes the Bow Tie Building in Times Square which houses company headquarters as well as the flagship stores for Toys “R” Us and the Swatch Watch Company office complexes in Milford and Ridgefield, Connecticut, several properties in Aspen, Colorado, including Movieland, a seven-screen first-run cinema, and Temple Square in New Haven, Connecticut which features a deluxe five-screen, first-run cinema and luxury apartments. Bow Tie Partners is currently developing additional cinema projects in New York, Connecticut, North Carolina and Virginia.
The Bow Tie Partners, Charles B. Moss, Jr. and Ben Moss are respectively the third and fourth generations of a family whose century-old business interests are centered in the real estate and entertainment industries.
The business began in 1900 when Benjamin S. Moss immigrated to the United States from Austria and founded B.S. Moss Enterprises, initially a chain of store front nickelodeons. B.S. Moss Enterprises became a leader in the New York area vaudeville circuit presenting such acclaimed acts as George Burns and Gracie Allen, Harry Houdini and Milton Berle.
Under the direction of B.S. Moss’s son, Charles B. Moss, and grandson, Charles B. Moss, Jr., the theaters grew into the largest independently owned and operated motion picture theater circuit in the New York City area.
The Moss family business enterprise expanded in 1998 when Charles B. Moss, Jr. and his son, Ben, formed Bow Tie Partners – the latest business venture to continue the traditions established by Ben Moss’s great-grandfather over 100 years ago.
Charles B. “Charley” Moss said, “Ben and I and the entire Bow Tie Team are enormously enthusiastic about this exciting project. We are pleased to be part of the dynamic growth that is taking place in downtown Schenectady and look forward to Bow Tie Cinemas becoming an integral part of the community.”
Bow Tie Cinemas plans to show first run films at the new cinema. Joe Masher, General Manager of Bow Tie Cinemas, is a Capital District native who previously served as manager for Cinema 7 in Latham and the Rotterdam Square Mall Cinemas.
The Galesi Group is one of the largest real estate developers in New York State with more than 11 million square feet of space in the Capital Region including industrial parks in Glenville, Rotterdam, Guilderland Center, Green Island, the MVP headquarters and College Park Projects in Schenectady. The company also has major holdings in a number of markets across the United States including New York City, Vermont, Texas, Georgia and California.
Dave Buicko, Chief Operating Officer of the Galesi Group said, “We are proud to continue our commitment to the resurgence of downtown Schenectady. This project will provide much needed Class A office space in the core business district and will complement our project at College Park.”
The Galesi Group will build and own the complex which is scheduled to open in the Fall of 2006. Bow Tie Partners has agreed to long term tenancy in the complex. Bow Tie Partners will invest $2 million to equip and fit-out the theaters. The Galesi Group will invest over $8 million to build the cinema/office complex.
The Galesi Group will privately finance the office component of the project. Financing will be provided by KeyBank. KeyBank will utilize New Market Tax Credits (NMTC) for a portion of the financing package allowing the bank to reduce interest rates as part its effort to help revitalize urban areas. KeyBank was the first bank in the Capital Region and one of the first in the State to qualify to use the NMTC program.
Thomas X. Geisel, President, Capital Region, KeyBank N.A., said, “Key is very pleased to be able to offer NMTC funds as a stimulus to economic development, and this downtown Schenectady project is a perfect use for this financing program. The new cinema/office complex will be an important keystone to continued development in downtown Schenectady,” Key Bank President Tom Geisel said.
Philip Fields representing District #2 in the Schenectady County Legislature said, “This project will generate substantial tax revenue for our community helping us continue the financial turn around for our City and County while at the same time filling a gap in the streetscape with a beautiful building that will add vibrancy and new life to our downtown.”
Robert T. Farley, Minority Leader of the Schenectady County Legislature said “The Schenectady Metroplex was founded to spur the development of private sector business and jobs throughout Schenectady County. Today’s announcement, which provides a dual catalyst for this purpose. The development of a six screen first run movie theater in downtown will establish a critical destination to drive retail and accompanying businesses. The real jewel, however is the development of class A office space. That piece of this initiative offer the promise of bringing in first rate, high paid jobs and businesses to our community. There is a great need for class A office space in the Capital District, and this initiative will place Schenectady in the forefront of attracting the long term economic development that Schenectady needs to rebound.”
City Council President Mark W. Blanchfield said, “The fact that entities with a nation-wide focus such as Bow Tie Partners are getting into the downtown Schenectady real estate and entertainment market sends a clear message about our future. It is gratifying that board rooms across the country are echoing what our citizens have been saying for years–that Schenectady represents a great untapped market for high-end entertainment. “
Ray Gillen, Chairman of Metroplex said, “After serious discussions with ten cinema operators and after reviewing final lease proposals from five cinema companies, we selected the Bow Tie Partners proposal because it offers an ideal match with our redevelopment efforts downtown. When we visited their cinema in New Haven, Connecticut, we were so impressed with the quality of the operation that the choice became clear. In addition, the commitment by the Galesi Group to build much needed Class A office space downtown on multiple floors above the cinema, made this mixed use building an ideal fit for the corner of State and Broadway.”
Metroplex will provide a $3 million loan and a $750,000 façade grant to the Galesi Group to help finance the construction of the cinema portion of the new complex. In addition to loan repayments, the cinema project is expected to generate significant new sales tax revenue for Schenectady County. Metroplex expects to recoup its investment in the project several times over through loan repayments and interest, increased sales tax, property tax and additional investment downtown spurred by the cinema/office complex.