SCHENECTADY — A local development firm has purchased 19 buildings containing 104 apartments in Schenectady’s Stockade neighborhood.
The deal, which was completed in late June, brought together two like-minded parties:
The seller was Robin White, who has been honored several times in the last decade for helping preserve the historic character of the city’s oldest neighborhood. The buyer was Redburn Development Partners, which has been involved in multiple redevelopment projects involving historic buildings in downtowns across the region.
Redburn’s offices are in the former Schenectady Railway Company headquarters at 512 State St., which is one of a cluster of prominent buildings renovated by Redburn principal Jeff Buell.
Buell is an outspoken proponent of urban life and downtown revitalization, and said the Stockade is one of the best examples of a vibrant urban community.
“When we look at the Stockade, it has so much we believe in,” he said, adding that it was one of the few Capital Region neighborhoods — Troy’s Washington Park and Albany’s Center Square being the others — that never gave up or lost their character as cities were declining in the mid- to late-20th century.
Beyond the high ideals of owning property in the Stockade, it simply makes business sense, Buell added.
“It allows us to add some units to help us grow our management portfolio,” he said. “As a company, we’re very keen on diversification.”
The most prominent properties associated with Redburn Development and Buell’s former company — Sequence Development, which merged into Redburn — may be large single projects such as the Foster Building in downtown Schenectady (completed) and a $78 million, seven-building renovation in downtown Albany (upcoming).
But they’ve also managed individual small properties, Buell said.
“We have some experience doing the scatter sites. I owned 35 two-, three-, four-family homes in Troy for several years in the RPI neighborhood.”
Buell said he and White became acquainted during Sequence’s renovation of the Foster Building, a prominent landmark on State Street that had deteriorated into a sorry-looking hulk.
“I have a lot of respect for what he did,” Buell said of White and his collection of Stockade buildings.