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Thursday, January 20, 2022

Proposed 24-unit apartment building on Lower State Street in Schenectady – The Daily Gazette

SCHENECTADY – A new building is proposed with 24 apartments above a two-level parking garage on Lower State Street near Erie Boulevard.

Highbridge Prime Development has proposed demolishing vacant old buildings at 224 and 230 State St. to make way for the project, which is the second phase of their Electric City apartment next door at 236 State St.

The project will go before the Schenectady Planning Commission on Wednesday.

Highbridge Prime is a joint venture between Schenectady’s Highbridge Development and Latham’s Prime Properties. John Roth, CEO of Highbridge Development, said the new building will be mostly two-bedroom apartments with a similar fit and finish to the Electric City.

“The only difference with this is that we don’t have first floor retail on State Street,” he said.

Except for the vestibule entrance to the apartments, the Electric City façade on State Street is an entirely glass storefront. Filling the space during the pandemic has proved difficult, but Roth said one tenant has signed a lease and potentially two others have shown interest.

The base of the new building will have a two-level garage. The lower level of the garage will have a rear driveway on Erie Street and will be reserved for tenants, while the upper level will have a front driveway on State Street and designated for employees of the retail storefront on the ground floor of Electric City.

With planning board approval and final design work, demolition and then construction could begin in the middle of this year.

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“We’re looking forward to the end of the second quarter of 2022,” Roth said.

The ballpark budget for the project is $8 million.

This compares with $26 million for the 107-unit Phase I of Electric City apartments. The first tenants moved into that building in April 2019 and it now enjoys almost full occupancy, minus the regular churning of people moving in and out.

“Our average engagement is in the high 90s,” Roth said.

This project will be another step towards the revitalization of Lower State Street. Many steps have been taken but many more steps will have to be taken before that process can be completed.

The Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority is actively working toward the goal and supporting others who are working toward that goal.

The area has benefited from multimillion-dollar construction, but there are still many vacant and/or deteriorating buildings along the stretch from Erie Boulevard to Washington Avenue.

“We know just about every single building, we’re working very hard throughout the area,” said Ray Gillen, president of Metroplex.

Welcoming the second phase concept for Electric City Apartments, he said that more people living there adds a vibrancy to the corridor.

“I think it shows that the residential market is strong,” he said. “It brings more people and activities to the lower state.”

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Categories: Business, News

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