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Metroplex, Capital Region Land Bank Team Up to Renovate Former Copper Keg building on Eastern Avenue

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NEWS RELEASE          For Immediate Release



Contact: Ray Gillen, Metroplex
(518) 377-1109    
(518) 461-7137 (cell)


Metroplex, Capital Region Land Bank Team Up to Renovate Former Copper Keg building on Eastern Avenue

Schenectady, N.Y., May 11, 2016 – The Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority and the Capital Region Land Bank today announced plans to renovate 848 Eastern Avenue, the former Copper Keg, as part of an ongoing effort to revitalize the Eastern Avenue corridor in Schenectady, NY.

The Metroplex Board today approved a $12,000 grant to the Land Bank to help pay for the removal of asbestos in the building allowing for the sale and renovation of the building. The Land Bank is selling the building for $15,500 to Dr. Mahmood Karimi Hakak, who plans to invest $100,000 in renovations.  Metroplex will also provide a $20,000 façade grant for the project.  

Richard Ruzzo, Chairman of the Capital Region Land Bank and a member of the Schenectady County Legislature said, “We look forward to working with Dr. Karimi Hakak to renovate 848 Eastern Avenue.  This exciting project continues our efforts to revitalize and restore the economic vibrancy to the Eastern Avenue neighborhood.”

The new owner is a professor at Siena College and Niskayuna resident.  He owns a number of properties in Schenectady County and successfully redeveloped a building on lower Union Street for the Persian Bite restaurant.  He plans to use the Eastern Avenue building as a café and art exhibit space.

Dr. Karimi Hakak said, “We want this building, once it is renovated, to be a place where working artists, educators and the community can share personal and cultural experiences. We want to create a place that will bring visitors to Eastern Avenue and help with the continued revitalization of this important corridor.” 

Eastern Avenue is the focus of a major redevelopment effort by the City, County, the Land Bank and Metroplex.   A number of buildings have been demolished clearing blight in the neighborhood while others have been renovated including the Arket Electric building, the former St. Mary’s church and the former Ras Furniture store.  In coming weeks, the Land Bank will demolish 858 Eastern Avenue, 909 Wendell Avenue, 4 Elmer Avenue, 101, 123 and 129 Prospect Street, 114 Porter Street and 105 and 108 DeGraff Street.   A house at 854 Eastern will have asbestos removed allowing for the home to be renovated.  Renovations are also planned at 762 and 764 Eastern Avenue.

Ray Gillen, Metroplex Chair said, “We are pleased to work with the Land Bank to continue the progress on Eastern Avenue.”  

The Capital Region Land Bank is utilizing funding provided by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to boost neighborhoods by renovating buildings and removing blighted properties. 

For more information, see www.capitalregionlandbank.com


Schenectady Metroplex Development Authority
Center City Plaza
433 State Street, Suite 401
Schenectady, NY 12305
phone (518) 377-1109
fax (518) 382-2575