SCHENECTADY — Plans to build a 24-unit apartment complex above a multi-story parking structure along State Street are progressing after receiving Planning Commission approval last week.
Highbridge Prime Development, a joint venture between developer John Roth’s Highbridge Development of Schenectady and Prime Properties of Latham, is behind the $8 million project at 224 State St., where groundbreaking is scheduled more late this year.
Plans call for the demolition of two vacant buildings at 224 and 230 State St. to make way for the new structure. The project, which will primarily consist of two-bedroom units, is the second phase of the Electric City Apartments complex completed in 2019 at the corner of State Street and Erie Boulevard.
The parking structure will have two levels, with a basement comprising 24 parking spaces and the ground level comprising 30 spaces, according to James Easton, civil engineer at Prime.
Easton said the underground parking lot, which would lead to Erie Street, is for residents, while the ground floor parking lot, with a driveway to State Street, would be used for retail stores on the ground floor. floor of Electric City.
Renting the storefronts has proven difficult, and potential customers have expressed concerns about the lack of available parking spaces in the immediate area, Easton said.
“The reason you’re seeing a parking lot entrance on State Street for this project is to help the business aspect of those tenants along State Street,” Easton said. “Some of the comments [Highbridge Prime] have gotten from potential tenants is that people don’t like to park downstairs in the garage and use the space. It doesn’t seem to work well together.
A city-owned lot is located nearby on Hamilton Street.
But city code doesn’t allow reserved on-site parking for off-site properties, which means parking should be for residents only or open to the general public, according to Christine Primiano, the city’s chief urban planner. . .
“Parking for use by Electric City commercial tenants can only be permitted if it is on the same property or if all parking is open to everyone,” she said. “In other words, it’s not allowed as an accessory lot.”
A zoning discrepancy would be required if parking plans were to remain as planned, Primiano said.
“It’s actually being discussed right now,” Easton said.
The new apartment complex is the latest in a series of redevelopment projects centered around Lower State Street in recent years.
Millions of dollars have been poured into the area, including $107 million to build the first phase of Electric City apartments, and more than $50 million for the Mill Artisan District, mixed-use apartments, offices and Frog Alley Brewing, among other retail businesses. options.
Meanwhile, Roth, the owner of Highbridge Development, is involved in a number of development projects scattered throughout the city, including plans to build 15 townhouses along Barrett Street as part of ongoing efforts of the Live In Schenectady group – a consortium of local banks and businesses, including The Daily Gazette Co., dedicated to attracting new residents to the city.
It also received Planning Commission approval last week to demolish a vacant warehouse at 133 Edison Avenue and build a new 10,000 square foot facility. A tenant for the new warehouse near Interstate 890 has not yet been found.
Contact journalist Chad Arnold at: 518-410-5117 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @ChadGArnold.
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