SCHENECTADY — A sweeping overhaul is proposed for a homely building at the end of the Jay Street pedestrian mall.
The two-story office building at 430 Franklin St. was built in 1957. It originally provided office space for IBM and Metropolitan Life but recently has been one of the largest vacant buildings downtown.
New owners Chris and Brooke Spraragen say the exceptionally sturdy construction makes it a great candidate for renewal and reuse, while the bland retro facade is ready for overhaul.
"We think it’s too good of a building to not fix up," Chris said.
They're currently removing asbestos and doing interior demolition. When they're done, it will be "The Benjamin" — 8,551 square feet of retail space and 8,556 square feet of office space named after their great-grandfather Benjamin Spraragen, who founded Schenectady Hardware and Electric in 1923.
The business is still run by the family, nearly a century later.
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