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STS Steel planning to buy property in Schenectady

STS Steel planning to buy property in Schenectady

STS Steel is planning to purchase property on Peek Street in Schenectady for additional space and st
STS Steel planning to buy property in Schenectady
There are plans to build on the Peek Street lot that was the site of a massive fire in 1999.
Photographer: Peter R. Barber

STS Steel is planning to purchase property on Peek Street for additional space and storage as development progresses around the company on the Mohawk Harbor site.

The Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority said today that the steel manufacturer, located on the old Alco site off Erie Boulevard, is looking to purchase a vacant four-acre site from the city of Schenectady Industrial Development Agency.

STS would acquire the Peek Street site for $40,000 and pay full taxes, according to Metroplex. At the same time, STS would swap a one-acre parcel of land the company leases on the Alco site for the construction of a new road entering the site.

The Peek Street property would give STS Steel additional space for storage and the option to expand in the future.

STS is the last company located on the 60-acre Alco site, renamed Mohawk Harbor, as the Galesi Group moves forward with a $480 million development on the brownfield.

"It's decent property," said Glenn Tabolt, president of STS. "I think that helps our situation a bit. We're going to have to see how things develop with the business. It's possible we can expand there. I think it's good we will also be able to stay on the Alco site."

STS Steel makes trusses, bridges, rail stations and lock gates for the state’s canals. The company moved to the Alco site, now owned by Galesi, in 1989. STS pays full taxes on its manufacturing plant.

The Peek Street property is located nearby off Maxon Road next to the Golub Corp.’s headquarters on Nott Street.

The property was the original home of the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory, which now is located in Niskayuna. The site was subject to an extensive cleanup by the U.S. Department of Energy, according to Metroplex chair Ray Gillen.

“Everything in our records shows it has basically been cleaned up,” he said. “There are large concrete foundations in the property that are in place.”

There was an 80,000-square-foot building there that burned down in 1999. It wasn’t until five years later that the charred remains of the building were cleaned up on the site, Gillen said.

“It was a very serious fire,” he said. “It stood there like that for five years. We made a deal with the guy who leased the property, Rick Lucia (of Lucia Specialized Hauling Co.), and at his expense got the building down and cleaned up the remains. I am thrilled to get this off the IDA’s books.”

Also, the four acres STS leases at Mohawk Harbor will continue to be tax free under an agreement put in place under a previous owner of the Alco site, Gillen said.

Work is ongoing at Mohawk Harbor along the Mohawk River with a 50-boat-slip harbor carved out, walking and biking paths created, and construction underway on a 124-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel and a 204-unit apartment building.

Additional projects slated for the site include condominiums, townhouses, office and retail space, and the $330 million Rivers Casino & Resort at Mohawk Harbor, a joint venture by Galesi and Rush Street Gaming of Chicago.

Rush Street was approved for a casino license by the state Gaming Commission last month. The casino is expected to be built and opened in about 18 months, according to Rush.

STS Steel is planning to stay on the site, with Galesi working around the company’s 64,000-square-foot manufacturing facility. Also on the site is Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s small nuclear reactor.

Automated Dynamics, located on Front Street next to the Mohawk Harbor site, will be relocated to a new building at Galesi’s Niskayuna Commerce Park. The Front Street building then will be demolished.

David Buicko, COO of Galesi, said Automated Dynamics would move into its new building, being built now, by the end of next month. The building on Front Street then would be demolished “as soon as they move out,” he said.

Reach Gazette reporter Haley Viccaro at 395-3114, [email protected] or @HRViccaro on Twitter.

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