Metroplex Board Approves SEQRA for Mohawk Harbor including Rivers Casino & Resort

Metroplex Board Approves SEQRA for Mohawk Harbor including Rivers Casino & Resort


NEWS RELEASE                                             For Immediate Release



Contact: Ray Gillen, Metroplex

(518) 377-1109

(518) 461-7137 (cell)


Metroplex Board Approves SEQRA for Mohawk Harbor including Rivers Casino & Resort


New Double Tree Hotel and NYBiz Lab Projects Also Approved Bringing $15 million in New Investment to Downtown Schenectady

Schenectady, N.Y., October 22, 2014 — The Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority met tonight and approved three projects that create jobs and bring new investment to Schenectady County.

The Metroplex Board approved the Findings Statement thereby completing the supplemental State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) process for the Mohawk Harbor project.  The Board also approved a new $13.1 million DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton and the $1.8 million NY BizLab Project.

The 60-acre Mohawk Harbor project includes a $150 million investment by the Galesi Group in new housing, office, retail and commercial space including a marina and a Marriott Courtyard Hotel. The project also includes the proposed Rivers Casino & Resort at Mohawk Harbor, a $330 million investment.

With the SEQRA process complete, all required approvals are now in place for the Mohawk Harbor and Rivers Casino Project with a total combined investment of $480 million.

Ray Gillen, Metroplex Chair said, “This project reconnects Schenectady with our riverfront and brings new investment, jobs and tax base to our community. We originally completed the SEQRA process in 2010 for the former Alco site, but we felt that a full supplemental SEQRA review was necessary due to proposed changes in the project including the casino. We have completed this process the right way and we believe that our thorough and comprehensive approach to SEQRA will be yet another reason for the Gaming Commission to act favorably on the application by Rivers Casino & Resort.”

The Board also approved plans for a new DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in downtown Schenectady, an $11 million investment by Schahet Hotels Inc. of Indianapolis. Schahet Hotels also owns the Hampton Inn in downtown Schenectady.

The new DoubleTree will be a full service hotel with 124 rooms, fitness center, pool, banquet space, restaurant, and business center. Metroplex will provide a $250,000 grant toward construction costs.

“Schenectady is fortunate to have this $13.1 million private investment by Schahet Hotels,” said Ray Gillen. “The Hampton Inn is a huge success and we look forward to the new DoubleTree by Hilton.”

Greg Schahet, President and CFO of Schahet Hotels said, ““We’re very excited to bring the upscale DoubleTree by Hilton name and product to Schenectady.  This hotel will be the first of its kind in the Capital Region.  New and returning guests and visitors will really enjoy this additional high-quality hospitality option in Schenectady.”

The Board also approved an exciting new tech project for downtown called the NYBizLab.   Metroplex will provide $300,000 to improve the front and rear façade of 251 State Street as part of a $1.8 million gut renovation of the building.  The 25,000 square foot building is a major part of Metroplex’s plan to revitalize lower State Street. The building will be owned and operated by Civco Realty LLC, which is owned by Antonio Civitella. Mr. Civitella is also owner and CEO of Transfinder a major transportation software company that recently completed a $7 million office building on the Proctors Block in downtown Schenectady.

The latest project by Mr. Civitella will feature space for growing tech companies serving a business accelerator. Companies will be eligible for Start-Up New York tax benefits at this location in cooperation with Schenectady County Community College (SCCC).

Mr. Civitella said, “We are proud and excited to be moving ahead with our second building in downtown Schenectady.  The NYBizLab will be a catalyst for tech growth in the Capital Region and the building is a great location for entrepreneurs who want the best of an urban setting. This will be great tech space combined with the exciting Start-Up New York program.”

The board thanked Mr. Civitella for his success with Transfinder and wished him well with the new project which will help drive development on lower State Street which is now a priority for Metroplex as downtown Schenectady continues to rebound with a mix of arts, entertainment and technology projects.