Zombie Property on Cornelius Avenue in Niskayuna will be Renovated

Schenectady County, NY (June 7, 2019) — The Capital Region Land Bank today announced that it has selected a developer to renovate a vacant zombie property located at 2 Cornelius Avenue in the Town of Niskayuna.

“We are moving forward with renovations to one of the worst zombie properties in Schenectady County,” said Richard Ruzzo, Chairman of the Capital Region Land Bank and a member of the Schenectady County Legislature.  “The Land Bank continues to fight blight and we are pleased to move forward with a solution that will save this home and provide relief for the neighboring homeowners. Our goal is stronger neighborhoods and we realize that goal with this project.”

The Land Bank took title to the property in May. A request for qualifications was issued and three responses were received. The Land Bank Executive Committee voted this week to proceed with a sale of the property for $5,000 to Lunde & Co. LLC. The developer will invest over $100,000 to completely renovate the property and then sell it to an owner occupant.

Renovations will start immediately. The property is located close to Hillside Elementary School and the Upper Union Street Business District.

Sara Mae Pratt, a member of the Schenectady County Legislature County representing Niskayuna and Glenville said, “Protecting our neighborhoods is one of the reasons I wanted to get involved in local government.  My thanks to the Land Bank for dealing with properties that negatively impact property values and the quality of life for our families.”

Denise Murphy McGraw, Niskayuna Town Board member said, “Niskayuna has great neighborhoods, but we also have a few zombie properties that need fixing and I’ve been dedicated to make that happen.  The Land Bank did a great job here and I plan to keep working with them to address other zombie houses in Town.”

The Land Bank is already focusing on its next project in Niskayuna.  The owner of 1125 Mohawk Road has obtained a demolition permit for the property from the Town. The vacant structure is in extremely poor condition and is one of the worst zombie properties in Schenectady County.  The Land Bank has been in constant contact with the owner to encourage him to take the building down.

The Land Bank is also working with Town officials to address a property at 1019 Van Antwerp Road.  The owner of the home passed away and there are apparently no immediate heirs to take control of the property.  The home has been vacant since 2017 and has broken windows and is blighted. Neighbors have expressed concern about the safety of the property including foul odors due to the presence of feral cats.  The Land Bank has provided guidance to the Town on declaring the home abandoned which would allow the Town and or the Land Bank to take title to the property and demolish it.

Metroplex administers the Capital Region Land Bank as part of Schenectady County’s unified economic development team.