Schenectady, N.Y. – Schenectady County leaders joined with City officials and Metroplex to announce today plans by Northeastern Fine Jeweler’s to open a new jewelry store in the front section of the former Carl Company store on State Street adjacent to Proctor’s.
Susan E. Savage, Chair of the Schenectady County Legislature said, “This is an outstanding way to complete a fantastic year in economic development for Schenectady County. Every downtown needs a jewelry store and we are very excited to land the very best – Northeastern Fine Jewelers. Ray Bleser shares in the growing sense of excitement and momentum that is building under the new unified economic development team put in place by the County. We are very pleased that Northeastern Fine Jewelry will open a new jewelry store in the Proctor’s Block while maintaining its existing operation on Upper Union Street.”
Mayor Brian U. Stratton said, “This is a wonderful Christmas present and a welcome addition to downtown Schenectady. My thanks to Ray Bleser for his vision and his investment in downtown. As we restore confidence in the City’s fiscal health, we are creating an exciting new business district downtown featuring the best-known names in Capital Region business including Bleser, Mazzone and Mallozzi.”
Ray Bleser, President of Northeastern Fine Jewelers said, “I am excited about the opportunity to join in the renaissance of downtown Schenectady. My aunt worked at the Carl Company for many years and Schenectady has always been very good to my family. What started as a small store on Upper Union Street has now grown into the largest jewelry operation in the Capital Region plus a new store in Manchester, Vermont. We are pleased to announce plans to grow again this time as part of a new downtown which is being carefully planned and developed by the joint City/County/Metroplex economic development team.”
Northeastern Fine Jewelers has stores in Manchester, Vermont; on Western Avenue in Guilderland and on Upper Union Street in Schenectady. The company has been in business for 24 years and features outstanding customer service and quality merchandise at the best prices. The company is the largest jeweler in the Capital Region. Northeastern Fine Jewelers is a member of Leading Jewelers of the World. Staff includes master jewelers, graduate gemologists and members of the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers.
The new Northeastern Fine Jewelers in downtown Schenectady will feature an elegant façade and a beautiful interior that matches the architectural splendor of Proctor’s. The store will be at the entrance of the former Carl Company, which is being transformed into a expanded Proctor’s arcade as well as a new 450 seat “black-box” theater that will complement the new expanded stage and other improvements to the 2,700 seat Proctor’s Theater.
Gary Hughes, Chair of the County Legislature’s Committee on Economic Development and Planning said, “This project represents a major investment in downtown Schenectady and that kind of investment by a business person as astute as Ray Bleser means he has confidence in Schenectady. He joins a growing list of well-known business people all of whom could have invested anywhere, but chose to invest here. My advice to others is to get in the game because Schenectady is getting hot.”
City Council President Frank Maurizio said, “Adding the name Bleser to the roster of quality successful entrepreneurs like Mazzone and Mallozzi who are investing in downtown demonstrates that the progress we’re making in Schenectady is real and is lasting. Northeastern Fine Jewelry is truly the jewel in the crown of the downtown renaissance.”
Northeastern Fine Jewelry will be eligible to apply for a $40,000 façade grant to help offset a portion of the cost of retrofitting the exterior of the Carl Company space to into a beautiful downtown storefront. The Façade Program is funded by Metroplex in cooperation with the Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation. The program has an established track record for leveraging public dollars with private financing to transform the appearance of downtown properties while increasing the value of real estate and creating jobs in downtown Schenectady.
Northeastern Fine Jewelry plans to invest over $1 million in working capital, inventory, equipment and interior renovations in the new downtown store. The store will create 4 to 5 news jobs.
Ray Gillen Metroplex Chair said, “Quality name brand companies like Northeastern Fine Jewelers led by an outstanding business person like Ray Bleser see that Schenectady is winning again. We have everyone working together in one unified economic development effort and we have a plan that is working – a plan that has resulted in development from Broadway to State Street to College Park. We look forward to future holiday seasons when shoppers will once again visit State Street to buy the finest merchandise from top quality merchants.”
More information may be found at www.nefj.com.