Work to begin on Socha project
GLENVILLE Work is scheduled to start in a couple weeks on a $10 million mixed-use project that Glenville officials say is a game-changer for the town.
Developer William Socha is building a 60,000-square-foot, three-story structure on nearly 10 acres between his existing Socha Plaza and Socha Plaza South buildings on Route 50.
Socha said it felt great to get started on this project, which will consist of retail and restaurant space on the first floor, office space on the second and apartments on the third.
“It’s been a long time coming. We bought that property about 20 years ago,” he said.
The first hurdle was getting sewer service extended to that part of town, according to Socha. Then, the economy had to grow to a point where there was demand for the space. Socha said he has only six apartments available out of 444 units at the Shady Lane Apartments, and up until 2 months ago, there was no space available at all in his commercial building. A 1,200-square-foot space recently became vacant.
“Over the past couple of years, we have turned commercial people away,” he said.
It also made sense to do the project at this time because interest rates are low and the town business climate is good, according to Socha.
“I’ve been very, very impressed with the support for business in this community,” he said.
There is 13,500 square feet of space for retail or restaurant use on the first floor and 15,000 square feet of office space on the second floor.
Socha said he is in discussions with three potential tenants but cannot mention names at this point.
“At this stage, there’s a lot of flexibility. We could accommodate a very large office of potentially up to 10,000 square feet down to something as small as 2,000,” he said.
The price ranges from $17 per square foot to $19 per square foot, depending on the floor and location, according to Socha.
The third floor consists of 16 apartments. The initial breakdown would be 10 corporate apartments for extended-stay business travelers and six luxury units, according to Socha. However, he said that number is flexible. Some of the corporate units could be rented out as traditional apartments.
The apartments range in size from 620 square feet to 1,900 square feet, according to Socha. The market price has not been determined yet.
He has particular interest in the apartment component of the project since he will be living in one.
“I’ll obviously be very close to work, and I’ll also be close to the Mohawk Golf Club, where I spend a lot of time,” he said.
Socha is past president of the club. He and his wife also have a home in Saratoga and a condominium in Florida.
Socha said living in one of the apartments would be great. For example, if this building had been built already, this past weekend he could have grabbed a beer at one of the restaurants, where he could watch the Masters golf tournament on television and then return home by simply pushing a button in the private elevator to the residential units.
The lead architect on the project is Paul Benoit, who is working with of C2 Design of Schenectady. The construction manager is Tom Wilson of TW&A Construction Management.
A ceremonial groundbreaking was held Tuesday to kick off construction, which Socha estimated would take about 14 months.
Town Supervisor Chris Koetzle called it a signature project for the town and said it represented a vote of confidence in the town.
“There’s a lot happening here in Glenville,” he said.
County Legislator Cathy Gatta, D-Scotia, listed all the recent development along the Route 50 corridor, including the soon-to-open Panera Bread in that same plaza and development at the Schenectady County Airport, including Fortitech.
Socha said he wants to create a special place to live, work and play. This project would raise the bar for the town as the only mixed-use building in Glenville and the only Class A office space. Living in Saratoga, he said, he was surrounded by multiuse buildings.
“I just said, ‘It would be great to have that in Glenville,’ ” he said. “It brings a little urbanism to suburbia.”