Schenectady

Five-story, 46-unit apartment building proposed in downtown Schenectady

An architectural rendering shows The Lafayette, an apartment building proposed at Lafayette and Liberty streets in downtown Schenectady.

An architectural rendering shows The Lafayette, an apartment building proposed at Lafayette and Liberty streets in downtown Schenectady.

SCHENECTADY A developer proposes to demolish a small office building across Lafayette Street from police headquarters and replace it with a five-story apartment house.

The 46-unit building would include indoor parking and a rooftop terrace. The proposal will go before the Schenectady Planning Commission at its April 20 meeting.

If it comes to pass, the project would be the second major residential development by Rosenblum Group in the immediate area. 

The first was the former Annie Schaffer Senior Center, 700 feet away on Nott Terrace, which Rosenblum bought from the city in 2017. After extensive renovations, the building on the corner of Nott Terrace and Eastern Avenue began its second life in 2019 as a 27-unit apartment building named The Nott.

The new apartment building at 31 Lafayette St. would be named The Lafayette.

The Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority worked with Rosenblum on The Nott and has been working with it on this latest proposal. The assistance was non-monetary on The Nott, but Metroplex is considering a $150,000 grant to help pay for demolition, according to Chairman Ray Gillen.

The board will vote on the grant at its May meeting.

The existing building at the corner of Lafayette and Liberty streets previously housed a printing company and then an advertising agency.

It is set up as class B and class C office space, which are in very low demand, and it is not configured in a way that lends itself to adaptive reuse along the lines of the successful conversions of several other downtown Schenectady buildings.

So the 22,461-square-foot structure built in 1981 is targeted for demolition.

Rosenblum has a strong track record and The Nott has made a positive impact on downtown Schenectady, Gillen said, and he’s enthusiastic about this next project.

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