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Best Real Estate Deals 2023: Transformation of the year

Visitors to the Latham retail plaza being redeveloped by the Lia family will be able to drop their dog off at day care, lift some weights, play a game of pickleball, go rock climbing and end the night with a $75 New York strip steak.

You almost couldn't believe the plaza was a former Kmart.

The Lias — through a limited liability company formed by Bill Lia Jr., Michael Lia, Vincent Lia and Deborah (Lia) Simeone — bought the 12-acre parcel at 195 Troy-Schenectady Road for $1.76 million in 2017.

The Kmart had closed in 2014, leaving the large building with more than 700 parking spaces on a busy road mostly vacant. The only tenant in 2014 was Vent Fitness, the health club owned by the Lias.

The Lias have since expanded the Vent Fitness and adopted a strategy to sign on complementary tenants, turning down offers from a furniture retailer and a large cinema operator that wanted to lease the entire building.

Today, the 130,000-square-foot building is becoming a destination for entertainment, sports, dining and more.

Lia retail redevelopment

Location: 195 Troy-Schenectady Road (Route 2) in Latham

Developer: The Lia family

Contractor: MR2 Construction Services LLC

Architect: Dennis Rigosu of Syvertsen Rigosu Architects

Financing: The LLC consolidated two mortgages on the property worth $7.75 million with M&T Bank in 2021

Tenants, current and future: The Scarlet Knife, Vent Fitness, Philadelphia Rock Gym, Dogtopia, Convergence Craft, and True Pickleball Club


Albany Skyway

An underused Interstate 787 ramp became a new pedestrian and bike connection between downtown Albany and the riverfront with the creation of the Albany Skyway. Capitalize Albany coordinated the transformation of the ramp into a new linear park that gracefully curves from Broadway to Corning Riverfront Park.

Siblings Brooke and Chris Spraragen spotted potential in a nondescript vacant office building across from Schenectady City Hall and transformed it into “The Benjamin,” named after their great-grandfather, Benjamin Spraragen. A top-to-bottom, modern makeover of the 17,000-square-foot building now provides space for Urban Co-Works and the restaurant Simone’s Kitchen.

Read the full article: here


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