Sale of former DSS building clears way for Nott Street apartments

140-year-old building started out as a school
The former DSS building on Nott Street in Schenectady.
The former DSS building on Nott Street in Schenectady.

SCHENECTADY — The sale of the former Department of Social Services building on Nott Street closed Wednesday, clearing the final obstacle for a renovation that will turn the historic structure into 16 apartment units.

The Galesi Group, the Rotterdam-based developer behind the project, purchased the building at 487 Nott St. from the Schenectady County Industrial Development Agency for $200,000, the county announced. Renovation work is underway to convert the structure, which dates back to 1877, into living space.

Work is expected to be complete by early 2018, according to a news release. Galesi Group CEO David Buicko previously said the apartments will be “reasonably priced,” and in close proximity to potential tenants at Union College, Ellis Hospital and the Mohawk Harbor site, which is also a Galesi Group project.

“These units will create live-work opportunities for the thousands of employees that work within blocks of this formerly vacant building,” Buicko said in a prepared statement.

The $2 million project will include installing new electrical and mechanical systems, a sprinkler system and rehabbing windows and roofing. The Capital Region Land Bank has committed $300,000 to the project, which also received a $100,000 façade grant from the Schenectady Metroplex Development Authority.

The building, which is on state and federal historic registers, has served numerous functions over its 140-year existence. It originally was the city’s fifth public school, before it became office space during World War II. Later, it housed the Department of Social Services.

Those offices were relocated to 797 Broadway in 2009, and the Nott Street building has been empty ever since.

The project received approval in February from the Schenectady Planning Commission. Plans to use the space for apartments have been in the works for a few years but hit delays 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.

Ensuing discussions called for Union College to take the property over, but those negotiations fell through, resulting in the plan to rehab rather than rebuild the space.

Categories: -News-, Schenectady County

Leave a Reply