Schenectady, the birthplace of GE and home to more than 66,000 people, has seen little economic improvement over the past several
years. However, in 2014, that all began to change after the city received major economic incentives and formulated plans to revitalize the region to make it more attractive for businesses to operate.
Schenectady received $5 million in early 2014 as part of the third round of the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) awards. This portion of the award was given to redevelop the former ALCO site into a mixed-use waterfront community. In the fourth round of REDC awards at the end of 2014, an additional $60 million was awarded to the Capital Region, $1.2 million of which was earmarked to revitalize Lower State Street in Schenectady.
The most significant stimulus for economic improvement has been the River Casino & Resort project. This $300 million project will
consist of a 50,000-square-foot entertainment complex on a 60-acre site along the Mohawk River. Ground breaking occurred in December 2014 with completion projected for June 2016. The casino project was a major factor in Moody’s Investor Service dropping its negative outlook for Schenectady. Moody’s has now affirmed the A3 rating on the debt.
Another major development project underway is the $26.2 million revitalization of 845 Broadway. The former industrial property
is being transformed into a 96,000– square-foot residential building consisting of 155 luxury apartment units. Also, the 85,000-square-foot Curry Road Shopping Center is being redeveloped into 180 units of senior housing and 6,200 square feet of retail space as part of a $20 million project.Schenectady also spent $2 million to upgrade the former Grand Union Station at 2696 Hamburg St in Rotterdam. The property was developed into a 40,000-squarefoot flex building that includes 20,000 square feet each of office and warehouse space.
The REDC Awards seem to be paying off for Schenectady. The asking rents for retail space in the region increased in 2014 by 14.3% according to CoStar Research.
In the words of Mayor Gary McCarthy in his 2015 State of the City address, “2014 was a very good year, and we should
all be excited about the future.”
Based on the January headlines at the Schenectady Metroplex Development Authority, more exciting developments are in store in 2015. Just last month, Metroplex touted a new $6 million retail project; the first tenant approval for New York BizLab’s startup; and the $21 million expansion of Von Roll USA in Schenectady County.
Sandhu, Mandeep. “Albany: Revitalization in Schenectady.” CoStar Group: New York State CRE News 1 (9 Feb. 2015): 1. Print.