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Nisky' targets areas for Metroplex assistance

Officials say additions to offer opportunities for businesses, development

The former Korean United Methodist Church of Albany at the corner of Balltown Road and River Road in Niskayuna is the next building town officials are looking to redevelop.

The former Korean United Methodist Church of Albany at the corner of Balltown Road and River Road in Niskayuna is the next building town officials are looking to redevelop. Photo by John Purcell.

— Niskayuna officials are hoping to add seven areas to add the Schenectady Metroplex Development Authority’s service districts.

Town Planner Kathy Matern gave a presentation on the commercial areas slated to fall under Metroplex’s umbrella of assistance before a public hearing on the proposal during the Town Board meeting on Tuesday, March 27. After adding the areas, businesses would be able to apply for grant opportunities and loans, façade or other facility improvements and work with Metroplex on developing a business plan.

Metroplex service districts cover most of the City of Schenectady and other towns, but comparatively little of the Town of Niskayuna.

“This was very effective in our ShopRite Square and I think it is a great idea,” Councilwoman Julie McDonnell said.

One of the larger areas up for inclusion is the town center, which includes businesses such as Niskayuna Co-op Market and surrounding businesses, Trustco Bank strip mall, CVS Pharmacy, the old Town Hall, two law offices and two gas stations. This change would expand the area at ShopRite Square area and to the surrounding businesses.

The Niskayuna portion of Upper Union Street would also be added, which includes a convenience store, banks, office buildings, a hair salon and doctor and dentist offices. Another area being eyed is around Balltown Road and Consaul Road, an area that includes a Niskayuna Square, with a Hannaford Supermarket, a bank and credit union, Stewart’s and other small businesses.

Mohawk Commons and the still developing Mansion Square were also included in the plan.

Bill Chapman, Board of Directors member of Metroplex and former town councilman, said he supported adding the areas to the authority’s service district.

“The main goal of taking this action would be to place businesses in Niskayuna on the same footing as other businesses in the county,” Chapman said. “I think anyone who’s driven around downtown Schenectady has certainly seen the improvements not only in the architecture, but in the job development that has happened in our community.”

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