Downtown Schenectady building will be renovated and return to tax rolls

Updated: Jul 1, 2021

The president of Schenectady Hardware and Electric plans to buy a 40,000-square-foot office building in downtown Schenectady, New York, renovate it for the sole tenant and lease the remaining space.


Chris Spraragen intends to buy the building at 530 Franklin St. from Northern Rivers Family of Services, a nonprofit agency that employs 70 people.


"We're still in the process of tweaking all this," Spraragen said.


Northern Rivers, the parent organization of Parsons Child & Family Center and Northeast Parent & Child Society, will sign a 10-year lease, according to the Schenectady Metroplex Development Authority.


Spraragen will spend nearly $500,000 on upgrades and a new elevator. The investments will create a new entrance and divide the space to make it easier to attract tenants to fill the 10,000 square feet on the third floor, according to Ray Gillen, authority chairman.


"It's a great opportunity," Spraragen said. "The building is gorgeous."


The deal would return the building to the tax rolls. The non-profit, which is tax exempt, has owned the property since 2006, when it was purchased for $1.25 million, according to the city assessor's office.


Spraragen will have a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) that starts at $40,000 annually and increase over 10 years to $85,000 before the property becomes fully taxable. The building is assessed for $2.31 million.


Spraragen recently finished a major renovation of 1023 State St., which is leased by Ellis Medicine.


The office of Schenectady Hardware and Electric is in a former fire station on Erie Boulevard that's now an office complex called Edison Plaza. The building is owned by Spraragen's family.


The Metroplex, an economic development agency funded by a portion of the county sales tax, has helped put 54 properties back on the tax rolls in Schenectady County, according to a recent report. Those properties generated $15.68 million in tax revenue for local governments and school districts last year.


The Metroplex was created by a state law 20 years ago to spur development downtown and along Route 5 and Route 7 in the county.


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