Former downtown Schenectady bank primed for teardown

The former bank building Monday
The former bank building Monday

Categories: News, Schenectady County

SCHENECTADY — Preparation is underway to tear down a prominent downtown building.

Contractors set up a perimeter around the former Citizens Bank at 501 State St. on Monday and began moving heavy equipment into place.

“We are demoing the building within the next two weeks,” said Jeff Buell, principal at Redburn Development Partners.

State, Clinton and Barrett streets are expected to remain open during the demolition process.


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“We have no applications for street closure permits, so I’m not anticipating any major disruption of traffic,” said Mayor Gary McCarthy.

The perimeter sealed off the bus stop at the corner of Clinton and State streets.

Capital District Transportation Authority is asking passengers to board at nearby Jay and State streets.

Redburn acquired the property in August and plans to develop a mixed-use building on the site, including 40 apartment units.

More details are likely to emerge Wednesday when Redburn appears before the city Planning Commission to request site plan approval for the new project.

Buell previously said the project may exceed $15 million, and Schenectady Metroplex Development Authority pledged to provide a $295,000 grant toward project costs.

Developers are also aiming to secure some grant funds from Schenectady DRI, the $10 million state economic development initiative which has been stalled since mid-March amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“Like everybody, we’re looking at what the post-COVID world looks like,” Buell said. “We’re still bullish on the urban environment and people wanting to live downtown.”

The Schenectady-based developers previously renovated the Fitzgerald and Foster buildings, both of which are directly adjacent to Citizens Bank and house a combination of apartments and retail space. They’re also renovating the former Gazette press building at 132 Broadway.

They’ve also purchased the former OTB headquarters one block from 501 State St. and are aggressively moving into the city’s Stockade neighborhood, where they own 26 buildings containing 91 apartments and are seeking to convert the Stockade Inn into 23 apartments and an office.

That plan, which is opposed by the Stockade Association, hit a barrier last week when it fell short in a bid to gain the first special city approval required to undertake the project. 



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