Upper Union Street Renewal Continues

May 10, 2007

SCHENECTADY, N.Y., May 9, 2007 — The Metroplex Board today approved $250,000 to continue the highly successful Upper Union Street Façade Program.   Four projects including ten different storefronts have already committed to complete façade rehabs this season.

The Upper Union Street Façade program is a 50/50 matching grant program available to commercial tenants and property owners in the Upper Union Street Assessment area. The program can assist with all aspects of façade rehabilitations including windows, doors, trim, siding, and signage. In addition to the 50/50 matching grant for construction funds, the program can also provide architectural services at no cost to the building owner.

To date the program has helped to improve the facades of twelve Upper Union Street buildings representing twenty-three businesses including Northeastern Fine Jewelry, Gershon’s Deli, Scotti’s Restaurant, Ferri Formals and Union Street Aquarium.

Michael Mastroianni, Chair of the Upper Union Street BID said, “This additional funding from Metroplex is a vote of confidence in our program and in the success of Union Street.”

Gary Hughes, Chair of the County Legislature’s Economic Development Committee said, “Upper Union Street is a key gateway to Schenectady. We are very pleased that this additional funding will be available to complete additional renovations this year. Upper Union Street is going strong and we are pleased to partner in this effort.”

Guy Sementilli, owner of Scotti’s Restaurant and member of the Upper Union Street BID Board and Façade Committee said, “The changes we made to our façade have helped improve our business. The whole street is looking so nice — it really draws new customers.”

Bob Hess, owner of KEM Plaza, said “The Façade Program is very important as we rebuild the KEM Plaza, a key location in the Upper Union Street Shopping District. We will be looking for additional tenants and having a beautiful new façade will help us attract new merchants.”

Ray Gillen, Chair of Metroplex said, “The Upper Union Street BID is doing an excellent job in renovating the look and feel of this key commercial district. Metroplex is pleased to work with them and is proud to co-sponsor and help fund this program.”

The storefronts to be renovated this year represent some of the key commercial properties that still need improvement including: Kem Plaza at 1707 Union Street; the AJ Floral Building at 1609 Union Street; Domani Salon at 1606 Union Street and the former Gidley’s Framing building at 1712 Union Street. Together these locations will host ten renovated storefronts after façade improvements are complete.

The Upper Union Street Bid and Metroplex are seeking additional applicants to complete a façade improvement project this year with a combination of private funding and façade matching grants.   More information is available by contacting Anne Savage at 518-273-8980.

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