ALBANY, N.Y. - Downtown Albany is about to get a face lift.
Lt. Governor Robert Duffy announced revitalization plans of Wellington Row on Thursday; a historic row of buildings on the south side of State Street near the State Capitol, and they already have a tenant.
Aeon Nexus Corporation, an IT Consulting Firm based in Glens Falls, will occupy 138 State Street transforming the former Elks Lodge building into a new corporate office space that will mean 12 new jobs.
The site has been dormant since 2009, when Columbia Development demolished most of the five deteriorating buildings, but saved the facades as they are part of the "Downtown Albany Historic District."
The approximately 8,000-square-foot building at 138 State Street was originally constructed in 1912, and will receive a complete interior renovation. The building will consist of three stories, a mezzanine and basement. In addition, the former Berkshire Hotel next door at 140 State Street will be repurposed into luxury condominiums through reconstruction of a five-story, 10,000-square-foot structure behind the preserve facade visible on State Street.
Lt. Governor Duffy says this renovation could mean a ripple effect and an economic boost.
"The governor's very proud of this, it's right down the street, we drive by this almost daily. It's going to be a great project. These projects have the ability to reverberate and create clusters of investments," Duffy said thanking Omar Usmani for bringing his business to Albany.
Usmani is Executive Partner at Aeon Nexus Corp. He says he's excited about the renovations about both buildings.
"The project at 138 State Street is not the only thing I'm announcing. I'm taking a residence at 140 State, the condo projects that will be right next door," Usmani said.
Usmani says his company plans to incorporate as much of the original structure and design of the building during the remodel.
"There will be a complete interior renovation including beautiful marble open stair case on the first floor, decorative ceilings and moldings, exposed brick walls and interior walls and placement of the original cast iron mezzanine staircase we found in the basement," Usmani said.
Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings says he's glad to make this announcement.
"When we all come together we can accomplish a lot, especially on a site like this, so congratulations to everyone involved," Jennings said.
When asked if this was the "big announcement" Jennings was alluding to earlier this week when he announced he would not run for a re-election. He said "It's one of them, I'm not done yet."
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