Several buildings along lower State Street will receive facade upgrades and other work, part of a strategy to target the area for redevelopment, county economic development officials said.
The Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corp. awarded $230,000 in facade grants to nine buildings and is also providing some with grants from the New York State Main Street Program.
Building owners must provide a one-to-one match to the grants, but often provide more, said Ray Gillen, chairman of the Metroplex Development Authority. Metroplex provides funding for the DSIC-operated facade program.
Gillen said the nine projects, which will begin this summer, bring to 101 the total number of building owners who have used the downtown facade program to improve the appearance of their businesses.
“We are being strategic about the facade program. We went out with the DSIC and helped sign these people up,” Gillen said.
“Our goal was to hit the ground running when weather broke,” Gillen said.
James Salengo, DSIC executive director, said the Main Street Program provides grants to new commercial and residential construction projects in designated corridors. DSIC has obtained $600,000 through the program over the last three years.
“It dovetails well with the facade program,” Salengo said.
Among the buildings set to undergo renovation is the Nicholaus Building, home to Bangkok Bistro Thai Restaurant. Building owners will upgrade the facade and turn vacant space on the third floor into lofts.
“This is a key building,” Gillen said. The building, built in 1901, is at Erie Boulevard and State Street, an important city intersection.
Gillen said work should begin later this year on a $14 million project to redesign Erie Boulevard.
Also receiving a facade grant is 214 State St., home to the Schenectady ARC. Gillen called the structure one of the largest commercial buildings on lower State Street.
“This project will help bring the revitalization that is occurring on the Proctors block to lower State Street,” he said.
The owners of the Morgan building, 322 State St., plan to use their facade grant to install a metal facing on the building. Fire badly damaged the building several years ago.
Other facade recipients are:
u 411 State St., Paul Mitchell School. The school will make improvements to the Franklin Street entrance.
u 146 Jay St., Ideal Office Supply.
u 123-127 Jay St., Jay Street Gaming.
u 28 Jay St.
u 30 Jay St.
u 9 North Broadway.