Albany Times Union
Land reserved for SUNY Schenectady
County legislators OK purchase of lots to be held in trust for the school
SUNY Schenectady County Community College has even more room to grow in the future now that it has an expanded real estate portfolio.
On Tuesday, county legislators passed several resolutions approving the purchase of eight parcels of land around the Lower State Street campus in downtown Schenectady that it will hold in trust for the college, according to county officials.
All told, the price tag for all properties works out to about $3 million. The properties include three row houses on
South Ferry Street and two storefront buildings on Erie Boulevard.
A third of the purchase amount, or about $1 million, will pay for roughly an acre of land at 222 S. Ferry St. on what used to be MVP’S parking lot, according to legislator Gary Hughes.
He explained that $250,000 of that $1 million figure to buy what is the largest tract of the bunch will go to the state Department of Environment Conservation “to cover their cost of cleaning up certain contaminants in the soil” at the site, including petroleum.
The county will seek matching funds from SUNY to help offset half the price it paid for the 1-acre site. “The college is poised to embark on its next fiveyear plan, and depending on what the college uses the property for, at some point they will be able to apply for some reimbursement from SUNY for some of the property acquisition costs,” added Hughes.
“All together what it does is assemble a parcel that the college can use for future expansion, whatever form that may take,” added Hughes, who also serves on the board of trustees for the college. “I see it as planning for the future . ... We know we can’t grow in the direction of the (Mohawk) river so the only place to go is into lower State Street, and this secures for the college a blank slate, which the college’s master planners can plot the physical future of the college.”
In a statement SUNY Schenectady College President Steady Moono said “the future of the college must be lower State Street due to natural constraints posed by the Mohawk River.” The area is also in a flood plain.