Albany, New York


Known as New York’s Tech Valley, Albany offers unparalleled access to technology, transportation, finance, entertainment and dining, making the city a perfect destination for commercial real estate development and activity.

In downtown Albany, brisk activity within the district includes a recent explosion in hotel development. An upscale Hampton Inn & Suites has been completed on Chapel Street, and renovations to existing structures have resulted in the 74 State boutique hotel and a new 120-bed Holiday Inn Express on lower Broadway. Plans continue for a 400-bed Sheraton hotel at the proposed Albany Convention Center.

Within the northwest quadrant, older vacant buildings are being converted for new office space and several development sites have been purchased for future mixed-use projects. In addition, several upscale restaurants have moved into the area.

In the northeast quadrant, Norstar Development is constructing the Capital Grand, a new 125-unit luxury condominium project on 733 Broadway. The nine-story building features a wide variety of floor plans for differing tastes and budgets, all with balconies and great views of the urban skyline or Hudson River. Additional amenities include inside parking, common meeting rooms, a rooftop terrace and the Embassy Club fitness facility.

Also within the northeast quadrant, the Queri Development Co. plans to construct a 12-story building with up to 175 market-rate apartments and street-level retail, along with a four-story office/retail building and a seven-story, 125-room hotel,. Known as The Amos at Quackenbush Square, the facility will be located just south of The Capital Grand condominiums on Broadway and adjacent to the Albany Pump Station and Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center. Several existing properties within downtown are being targeted for residential conversion, as are upper floors of existing retail spaces, and major renovations are also being planned for the Leo O’Brien Federal building in the north central area of Albany.

In the southeast corner of downtown Albany, development is slated for the 107,000 sf Albany Convention Center, which upon completion, will attract tens of thousands of visitors to the Capital City. A residual economic impact would be felt by retailers, restaurants and service providers based on the increased demand.

Following the new development, several new retailers have opened up in the Albany marketplace. Antara Home, a new high-end home goods store that offers imported soft goods, glassware and pottery, as well as custom interior design services, has opened up downtown. The famed restaurant, the Hollywood Brown Derby, will be making a transcontinental crossing to become downtown’s Albany’s newest high-end restaurant. Located at 22 Clinton Avenue in the former Salvation Army Building, the Brown Derby will be owned and operated by regional food family members John and Bob Mallozzi — owners of Villa Italia, Mallozzi’s Restaurant and Belvedere Hotel in Schenectady — along with BCI, Inc. and M.M. Hayes Co., Inc. An estimated $1 million renovation has begun on the 3,200-square-foot space, which is slated to open late summer 2008. Patrick Hall, owner of Franklin’s Tower at 414 Broadway, recently opened his second restaurant in downtown Albany, Pearl Street Public House, at 44 South Pearl Street in the former location of Pagliacci Ristorante.

Investors from outside the region have also been making major capital investments in the downtown. Recent property transactions include: 11 North Pearl Street, 90 State Street, 100 State Street, 99 Pine Street, 488 Broadway and 518 Broadway. Several notable firms have also recently taken space within the Albany office market. At 121 State Street, Houston-based Reliant Energy has opened its first New York office in downtown Albany. UBS leased 13,000 square feet of office space on the 8th floor of 80 State Street, and Xerox now occupies nearly 24,000 square feet of office space after expanding its offices by more than 9,000 square feet at the same address.

On 540 Broadway, NYS Association of Counties now occupies 10,000 square feet, and the NYS Commission on Public Integrity has taken 21,000 square feet. CSArch expanded their downtown Albany offices at 40 Beaver Street by 5,000 square feet due to a significant increase in business and the addition of dozens of employees. The city of Albany is expected to expand and grow as interest from companies within and outside the state heightens.

— Pamela Tobin is the executive director of the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District

©2008 France Publications, Inc. Duplication or reproduction of this article not permitted without authorization from France Publications, Inc. For information on reprints of this article contact Barbara Sherer at (630) 554-6054.

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