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Metroplex growth gains support in Niskayuna

Over a dozen citizens spoke in favor of a proposed local law that would extend the boundaries of the Schenectady Metroplex service district to include St. James Square Plaza at a Niskayuna Town Board meeting on Tuesday, April 29.

St. James Square is a retail center on Balltown Road and has struggled to fill what is estimated to be 80,000 square feet vacant space. The goal of the law is to attract new jobs and investment in the shopping plaza. The Town Board approved the plan at its March 25 meeting and scheduled the public hearing.

Among the public speakers was Schenectady County Legislator Marty Finn.

St. James Square is the largest vacant commercial space in the county. Metroplex resources will be a major factor to obtain tenants. It will aim to get tenants that will not be direct competition to existing businesses but will support these business, said Finn.

Charles Steiner, president of the Schenectady Chamber of Commerce spoke in support of the plan. Metroplex has been a strong catalyst to bring resources to development in the county, said Steiner. Bill Chapman, who has been appointed to the Metroplex board to represent Niskayuna, pointed out that the entire towns of Glenville and Rotterdam are included in the Metroplex service district.

"Metroplex could help in the many details that new tenants could need to come on board," said Chapman.

Peter Struzzi, the broker for the Pyramid Brokerage Company that represents the owners of the plaza spoke in favor of the law. He said he has been working to get new tenants for the plaza.

"The most appropriate use of much of the space in St. James Square is upscale professional office space," advised Struzzi. He also indicated that there are two separate owners of the plaza, each owner having a separate portion of the plaza. Struzzi said one of the owners is in the process of taking control of the entire plaza, and that this would help move the project forward.

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