Plans to turn the old Department of Social Services building in Schenectady into apartments are poised to move forward this week.
The project is on the agenda for Wednesday’s city Planning Commission meeting, where board members could grant site plan approval. Once that’s done, the project will get underway in the next couple months with a goal of completing it by the fall.
The building at 487 Nott St. will be renovated and converted into 16 apartment units. The Galesi Group, a Rotterdam-based developer responsible for work at the nearby Golub headquarters and Mohawk Harbor site, is taking on the project.
David Buicko, CEO of the Galesi Group, said the company is in the final stages of getting the property on the state and federal historic registers. Some remediation work has been done already, and Buicko said the company will start putting contracts out in the next couple months, pending site plan approval.
He estimated the project would be finished this fall, and provide reasonably priced housing in close proximity to Union College, Ellis Hospital and the Mohawk Harbor site.
The project was expected to get underway last fall, but will now seek Planning Commission approval on Wednesday. It has since been changed from 15 apartments to 16.
The project cost is pegged around $3.2 million, though it received a $100,000 façade grant from the Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority.
The building has served various functions since it was constructed in 1877 as the fifth public school in the city. It was also used as office space during World War II and housed the Department of Social Services.
However, it sat empty once the department was relocated to 797 Broadway as part of another Galesi Group project.
Plans to use the space for apartments have been in the works for several years, but hit a few snags along the way.
Galesi was originally approved by the City Council to receive $500,000 in U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development funding to demolish the structure and rebuild it as affordable apartments.
However, discussions ensued that would have had Union College take the property over. Negotiations never amounted to anything, and Galesi will now rehab rather than rebuild the space.