Metroplex Board Approves Façade Project at 140 Erie Boulevard Robinson Block Sale Process Begins, Proctors Grant Work Approved Final Approval for Foster Building, Former Grand Union in Rotterdam
NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release
Contact: Ray Gillen, Metroplex
(518) 461-7137 (cell)
Metroplex Board Approves Facade Project at 140 Erie Boulevard
Robinson Block Sale Process Begins, Proctors Grant Work Approved
Final Approval for Foster Building, Former Grand Union in Rotterdam
Schenectady, N.Y., August, 13, 2014 — The Schenectady County Metroplex Board of Directors met today and approved a $50,000 façade matching grant for 140 Erie Boulevard as well as three other projects in downtown Schenectady and a major renovation of a vacant retail store in Rotterdam.
The project at 140 Erie Boulevard involves an upgrade to the exterior of the 17,000 square foot, two-story building including exterior painting, new lighting, energy efficient windows and new signage.
The building was built in 1880 as a lumber mill along the former Erie Canal. The building is now home to four businesses –- Lyle’s Hoagies, Pleasant Cleaners, Yoga Bliss and Notar & Son.
The building is owned by John Samatulski who also owns 9 North Broadway in downtown Schenectady, a building that he completely renovated two years ago. Mr. Samatulski also helped lead the effort to transform 427 Franklin Street into the new home of the Schenectady Light Opera Company. He was formerly the Executive Director of the Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation.
“Metroplex’s financial support through the facade grant will be essential to the redevelopment of this historic property,” said Samatulski. “The new facade and storefronts will complement the recently completed streetscape, which is driving new interest and development along Erie Boulevard.”
Ray Gillen, Metroplex Chair said, “Metroplex is pleased to help renovate this historic building on Erie Boulevard. We appreciate John Samatulski’s efforts to make this building a showcase along the newly-renovated Erie corridor.”
The Board also began the real property disposition process for the Robinson Block parcels in downtown Schenectady. Under State law, public authorities such as Metroplex must disclose their intent to sell real estate by providing a 90 day notice period. The Robinson Block parcels include the site of the former Robinson Furniture Store, the former Silver Diner site, the former BiMor Army Navy Store and the former Olender Mattress store. Metroplex plans to sell the entire site which totals .58 acres for $311,500, which is the fair market price based on appraisals.
The Metroplex Board also gave final approval to a project considered at last month’s meeting by Troy-based Sequence Development President and CEO Jeff Buell to renovate the Foster Building on the Proctors Block in downtown Schenectady. The project represents a $2.4 million investment by the developer plus a $200,000 façade grant provided by Metroplex.
In other action, the Metroplex Board agreed to assist Proctors by making up to $350,000 in progress payments for restoration work to be done this summer and early fall inside the historic downtown Schenectady Theater. These payments will be reimbursed by Proctors through a State grant received through Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council to make plaster repairs and then complete painting of portions of the ceiling, balcony, mezzanine and lobby area. The grant is being provided by the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. As it has done with other Proctors funded projects, Metroplex will assist the theater by making payments to contractors after work is completed and then be reimbursed in full by the State grant funding. The State requires that costs be incurred by the grant recipient prior to authorizing grant funding.
Metroplex successfully worked with Proctors to renovate Key Hall using a similar approach.
Finally, the Board also approved a $95,000 grant to help support the $2 million renovation of the former Grand Union on Hamburg Street in Rotterdam. The vacant building will be renovated by Highbridge Development based in Schenectady and will be the future home of Superior Business Products.