Schenectady, N.Y., July 29, 2015 — The Schenectady County Metroplex Board of Directors met this evening and approved a number of development projects.
The first resolution marks the start of construction at the Robinson Block project in downtown Schenectady. The project represents a $20 million private investment by Prime Companies and Highbridge Development in a new 144,000 square foot, four-story building which will include 9,900 square feet of ground floor retail space, 105 apartments and underground parking. The new building will be constructed facing both lower State Street and Erie Boulevard and will replace several vacant buildings and empty lots. The Metroplex Board approved a resolution providing $515,600 in funding for site prep including asbestos remediation so that a clean, shovel-ready site can be turned over to the developers. Martin Environmental Services, Inc., based in Schenectady, will perform the asbestos remediation work. Metroplex is recouping a large share of the site development cost by selling the property to the developer for $328,000.
Ray Gillen, Metroplex Chair said, “We are pleased to be moving forward with this major $20 million investment in downtown Schenectady.”
The Metroplex Board also approved a number of resolutions that will help pave the way for construction of a new $14 million train station in downtown Schenectady. The Board approved selling a small piece of land in a parking lot it owns next to the current station to allow for construction of the new station. The Board also approved a license agreement to allow access to the Metroplex-owned parking area during construction and an agreement that allows construction of a new walkway from the new station to State Street through the parking lot.
The last station-related item is approval for Metroplex to enter into a betterment agreement with the State to make improvements to the parking lot that surrounds the station. As part of the new station project, the main parking lot surrounding the station will be rebuilt. The area in front of the Wall Street building, next to Erie Boulevard, is not covered by this lot improvement being done for the Amtrak project, so Metroplex approved spending $48,000 to improve this section of the lot. Metroplex will own and operate the entire lot.
Gillen said, “We are pleased to be working closely with NYS DOT and Amtrak to bring this new station to downtown Schenectady.”
The Board also approved $50,000 to paint the rail bridge at Erie Boulevard and Union Street. Metroplex is currently rebuilding Union Street, and so it made sense to improve the rail crossing while other upgrades were underway.
The last item approved by the Board was $189,000 for upgrades to the Metroplex-owned parking garage, including a back-up generator as well as upgrades to the main entrance to the parking facility.
Contact: Ray Gillen, Metroplex