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Schenectady Chamber to sell building, lease new downtown offices

Schenectady Chamber to sell building, lease new downtown offices

The Capital Region Chamber is planning to sell its building on State Street and lease new space down
Schenectady Chamber to sell building, lease new downtown offices
Intersection of Erie Blvd. and State Street in Schenectady shown on Monday afternoon, May 16, 2016.
Photographer: Erica Miller

The Capital Region Chamber is planning to sell its building on State Street and lease new space downtown.

The Chamber now owns its building at 306 State St. and is looking to lease offices in the downtown area to cut down its square footage and boost efficiency, said Chuck Steiner, president of the Chamber of Schenectady County.

“We’ve been kicking around the whole idea of finding new space for some time,” he said. “It is three floors and unfortunately does not have an elevator so there is a logistics problem. To get our staff on one floor would also be far more efficient.”

The organization is looking to relocate by the end of the year or early next year, according to a news release from the Chamber on Monday. The Chamber has issued a Request for Proposals for new office space.

The Chamber will sell its building when a contract is signed for a lease, according to the release.

Steiner said the three-story building is a total of 4,000 square feet. He said the Chamber is looking to cut that square footage by one-third. He said a new location has not yet been selected.

The building at 306 State St. is assessed at $232,600 in 2015, according to property records. Property records show it does not have an elevator or sprinkler system but does have a fire alarm system and air conditioning.

The Chamber noted that the building, which the organization purchased in 1995, has buildings for sale on either side of it — the former Rudnick’s and New Choices.

“Someone could look at that whole corner from that perspective,” Steiner said. “We think it’s exciting and we think it would be a good opportunity for a developer or investor.”

Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy said the Chamber has been looking to relocate for more than a decade.

“They are looking at other options to maintain a presence downtown to serve their membership,” he said. “The Chamber is a full and serious partner in the redevelopment that is going on. We look forward to helping them with this transition.”

The former Rudnick’s store at 308 State St. closed its doors in April 2013 after about 70 years in business. The building is three connected, multistory buildings with a total of 21,000 square feet.

Rudnick’s now rents a small space on Erie Boulevard.

Linda Tolokonsky, owner of Rudnick’s, has been trying to sell the State Street building for several years, which needs a lot of work. She owes the city about $80,000 in back taxes since 2012.

An investigation is ongoing into a fire there that happened in January 2014. Tolokonsky has retained an attorney to push the city to close the fire investigation so she can collect money from her insurance company to cover damages from the fire.

The building at 302 State St., at the corner of State Street and Erie Boulevard, houses New Choices, which provides treatment for addictions. New Choices also owns the building.

The six-story building is assessed at $1,090,000, according to property records. It has an elevator along with a sprinkler system, fire alarm system and air conditioning.

“There is quite a bit of interest in that building because it’s a key corner,” said Ray Gillen, chairman of the Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority. “There are ongoing discussions about that building.”

The Capital Region Chamber includes the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Schenectady County. The two merged last year.

The regional chamber represents 2,600 businesses and organizations throughout the Capital Region that employ more than 150,000 local residents.

To receive a copy of the RFP contact Susan Rank at 518-431-1422 or [email protected] The deadline for submissions is June 10.

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

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