Seven years after the space was renovated for office use, a downtown Schenectady building is slated for conversion to loft apartments by the fall.
City and county officials are hoping the space at 409 State St., across the street from the Bow Tie Movieland, will help attract a new crop of residents to the city, from grad students to young tech workers.
Currently, the first-floor offices are occupied by the state Commission on Quality of Care and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities, which moved in five years ago. The second floor, which has very high ceilings, is being targeted for the loft apartments. The Galesi Group will develop seven apartments, a mix of one- and two-bedroom units.
“We’re seeing more interest in a residential downtown,” said Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority Chairman Ray Gillen. “There’s eight residential town houses going up on Union and Barrett. The lofts above Aperitivo across the street are completely sold out.”
The 17,000-square-foot building was gutted and renovated in 2005 with new elevators, heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment. The Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority helped fund improvements and resurfacing to the facade, as well.
The building was constructed in 1920, and once housed a D&K Dollar Store that closed in 2005.
Gillen said the developer had focused renovations on the first floor of 409 State in the past, but finally acted to address the empty space upstairs.
“They just finally said, ‘Let’s do apartments up there,’ ” he said. “They really think it’s a great location. It’s near the movie theater, near the YMCA. And the second floor is kind of funky with very high ceilings that work very well, so their idea was, ‘Let’s do residential and convert them to lofts.’ ”
The final cost for the Galesi Group-funded project is currently unknown, as the developer has not yet solicited bids.
Galesi Group Chief Operating Officer David Buicko said in a news release Thursday that the building’s proximity to Proctors, the Paul Mitchell School and other downtown attractions makes it a prime location.
“We feel these units will be a great addition to the continued growth of downtown, which we are pleased and proud to support,” he said.
Schenectady County Legislature Chairwoman Judy Dagostino said in the news release that the availability of new residential housing should bring new customers to downtown businesses.
“It is so important that we have attractive housing options for those being hired by our growing businesses throughout the county,” she said, “especially the new high-tech jobs that are being created.”
The Galesi Group is working with Saratoga Springs-based Bonacio Construction and Re4orm Architecture, the Schenectady firm that designed the renovations being done on the Schenectady County Public Library.
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