Schenectady County Announces Sale/Redevelopment of Former Sears at ViaPort Rotterdam

September 10, 2020

Schenectady, N.Y. — The Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority today joined with Schenectady County officials and the Town of Rotterdam to announce that the 103,000 square foot former Sears store at ViaPort Rotterdam is under contact and will be sold and redeveloped by a growing company based in Syracuse.

“Despite Covid, our economic development team in Schenectady County kept moving forward with our pro-active efforts to redevelop ViaPort Rotterdam. We are very pleased that United Auto Supply will purchase and renovate the former Sears space at the mall, bringing new jobs and economic activity to this important retail center,” said Tony Jasenski, Chairman of the Schenectady County Legislature.

Rotterdam Town Supervisor Steve Tommasone said, “Working together we continue to make important progress in filling up this key commercial space in Rotterdam. We join with Metroplex, Schenectady County and the owners of ViaPort to welcome United Auto Supply to our community.”

“United Auto Supply is very excited to establish a major presence here in Schenectady County. We look forward to bringing new opportunities to the workforce in the surrounding area to distribute our premium products on a regional level,” said James Ranalli III, President of United Auto Supply.

Founded in 1946, United Auto Supply is a leading wholesale distributor of original equipment, aftermarket automotive parts and accessories.  Family owned and operated, United Auto Supply employs over 500 people and operates 30 retail stores in New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio.  The company sells to auto parts stores, new car dealers, heavy duty fleets and independent installers. It represents over 100 manufacturers including AC Delco, Motorcraft, Raybestos, Standard Motor Products and Goodyear among many others.

Company CEO James P. Ranalli Jr. and President James Ranalli III have successfully redeveloped a number of commercial properties in Central New York including the one million square foot former P&C warehouse that now houses United Auto Supply headquarters plus other national tenants and the former Marsellus Casket Company also in Syracuse.

The project in Schenectady County involves an investment of almost $6 million in renovation and equipment costs plus the purchase of the former Sears at ViaPort Rotterdam from Florida-based Via Port USA, a division of Via Properties.

United Auto Supply will convert the Sears space into one of the company’s retail stores.  In addition, part of the space will house the company’s e-commerce business as well as distribution space. The Rotterdam site is expected to create 50 new jobs initially with plans to add an additional 100 jobs in the future as the Rotterdam site serves customers in Northeastern New York and New England.

Ray Gillen, Metroplex Chair said, “ViaPort’s great location just off I-890 has helped us attract several new tenants in a very challenging environment.  We are building on the momentum established when we successful redeveloped the former Macy’s for 700 state jobs.  This is a major step forward in our efforts to make ViaPort a great place to visit, shop and work.  We thank United Auto Supply for this major investment in Rotterdam.”

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