New Center City Celebrates Five Years of Success in Downtown Schenectady

New Center City Celebrates Five Years of Success in Downtown Schenectady

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

New Center City Celebrates Five Years of Success in Downtown Schenectady

Schenectady, N.Y., January 15, 2016 — The Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority today joined with the Galesi Group to celebrate five years of success at the new Center City complex located at 433 State Street in downtown Schenectady.  The $33 million project has been open for five years generating new jobs and tax revenue in downtown Schenectady.

Prior to redevelopment, Center City was a vacant soccer arena with empty retail and office space that was in extremely poor condition. The building generated only $10,000 a year in property taxes.

The Galesi Group completed renovations to over 160,000 square feet of existing space in the building preserving the façades of the former Wallace and Grants store’s.  A new 55,000 square foot, five-story office tower with ground floor retail space was built at the corner of Jay Street and State Street. The new Center City was built using many green building elements and the heating and cooling system is provided by the district energy plant operated by Proctors.

In total, the Galesi Group invested over $30 million in the new Center City. Metroplex invested $934,000 including $450,000 used as a match to secure a $2.5 million Restore New York grant awarded to the project through a state-wide competition. In addition, Metroplex invested $484,000 in building renovations.

Tenants at the building include M/E Engineering, NBT Bank, AAA Northway headquarters, SCCC’s downtown campus, Schenectady YMCA, CVS, Wink, Johnny’s, Adecco, Rush Street Gaming, Metroplex and Assemblyman Santabarbara’s district office.

Over 250 people work in the building. Another 1,400 students take classes at SCCC. The new Schenectady YMCA has 5,200 members, up from 1,800 at the old facility at 13 State Street which is being converted into senior housing.  Over 73,000 people visited the Center City YMCA last year.  The YMCA also hosts SCCC’s basketball home games and other sporting events.

The building pays more than $300,000 in property taxes – thirty times more than was paid when the building was a vacant soccer arena.  The building also generates a significant amount of sales tax.

A $750,000 loan to the original Center City project dating back to the 1970’s is also being repaid to the City in ten annual installments of $75,000 each.  This loan was never collected by city administrations prior to 2004.

Parking revenue to Metroplex from the building exceeds $112,000. Overall the building is generating almost $900,000 in direct revenues each year. This does not include sales tax generated by Center City employees and visitors at other downtown venues bringing the total revenues to almost $1 million annually.

“Center City today is a major success story.  Located at the heart of downtown, the building has exceeded expectations with regard to bringing jobs and visitors to downtown Schenectady. From Johnny’s to the new YMCA and SCCC, to offices and retail, we believe this building has achieved all of the goals we set out to achieve when we took on the challenge with Metroplex to rehab a vacant soccer arena five years ago,” said David M. Buicko, COO of the Galesi Group.

‘We thank the Galesi Group and all of the tenants for working together to make this building a great addition to downtown,” said Ray Gillen, Metroplex Chair.  Metroplex invested almost $1 million and the building now generates almost $1 million each year for local governments. What was a vacant eyesore is now a job and revenue generator for Schenectady.”

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Center City at State and Jay Streets