An Emmy Award winning production company has reportedly selected the Armory to film episodes of a series that will bring over 100 cast and crew members to Schenectady giving a much needed boost to local hotels and restaurants.
The Armory is currently owned by cousins Ray and Jeff Legere who purchased the facility in 2013 at a public auction conducted by New York State. Before this, the facility had been closed in 2008 by the New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs.
The Legeres have reportedly joined with the Schenectady County Metroplex Authority who is providing a $75,000 grant for Armory retrofits that are reportedly needed in order to host the production downtown, as well as other future opportunities.
Metroplex had previously provided a $90,000 grant to help with the cost of adding an elevator and other upgrades. A payment in lieu of tax (PILOT) agreement put the facility on the tax rolls for the first time since it was built back in 1936.
Metroplex is reportedly working with the City to make sure the production company receives the permits they need, including the use of a County-owned parking lot across from the Armory.
Schenectady has hosted previous film productions on location such as “A Place Beyond the Pines” and “The Way We Are.” Director of Communications for Schenectady County, Erin Roberts said these opportunities occur infrequently and do not bring recurring economic benefits. She said the goal of the Armory owners, the Schenectady Film Commission and Metroplex was to try and attract a television or film production company to use the Armory which would enhance the economic impact of hosting productions and bring recurring activity to the area.
“The Legeres’ commitment to the Armory has turned a once vacant and neglected downtown building into a community asset,” said Anthony Jasenski, Chair of the Schenectady County Legislature. “This project will bring a much-needed boost to our local economy and make Schenectady County even more attractive to businesses, including the television and film industry. We also thank Governor Cuomo for his tireless support for bringing this industry to New York State.”
Governor Cuomo has allowed TV and film production to resume under state guidelines. The production slated for Schenectady will reportedly adhere to these guidelines and follow all safety protocols.
The Schenectady Armory Center was built in 1936 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It houses 86,000 square feet of space and the former drill/gym area contains almost 28,000 square feet of column-free floor space.
The space held many meetings, sporting events, etc. while it was under military ownership. Since the Legeres took ownership in 2013, the multipurpose space has hosted hundreds of special, sporting, and entertainment events.
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