EDC loan to aid in development of former YWCA

The Fulton County Economic Development Corp. has loaned $88,500 to a local couple to purchase the fo

The Fulton County Economic Development Corp. has loaned $88,500 to a local couple to purchase the former YWCA building for their business ventures.

As part of the deal with Michael and Hannah McAllister, the EDC will hold the mortgage on the former YWCA property at 33 Bleecker St. The EDC has also secured personal guarantees from the McAllisters as additional collateral for the loan, said Michael Reese, president and CEO of the EDC’s parent corporation, the Fulton County Center for Regional Growth.

Reese said the EDC made the loan from its revolving loan fund based on the McAllisters’ business plan. The McAllisters plan to create five jobs with their ventures, SkyHeart Studio, which is an arts venue, and Earth Heart, which makes bath and body products for sale commercially. They are also leasing part of the building to an accounting firm.

“The McAllisters are trying to make it a worthwhile venue to bring people downtown, which is a worthwhile concept,” Reese said. “The project also puts the building back into use, creates jobs and creates collateral for security on the loan. We will also look at the cash flow,” he said.

Reese said the McAllisters will put the former YWCA building, which had been tax-exempt, back on the tax rolls, starting with the 2013 assessment.

He said the EDC often makes loans to high-risk ventures as part of its mission to spur economic development in Fulton County.

“We do present ourselves as being a lender of higher-risk projects. We are trying to attract new investment to places like downtown Gloversville, and we are seeking to reuse these vacant buildings,” he said.

The YWCA, an institution in the city since the late 1800s, shuttered its doors June 30, 2010, citing a decline in membership and growing financial pressures. It transferred ownership of its remaining assets to the McAllisters for $1 on Dec. 9. The 35,694-square-foot building includes kitchens, bathrooms, a gymnasium that can hold 320 people and various other rooms that can hold upwards of 100 people.

Categories: Schenectady County

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