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Schenectady County DMV plan moves forward

Schenectady County DMV plan moves forward

County to borrow for new DMV building
Schenectady County DMV plan moves forward
This building at 2025 State St. will become the new DMV site.
Photographer: Lindsay Dieterich/For the Daily Gazette

Plans to move the county Department of Motor Vehicles from downtown Schenectady to upper State Street are rolling forward.
The county Legislature’s Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday approved the borrowing of nearly $1.4 million for the project. The full county Legislature is expected to approve the borrowing next week.

The money pays for the purchase and renovations to a former restaurant at 2025 State St. to become the new home of its DMV.

The purchase has already closed, and once a new roof is installed and interior renovations are completed, County Clerk John Woodard said, it will be ready.

“Our plan is to have it open by the end of the summer of this year,” he said.

The current DMV office at 267 State St. will be sold later this year as part of an arrangement to expand the successful New York BizLab.

That entity, which serves as an incubator for startup companies, is located at 251 State St. and plans to buy the DMV building.

The downtown DMV building is need of maintenance and has a leased parking lot. The lease expires next year, said Joe McQueen, a spokesman for the county.

Under a deal announced in October, the county will pay $600,000 for the 2025 State St. property, partially offset by $250,000 from the sale of the downtown building. The new site includes parking.

The BizLab houses six tech startups. The space is a Start-Up NY site, which means businesses located there qualify for state tax breaks.

County officials also hope the new location, a former International House of Pancakes located in the Woodlawn neighborhood, will garner new business from the numerous car dealerships located along Central Avenue in Colonie, which becomes State Street in the city.

The county DMV processes nearly 100,000 transactions a year, Woodard said.  The county receives a percentage of each transaction, so between increased business and not having to pay $30,000 annually to lease a parking lot, he believes the move will have very little cost to the county.

The change could also be good for businesses near the new location, Woodard said.
“I would say, conservatively, we have 1,000 people coming through the doors every day,” he said.
County officials have also emphasized the benefits of expanding the BizLab, founded in 2013 by Anthony Civitella, CEO of Transfinder.

“By moving the DMV office, the county allows the BizLab to further expand and recruit new businesses into our rejuvenated downtown, while filling an empty building on Upper State Street and boosting the customer service experience for our residents,” said county Legislature Chairman Anthony Jasenski, in October.

Reach Gazette reporter Stephen Williams at 395-3086, [email protected].

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