Apartments, almost finished event venue in downtown Schenectady

The development team that turned many non-residential properties into downtown rental apartments are finishing one of their toughest projects.

Redburn Development Partners converted a former carpet store and newspaper building at 132 and 136 Broadway into 11 apartments and ground floor event space.

The property is nicknamed 132 Broadway. It’s not the biggest or most difficult project Redburn has ever attempted – director Jeff Buell has said the historic Foster Building on State Street is more complicated, more expensive, and longer.

But the solid construction and oddly distorted spaces of the old Schenectady Gazette printing house could not be easily reconfigured. As a result, no interior demolition was carried out in the building, which is unusual in such a transformation.

Buell said Thursday that Redburn revised the design several times after purchasing the building, which is a first for the developer – they still have a plan that they say will work before they invest and then execute it after. procurement.

Redburn went through several designs with up to 26 apartments before settling on the final setup: four huge units and seven smaller units.

Rent will range from $ 895 per month for a studio to $ 2,500 for a three-bedroom, 1,500 square foot apartment. The planned move-in date is June 1.

The event space is still under wraps and will also debut in June.

With concrete walls and floors, the apartments out of necessity had an industrial aesthetic, and Redburn left some rough surfaces to accentuate that. Large windows on the east face let plenty of light into the space.

Work began in the summer of 2020, after the lifting of COVID restrictions in the workplace, but also after the soaring prices of construction materials. This complicated the project, which is now expected to grow to $ 4.1 million, or about 25% more than originally planned.

Redburn has several other projects underway, most notably in Albany and Troy. In Schenectady, he is working on the old OTB building and at 501 State St., and will soon begin work at 500 State St.

The OTB building at 132 Broadway and an already completed project, the Fitzgerald Building, all have a common thread: none are on State Street. Expanding development off Main Street and onto side streets is key to a complete downtown revitalization, said Buell, who has made the revival of downtown life a goal of his career. .

The buildings at 132 and 136 Broadway are separate but connected, in more ways than one, and they have had a complicated recent history.

The four-story building at 132 Broadway originally housed the printing press and warehouse for the Schenectady Gazette when its newsroom and offices were nearby on State Street. The newspaper was renamed The Daily Gazette, moved to a new building on Maxon Road Extension, and donated the press building to the YMCA in 1990.

The one-story building at 136 Broadway was originally the Skypes Carpet store and more recently the Electric City Bike Rescue.

The city acquired the two buildings and sold them for $ 1 each in 2005 to the Edison Tech Center for its Electricity History Museum. Unhappy with Edison’s management of the site, the city sued the terms of the contract and took back ownership of the buildings in 2018.

The Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority, which helped with the redevelopment, hauled 20 tons of items and debris left behind after Edison Tech moved their collection.

Redburn bought the buildings and has now brought them to the start of their next chapter.

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