Planned casino boosts interest in Schenectady real estate

12-29-2014

SCHENECTADY — The casino planned to be built in Schenectady is expected to attract more people to the city, and interest in homes near — and even at — Mohawk Harbor is already heating up.

Paula Ross, a realtor at Miranda Real Estate Group in Schenectady, said she is seeing a spike in phone calls from people interested in buying multifamily homes close to the old Alco site, now named Mohawk Harbor, between Erie Boulevard and the Mohawk River.

“Right after the casino announcement I was getting about a 30 percent increase in calls,” she said. “Because the casino is coming people are looking for two-family homes to rent and people are also looking to see how it would affect the sale of their properties nearby.”

The state Gaming Facility Location Board earlier this month recommended Rivers Casino and Resort at Mohawk Harbor for a casino license. The $330 million project is spearheaded by Rotterdam developer the Galesi Group and Rush Street Gaming of Chicago.

Ross said the news “definitely created a little hoopla” with people weighing the positive impacts of a casino on the housing market, and some already deciding to buy homes in the city.

“I recently sold a property two or three blocks from where the casino will be and it was great for the buyer because of the value,” she said. “There is a lot of interest around Seneca Street, Carrie Street, Foster Avenue and State Street. All areas that are pretty close to the casino site.”

The casino will be up and running within two years, possibly in as little as 18 months, according to Rush Street CEO Greg Carlin. The facility is projected to create 1,400 construction jobs and 1,200 permanent jobs.

Those new jobs will mean more people looking for a place to live, said Marion DeSantis, a realtor at RealtyUSA in Niskayuna.

“An increase in home sales doesn’t usually hit in anticipation, but when people take jobs and are looking for homes for their family,” DeSantis said. “When the casino starts hiring I think we will see more people interested in living in the city.”

An estimated $4.1 million in gaming revenue will be provided to the city and the county. The funding will help decrease the city’s property taxes by 10 percent in three years, according to Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy.