SCHENECTADY -- The former Trustco headquarters building at 192 Erie Blvd. will be renovated into office space and apartments with a $6.5 million investment by a local developer, the Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority announced Monday.
The county has owned the seven-story building near State Street since 2005, and will be selling it to Hudson Partners Development of Schenectady for $2 million. The new owners will invest an estimated $4.5 million in renovating the building, said Metroplex Chairman Ray Gillen.
The county bought the property at a time when it was considering renovating it into court space. The county eventually went with different courthouse expansion plans, and it has used the property mostly for storage. Last year, county officials asked Metroplex for help in selling the building.
The proposed sale was approved by the County Legislature Economic Development Committee Monday night. It is scheduled to be approved by the full Legislature on May 8.
The buyer plans to keep the bottom floors of the building as office space, while renovating the top four floors into 36 apartments, Metroplex officials said. Not included in the sale are two parking lots the county acquired as part of the original purchase, which county officials said could be sold separately in the future.
Hudson Partners Development also redeveloped 200 State St. as a mixed-use apartment-retail building, has done another conversion on Union Street and is converting 99 Pine St. in Albany into a mixed-use project. Metroplex and county officials said the are happy with the buyers' track record.
"Our redevelopment projects on Union and lower State Street and in Albany have all focused on re-energizing urban areas with new office and living space," Chris Maddalone and Seth Meltzer of Hudson Partners said in a prepared statement.
"The Trustco building is very similar to a mixed-use project now underway on Pine Street in Albany and we are excited to launch another major renovation project, this time in our hometown of Schenectady," they said.
Gillen said the lower floors could be marketed to small tech companies. "Overall, in downtown we have a lot of small tech companies," he said. "We've had strong interest in downtown from technology companies."
County Legislature Chairman Anthony Jasenski, D-Rotterdam, said the sale of the property will return the building to the tax rolls. It will probably be several years, however, before the property pays full taxes.
Gillen said Metroplex will probably offer a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement that will reduce the developer's initial taxes, and it may also consider offering them a fascade improvement grant.
The county bought the building for $2.4 million and conducted a $200,000 environmental study of the property after the purchase. The county then did a contamination cleanup there due to earlier uses of a gas station and dry cleaner on the site.