SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Eighteen vacant properties and one county-owned lot in Schenectady’s Hamilton Hill neighborhood will soon be transformed into 41 affordable housing units. Mayor Gary McCarthy and Capital Region Land Bank teamed up for the project, together pouring $13 million into the neighborhood.
“I am asking the City Council on Monday to approve an option for the Capital Region Land Bank to purchase 18 city-owned properties in Hamilton Hill so that we can move forward with a great development team to construct 41 new affordable homes,” Mayor McCarthy said. “We are very excited to announce this new partnership that will create the opportunity for our residents to realize the American dream of homeownership.”
“The Land Bank is pleased to work with the city to remove blighted, vacant structures and build new quality housing,” said Richard Ruzzo, Chair of the Capital Region Land Bank and a member of the Schenectady County Legislature. “This is an experienced development team that is ready to go to work to create homeownership opportunities that improve our community and build wealth for our residents. These are core values for the Land Bank.”
The city of Schenectady’s Department of Development and the Capital Region Land Bank will work with MLB Construction and minority-owned housing developer, AIK Property Group, to build the new duplexes. The homes will feature modern kitchens, energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, and green space. Schenectady County is providing the Land Bank site control of one county-owned lot in the neighborhood to be included in the project.
The Land Bank will option the 18 remaining properties needed for the new development from the city and coordinate the demolition of eight vacant structures that will make way for the new construction.
“The Summit Avenue affordable housing project embodies the mission of AIK,” said Pamela Swanigan, Co-owner and Director of Business Development. “We believe this will create a pathway for families to achieve the American Dream, empower a change in the family legacy, and strengthen the economic future of both the residents and the community in which they live. We are honored to partner with the City of Schenectady, Land Bank, and MLB in such an impactful way.”
“This project bears a personal connection for me having grown up in Schenectady, said Jim Dawsey, President, of MLB Construction Services LLC. “My father grew up on Summit Avenue with his seven brothers and sisters. I’m so happy and grateful to be able to be a part of the revitalization of this neighborhood. Pam and her team at AIK bring such a wonderful vision for the neighborhood and we’re ready to hit the ground running hand in hand with the City of Schenectady, Metroplex, and Land Bank.”
The new homes will be affordable for first-time home buyers and potential homeowners that live in the community, according to a spokesperson in the mayor’s office. Homeownership counseling assistance will be provided for new home buyers.