Schenectady County

Ambitious new building in Glenville covers many angles

There’s hardly a right angle to be found at the new Socha building on Route 50.
Bill Socha stands in front of the new Socha building at 115 Saratoga Road in Glenville on Friday, July 11, 2014.
Bill Socha stands in front of the new Socha building at 115 Saratoga Road in Glenville on Friday, July 11, 2014.

There’s hardly a right angle to be found at the new Socha building on Route 50.

The tiles in the lobby, the shape of the apartments and even the balconies have all been designed with interesting angles in mind. Ceilings feature angled, layered lines. Cabinets open to reveal ever-deepening shelf space from one end to the other. Entire walls are made up of windows that offer views of the county airport to the south and leafy trees to the west.

Between the angled design, a spandrel glass facade and the diverse mix of tenants lined up for the mixed-use building, there is no other building like the new $10 million development at Socha Plaza in Glenville. C2 Design/Architecture, of Schenectady, designed the three-story, 60,000-square-foot facility, and considers it the benchmark by which all future construction efforts in town will be judged.

“There are a lot of cool details here,” said Bill Socha, president of Socha Management, as he led The Daily Gazette on a tour of the space Friday. “You won’t find many square rooms. They’re all angled. That’s really the theme of the building. No two rooms are the same. They’re all unique in their own way.”

His favorite part of the building is the view from the second floor. An entire wall on this floor is just window, offering views of the traffic on Route 50, the wide expanse of land at the Schenectady County Airport, blue skies and puffy white clouds.

Ellis Medicine will soon relocate a nearby primary care practice to a much bigger space on this floor, but 10,000 square feet of office space featuring this very view is still available. Other than that and 1,100 square feet of retail space on the first floor, the rest of the building has been leased out already.

The interior was built out from the top down, so the 16 apartments on the third floor are the closest to completion. Socha said he expects to start renting them out Aug. 1. They include six corporate/extended-stay apartments, six luxury apartments and six standard apartments that range in price from $1,400 a month to $2,600 a month, including cable, television, high-speed Internet and other amenities.

All of the apartments, even the standard units, have an upscale feel to them. They include balconies, tiled bathrooms, kitchens with tiled backsplash and pendant lighting, and copious natural light from lots of windows. The luxury apartments are bigger with skylights, higher-end appliances and hardwood floor instead of carpeting in the living room.

Socha expects the corporate apartments to go fast, and may even turn some of the standard apartments into corporate apartments if demand is high. His family-run business has been renting fully furnished corporate apartments nearby for four years now.

“They’re fully rented right now,” he said. “We have to turn people away. It’s usually people connected to General Electric somehow, usually some company that’s coming in to do some work for General Electric. We have a few people who live in Florida and used to live in the area and rent from us in the summer for three, four months. We also have people who moved to the area and it takes them a while to find a house or have one built.”

Despite ongoing construction, one tenant is already up and running on the first floor. Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital was able to open its outpatient satellite office Tuesday and was already seeing physical therapy patients last week. It’s the fourth satellite office for Sunnyview, which operates a 115-bed hospital right next to Ellis Hospital in Schenectady and outpatient sites in Schenectady, Guilderland and Latham.

Most of the retail spaces on the first floor are being fit up by separate contractors hired by each tenant.

Albany Medical Center will operate a walk-in medical facility on this floor that is currently under construction and slated to open later this month. Brittany Jewelers will relocate from Central Avenue in Colonie to 1,500 square feet of space next to Mio Vino Wine Bar & Bistro, a restaurant in Altamont that is opening its second space in the Socha building.

The lobby features a daylight harvesting lighting system and high ceilings. Krause’s Homemade Candy of Colonie will run a 300-square-foot store in this space, selling peanut brittle, chocolate-covered almost butter toffee, dark chocolate fudge and other treats.

Each tenant has its own opening date set for later this month or summer. Construction crews should be gone for good by the end of summer.

“I can’t think of anywhere in Glenville that has this kind of mixed-use space,” said Socha. “The plan was to have it stand apart from anything in town and quite frankly, maybe anything in the Capital District.”

Categories: Business, News

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