Schenectady County

Capitol Plaza future a town IDA target

Despite Capitol Plaza’s prime location at one of Rotterdam’s busiest intersections, the dilapidat


Despite Capitol Plaza’s prime location at one of Rotterdam’s busiest intersections, the dilapidated complex remains vacant.

Plans to build a 14,500-square-foot Walgreens pharmacy on the site crumbled more than six months ago and the property appears no closer to attracting a new development today. Town officials aren’t even sure which of the three real estate signs posted on the building belongs to the company marketing the property.

“We really don’t know who is listing the building,” said town Code Enforcement officer Pat Carroll.

But that could change. The Rotterdam Industrial Development Agency is in discussions with building owner Jeff Musiker.

Scott Krikorian, the recently hired executive director of the Rotterdam IDA, approached Musiker this fall with an offer to help market the property. And though declining to discuss what the agreement would entail, he said Musiker seems interested.

“I think we’re getting very close to signing on to work with him,” he said. “They’re looking at different options and I’ve given him the option to work with us.”

Calls to Musiker were not returned Tuesday evening.

The kitschy 1950s-era shopping center at the corner of Altamont Avenue and Curry Road once bustled with more than a dozen businesses. At least one — Ferrara’s Dance Studio — had been located in the two-story building for more than 40 years before plans for the drugstore were submitted to the town in 2005 and approved a year later.

But the project faced hurdles including the acquisition of more land, the relocation of tenants that had signed long-term leases with Capitol Plaza and delays on the part of the prospective developer, HDB Ventures. In August 2008, a spokeswoman from Walgreens said the company was no longer interested in building the store.

Musiker and HDB continued to negotiate for several months. But, the continued downturn of the economy eventually put an end to the project in June.

Ever since, the town’s code enforcers have been trying to bring the building into compliance. Carroll said the town has received a number of complaints about the condition of the property since June and could soon issue citations for its poor condition.

The main violation are the signs that advertise businesses no longer there. For instance, the Newest Lunch and I Love New York Pizza signs still hang from the building, despite the last of the businesses leaving in February 2008.

“Things still need to be addressed there,” Carroll said.

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