SCHENECTADY -- There is a new owner of the building that houses Arthur’s Market in the Stockade neighborhood.
The building was purchased by Haley Priebe, 30, who lives in the neighborhood with her boyfriend, Great Flats Brewing co-owner Harry Whalen. She said they moved to the city in February 2016.
Priebe said her plan is to run the business as a cafe and grocery store. She also wants it to serve as a place where the community can gather.
“I hope we can bring back that community center feel, where people in the neighborhood can get groceries and a cup of coffee or make connections and meet a friend,” Priebe said.
First, though, she needs to do some renovations. She said she plans to keep some of the traditional architecture and decor of the Stockade neighborhood in the building. But she also plans to do more research on the historic regulations before starting work.
Priebe said she is excited to bring the market back to life -- hopefully by the end of next year.
She also plans to keep the name Arthur’s Market.
“I love the name,” Priebe said. “I think it has character.”
The market is named for a former owner, Arthur Polachek, who started the business in 1952, and ran it with the help of his son, Peter, before retiring in 2003.
Both Arthur and his son have since died.
Arthur and his son were known to run the store as if it were their own living room. People would host meetings there, and friends would even host impromptu picnics in the lounge chairs that were outside the market.
Priebe said the stories she has heard about Arthur made him sound like a gentleman with integrity.
“He’s what made the place so special to people in their hearts,” Priebe said. “I want to keep that legacy.”
Priebe runs a digital marketing business, working with companies such as Wonderhood, King Arthur Flour and Le Pain Quotidien.
The building was purchased for $172,500, according to Rachel Derikart, a Realtor with Keller Williams, who represented Priebe in the sale. Priebe purchased the building from Rotterdam residents Matthew and Holly Powell, who were also represented by Keller Williams.
Derikart said Priebe closed on the building Friday. It had been under contract since August.
The building has housed a store, in various forms and under different proprietors, since the 1700s. Arthur’s Market is now run by Richard Genest, who took over in 2014.
Genest also runs the nearby Moon and River Cafe.
Derikart said Genest was given notice of the change in ownership prior to Priebe closing on the purchase Friday.
Priebe and Genest spoke Tuesday and agreed that Genest’s last day at the market will be Jan. 31.
Genest did not return calls seeking comment.
When Stockade residents learned the building was under contract to be sold, they reached out to Priebe.
Carol DeLaMarter, president of the Stockade Association, said she conducted a survey when the building was owned by Trustco Bank, after an agent from the bank asked her how the neighborhood would like to see the building utilized.
DeLaMarter said residents wanted to see the space used as a community gathering spot.
“Not sure if it was helpful, but I know she is in the beginning stages of figuring out a business plan,” DeLaMarter said.
Priebe said she was pleased to see the results of the survey.
“It all aligns with everything I have in mind,” she said. “I want to respect whatever the people in the neighborhood are looking for.”
DeLaMarter said Stockade residents are hopeful that Priebe will breathe new life into the market. She also said she’s sure residents would be willing to offer Priebe the support she needs to get her business going.
“I’ve been here for almost 20 years, and there’s been so many different business options,” DeLaMarter said of the building. “We’re always ready for a new vision for that location.”
Priebe said she is still going over different ideas for the space and how it will be utilized. She said she doesn’t think there will be regular musical performances like the ones Genest hosted, but she is open to having different events there.
Priebe also said she would like to sell beer from Great Flats and other breweries at the shop, but she needs to check with the city about what she’s allowed to do there.