Schenectady, NY – The City of Schenectady has been awarded a $960,161 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) to be administered by the NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services. The successful grant application was submitted by Schenectady’s Development Department under FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant program.
“This grant will help us demolish three buildings that were damaged by Hurricane Irene and will prevent future flooding by adding much needed green space in our downtown,” said Mayor Gary R. McCarthy. “We are pleased that our application for funding has been approved and eager to see the continued revitalization of this major entrance to the City.”
The grant will allow the City of Schenectady to acquire three buildings located at the entrance to downtown at 18 State Street, 10 State Street, 108 Railroad Street, and a vacant lot at 116 Railroad Street. The first property at 18 State Street, owned by Scautub Insurance Agency, received flood damage and the company relocated its insurance agency to 108 North Ballston Avenue in Scotia. The other three properties are owned by the Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority, including the former AAA Northway offices at 10 State Street and 108 Railroad Street. The company worked with Metroplex to relocate to Center City at 433 State Street after flooding occurred.
Under the FEMA grant, the City will demolish the three buildings and then incorporate the vacant lots into a new and expanded Liberty Park in downtown Schenectady to be renamed Gateway Plaza due its location at the gateway to downtown Schenectady. The expanded green space will be another boost to lower State Street which is in the midst of numerous development projects including the $20 million renovation of the former YMCA at 13 State Street as senior apartments and the construction of the new $20 million Electric City apartments and retail space on lower State Street. The new Gateway Plaza will also border Schenectady County Community College.
Work is expected to start in 2016 on the new Gateway Plaza.