City Owned Commercial Property

Schenectady’s Procedure for the Sale of City-Owned Property

Buying a property can sometimes seem confusing.  Below is a brief explanation of how the buying process works through the City.*


Most properties that are owned by the City are listed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS - for a minimum of ten calendar days prior to any offer being presented to the City Council.  Many of our properties may also be found on the Capital Region Land Bank’s website at 


It is important to note that the City uses a deliberate method for property disposition. All potential purchasers must demonstrate financial ability to purchase the property and bring it up to code before any offer is presented to City Council. In addition to financial ability, all prospective buyers will be cross referenced with the City of Schenectady’s Bureau of Code Enforcement and Bureau of Receipts to determine whether or not the prospective buyer is up to date on their taxes and/or has outstanding code violations. In addition, the City of Schenectady will check the purchaser for outstanding liens, judgments, bankruptcies and other pertinent information.
Proposals are considered for value of the offer, financial ability, history of the owner relating to taxes and code issues. The City Property Management Committee considers offers and then forwards a recommendation to the City Council.  The City Council then considers whether to authorize the Mayor to enter into the agreement.  No offers may be made after the contract is presented to the Council Committee Meeting for consideration.

Zoning and Planning

As a new commercial tenant, you will be required to appear before the Planning Commission for “Change in Tenancy Review”. You should contact Christine Primiano for this.  382-5147,  then press 8 for Planning.

Questions to be answered in Proposal**

1) What is your offer for the property? How do you intend to provide that (cash, mortgage, loan, etc.)
2) Provide documentation verifying you have the amount necessary to purchase the property at the price listed in #1.
3) Provide detail of your plans to rehab/renovate the property, including a detailed plan for the future use(s) of the property. Any sketches, drawings, estimates, commitments, etc. are helpful to include.
4) Provide a detailed estimate of how much your rehab/renovation plans outlined in #3 will cost, including quotes by contractors where applicable.
5) Provide documentation either a) showing you have the funds necessary to complete the rehab/renovation, b) a letter from a financial institution providing verification that you have the funds necessary to complete the estimate of your rehab/renovation plans, or c) a letter from a financial officer of your organization stating that your organization has access to funds to complete the project.
6) What is the final estimate of the total investment you plan to put into this property (in dollars)?
7) In what timeline do you anticipate to have the property rehabbed/renovated and actively acting in its new use?
8) What benefits will this use of the property have to the City, its residents and the neighboring businesses?
9) What other properties do you own in the City? Do you have other  construction or housing projects planned or currently underway in the City and if so, what are they and what is your timeline for completion?


 * These are general guidelines which will be followed, however the City acknowledges that there are unique facts and circumstances to each sale and sometimes it may be necessary to deviate from these procedures. No sales are final until after Council approval and the City reserves the right to deviate from these guidelines on a case by case basis at its sole discretion with Council consent.

**Additional questions may be required depending on unique circumstance.