Metroplex Board Approves Sale of Foster Building

Metroplex Board Approves Sale of Foster Building


NEWS RELEASE                                                For Immediate Release


Contact: Ray Gillen, Metroplex
(518) 377-1109
(518) 461-7137 (cell)


Metroplex Board Approves Sale of Foster Building

Troy Developers Select Schenectady for Next Project

Historic Building to be Converted to Loft Apartments, Office and Retail Space

Schenectady, N.Y., July 9, 2014 — The Schenectady County Metroplex Board of Directors met today and approved plans by a development group based in Troy to purchase the Foster Building located at 508 State Street on the Proctors Block in downtown Schenectady. Sequence Development will purchase the six-story Foster building from Metroplex for $475,000.

The Foster Building is listed on the Federal Register of Historic Places.  The building’s ornate façade makes it one of the most important historical structures in the Capital Region.

Ray Gillen, Metroplex Chair said, “We are excited to be working with Jeff Buell and his team on the Foster project.  Sequence Development is doing great work in Troy and we look forward to working with them to restore a key building in Schenectady.”

Sequence Development is a partner in several large construction projects including the $27 million Monument Square project in Troy. The firm is currently restoring 9 and 16 First Street in Troy, a $2.4 million project. The first phase of this project involves the rehabilitation of a 150-year old brownstone that has been vacant since 1996.

Jeff Buell said, “We are thrilled to be undertaking this very worthwhile endeavor in the heart of Downtown Schenectady. We believe very strongly that the Foster Building should be a key cog in downtown life, and look forward to creating a dynamic product in Schenectady that people enjoy for a very long time. The infrastructure of Schenectady-buildings, history, people, and leadership is outstanding and we are quite proud to be joining the revitalization efforts.”

Sequence Development is planning to convert the Foster Building into 12 upscale loft apartments, two offices, ground floor retail space and a roof top deck at 510 State Street which adjoins the Foster Building. The total project cost is estimated at $2.6 million. BBL Construction Services will perform the renovation work.

Metroplex will hold a mortgage on the $475,000 purchase price with an interest rate of 4% payable over fifteen years.  The development authority will also provide a $200,000 façade grant to restore and preserve the building’s façade which faces State Street.

In other action, the Metroplex Board approved $185,000 for upgrades at the corner of Liberty and Clinton Streets in downtown Schenectady.  The funding will be used for a major upgrade to the streetscape including landscaping, tree planters, new sidewalks and pedestrian areas. The area has not been improved since the main branch of the County Library system was built in the late 1960’s.

“The County Library system is an important service we provide for our residents. The County Legislature has made a significant investment in the library system on behalf of our constituents to ensure that it continues to be a resource for our community,” said Anthony Jasenski, Chairman of the County Legislature.  “These improvements include the soon to be constructed Phyllis Bornt Branch Library and Literacy Center and the major expansion of the Central Library building completed last year, which looks great and is drawing more people to the Library – almost 400,000 visitors each year.  This new project will enhance the exterior of the Central Library by improving all of the common areas on Clinton and Liberty Streets. The goal is to create a better looking exterior area surrounding the Library and connect this area with the rest of downtown.”

The Board also approved $65,000 to continue to improve the Upper Union Street corridor.  The funding will pay for improvements to sidewalks and other upgrades to the streetscape in this area which is an important gateway to Schenectady.  Metroplex continues to partner with the City of Schenectady and the Upper Union Street Business Improvement District to invest in upgrades in this part of the City of Schenectady.

Finally, the Board moved ahead with another brownfield clean up project by approving $85,000 to match a State grant of $815,000 through the NYS DEC’s Environmental Restoration Program.  The funding will be used to clean up a vacant lot at 37 Van Guysling Avenue in Schenectady. The lot, once it is cleaned up, will provide a development site in the Broadway Commerce Park — an in-city business park developed by Metroplex along the Broadway corridor from I-890 to State Street.