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McCarthy's drive for 'smart' streetlights gains traction

McCarthy's drive for 'smart' streetlights gains traction

Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy’s push for “smart” streetlights is gaining traction, with the Galesi
McCarthy's drive for 'smart' streetlights gains traction
Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy gives his State of the City address at Proctors on New Year's Day. Later in the month, McCarthy created an eight-member Smart City Advisory Commission.

A previous version of this story gave the wrong size of the building at 242 Broadway. It is 70,400 square feet.

SCHENECTADY — Mayor Gary McCarthy’s push for “smart” streetlights is gaining traction, with the Galesi Group seeking funding for lighting on the Mohawk Harbor site.

The Rotterdam developer is looking to submit applications to National Grid for up to $750,000 in funding for energy-efficient lighting on the 60-acre property off Erie Boulevard.

During a meeting this evening, the Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority board authorized for the developer to apply for the grants.

The funding Galesi is applying for also would go toward utility infrastructure work on the old Alco site, according to a news release from Metroplex.

Galesi is working to transform the brownfield site into Mohawk Harbor with housing, hotels, office and retail, a harbor, and the Rivers Casino & Resort at Mohawk Harbor.

David Buicko, chief operating officer of Galesi, said the grants would go toward improvements as part of McCarthy’s “smart city” initiative.

“They will be adaptable to smart-city technology,” he said. “So it will be complimentary to those efforts and will part of that.”

The applications to National Grid will be for the utility company’s strategic economic development program and urban center/commercial district revitalization program.

One grant application is for $250,000, and another is for $500,000, according to Metroplex Chairman Ray Gillen.

Last month, McCarthy created an eight-member Smart City Advisory Commission — led by former GE tech chief Mark Little — to make Schenectady a “smart city” with high-tech, energy-efficient alternatives citywide.

Six high-tech streetlights have been installed on Jay Street in front of City Hall with LED lights, cameras and WiFi. The plan is to also install those streetlights on portions of Union and State streets.

The Metroplex board also approved $185,000 to improve lighting and signage at the Metroplex-owned parking garage at 220 Broadway in downtown.

The improvements will include LED lighting throughout the five-story parking garage, including newly lighted stair towers, and LED lights will be installed adjacent to the main entrance to the garage.

The funding also will go toward upgrading two signs at the garage, which holds 1,200 cars and is used by downtown workers and the public.

Metroplex approved a contract with CHA, formerly Clough Harbour & Associates, for $54,000 to survey and design the last phase of sidewalk and streetlight improvements on lower State Street.

The block of lower State from South Church Street to Washington Avenue is the last section in need of the upgrades, Gillen said. The improvements are targeted by the old YMCA at 13 State St., which is being developed into senior housing by Buffalo-based Norstar Development.

Metroplex also approved a $95,000 grant to support the relocation of a Latham biotech company to 242 Broadway next to Villa Italia, which currently is being built.

The Institute for Clinical Pharmacodynamics, Inc. is moving from its regional office out of a corporate park on British American Boulevard into 17,000 square feet of lab and office space on Broadway.

The company works with pharmaceutical and biotech firms to make safer and more effective antibiotics. It plans to relocate 15 jobs from its headquarters in Latham and to increase staff to more than 20 over the next few years.

ICPD will be the first tenant of the $8 million mixed-use building, which is being constructed by Rotterdam developer John Luke Hodorowski. The company will be a part-owner of the building.

The 70,400-square-foot building will include office space on the first floor and 39 upscale apartments on the top three floors.

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

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