Have you noticed some new construction happening on the corner of Jay and Franklin Streets in Downtown Schenectady? Wait until you hear what’s happening inside The Benjamin at 430 Franklin St.
The Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority announced in June that “one of largest vacant buildings in downtown Schenectady yet to be renovated will undergo a total makeover now that new local owners have replaced an absentee landlord.”
New owners Chris and Brooke Spraragen are Schenectady residents who just happened to be in the area of the building one day and saw its great potential. Talking to them during my tour a few days ago, you can hear the excitement in their voices over what they see for this otherwise empty building.
“The new owners will call the renovated building “The Benjamin” to honor their great-grandfather Benjamin Spraragen who attended Union College and then relocated to Schenectady after graduation, founding Schenectady Hardware and Electric in 1923.”
The history of the building is quite fascinating, having been a theatre at one point then torn down to build for IBM. Now, it’s the future of the building that’s exciting. The building itself is directly across from Schenectady’s City Hall and walking distance from Mohawk Harbor, perfect for potential businesses to take advantage of.
So far, no businesses have been announced but we do know that in the early part of 2021, we will hear about a restaurant from the Hudson area that will be making their home inside The Benjamin. They’re hoping for local businesses on the bottom floor with floor to ceiling windows and office space upstairs, all topped with rooftop access.
The building is currently gutted and there’s not much to look at now but I can’t wait to see the progress when we can put these pictures side-by-side with the successful building.