Schenectady

Permission sought to convert Stockade Inn to apartments in Schenectady

Historic property hit with fire, pandemic restrictions this year
The former Stockade Inn
PHOTOGRAPHER:
The former Stockade Inn

Categories: Business, News, Schenectady County

SCHENECTADY — The next stage of existence for the landmark Stockade Inn will be examined at a Zoning meeting Thursday and a Planning meeting Wednesday.

A kitchen fire damaged part of the historic building in January and the COVID-19 pandemic inflicted major damage on it and the entire hospitality industry starting in March.

Owners Robert and Nerisha Gregor of Lake George are attempting to sell the building to Redburn Development, a downtown Schenectady development firm specializing in creating and managing urban rental space.

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Redburn proposes to convert the hotel and banquet hall into 23 apartments and an office.

To do this, Redburn would require Zoning Board of Appeals approval for use variance and Planning Commission approval for a special use permit. The ZBA will hold a special meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, with conversion of the building at 1 N. Church St. as the only item on the agenda; the Planning Commission will discuss the matter at its regular meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Redburn did not return repeated requests for comment for this story.

The Stockade Inn has been a school, bank and private residence since the first piece of it was built in 1810, but for the longest period — 100 years — it was the Lower Mohawk Club.

In its application for a use variance, Redburn notes that a 2003 special use permit allowed conversion from club to lodging.

It says the banquet hall/boutique hotel model is not viable for the building, and neither are the other allowed uses for the site, which include schools, day care centers, one- or two-family dwellings and worship space. It also notes that the Stockade Inn stands next door to The Colonial Apartments, a multistory apartment building.

Redburn says in its application that it will seek historic tax credits and will preserve historic circulation and common areas in the building, including the Van Curler Room.

No exterior changes are proposed, aside from masonry repairs.

The planned sale would cap an exceptionally bad period for the Gregors. When they bought the Stockade Inn in early 2019, it was their fifth property, along with a hotel in Maine and three motels in Lake George — Lake Haven, Montreal and Sundowner.

Robert’s mother operated the Maine hotel, and while she’d been diagnosed with cancer in the summer of 2018, doctors thought she would beat it. She took a turn for the worse as her son and daughter-in-law were buying the Stockade Inn in the spring of 2019. She was bedridden by autumn and passed away shortly before Thanksgiving.

In January, a cook reducing butter in the kitchen started a fire that caused significant damage to that portion of the inn.

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In March, leisure travel and special events were effectively eliminated as the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated.

“It’s been one nightmare after another,” Gregor told the Gazette last week.

Earlier this year, the Gregors listed their hotel properties for sale. They also sold off the furnishings from the Stockade Inn, as the prospective buyer, Redburn, had no intention of using the facility as a hotel.

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