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10 Reasons Why Amsterdam is the Next Capital Region Hot Spot


10 Reasons Why Amsterdam is the Next Capital Region Hot Spot!

Robert W. Gordon

Branch Manager and Photographer of Inglenook Realty, Inc...

Branch Manager and Photographer of Inglenook Realty, Inc...

Feb 12 10 minutes read

Don't blink!  Amsterdam is the new place to be and invest and if you close your eyes you might miss it!  Large grants by the State, recently proposed larger scale private development, an amazing Recreation Department, the BEST local businesses, financial accounting in the Controller's office, history, and heavy investor activity in the area prove my point.   

1. Finances

I might as well start with the hard part and get this out of the way first.  If you have heard the news recently or read the classic comments about the roads on a typical Hometown Amsterdam Facebook page post, you may or may not think that Amsterdam is in dire straights with a soaring deficit, changes in the political landscape, declining tax base and deteriorating roads/infrastructure.  While there are certainly things to be concerned about, one thing headed in the right direction is financial accountability and the city's finances.  After many years of declining revenues due to a change in the overall economy, a death and then vacancy in the Controllers office & the subsequent blind budgeting practices that spanned years and administrations, Amsterdam's finances took a beating and the true damages were really unknown until now.   

What do I mean by blind budgeting?  To make it as easy to understand as possible, the city had written a lot of checks and spent money (a lot of it) and never marked in their checkbook where the money went or how much they had left.  In fact, they didn't even write down that money was all.  Unfortunately, this blind budgeting left a deep hole that has put city leadership in a tough spot where tough decisions have had to be made.  Finally, after several years of hard work by the Mayors office, Controllers office and along with some outside accounting help, we now have a clearer picture of the cities finances and a certified deficit; and the picture does not look pretty (See the article on the Mohawk Valley Compass HERE).  BUT, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and a plan can be put in place to get the city's finances under control.  The new mayor will have to continue the tough choices and utilize the gifts we have been given to right the ship and get the finances under control.

2. The State in many ways decides winners and losers.  Fortunately for Amsterdam NY, the State has decided they're a big winner.

The State has made a huge bet and is investing loads of money into the City of Amsterdam.  Don't take my word for it, see for yourself:

  1. $22,400,000 - Infrastructure grant to repair roads, bridges, lighting and etc. See Leader Herald article HERE
  2. $10,000,000 - DRI Grant to revamp downtown, the waters edge, Southside, build a Community Center & dog park, revamp the library and so much more.  See Gazette article HERE
  3. Several additional grants towards the already awarded DRI projects including (View the article HERE):
    1. $800,000 - Amsterdam Library Renovation & Expansion, business incubator, & STEM education center
    2. $1,200,000 - The Community Center and Recreation Center Project 
    3. $20,000 - Centro Civico grant
    4. $50,000 - Waterfront Revitalization Program
    5. $30,000 - Amsterdam Collection System Improvements Study
    6. $190,000 - City of Amsterdam IDA Grant to assist The Whispering Pines Preschool
  4. $521,785 Grant to replace lead piping.  See The Recorder article HERE.
  5. $49,990 Mohawk Machine Works Grant. See article HERE
  6. $25,000,000 Grant for the Erie Canal Project Lock 11 developments (NOTE: Amsterdam will receive part of the $25,000,000) View the article HERE
  7. $10,600,000 Repairs to Bridges by D.O.T. (View article HERE)
  8. $500,000 for rehabilitation projects (View Article HERE)
  9. $500,000 Grant towards new SPCA (View Article HERE)
  10. $8,600,000 Grant for Roundabouts and Sidewalk improvements at more than 20 streets and intersections (View article HERE)
  11. $30,000,000+ Renovation to the New Amsterdam and Stratton apartment complexes (View the Article HERE)
  12. Grants for "Zombie Properties" (Amounts Unknown). View article HERE

This is just a list of some of what has been awarded  by the State in the last 1 1/2 years.  Now, I know I only sell Real Estate and I am not a mathematician (or a writer for that matter), but this to me is a TON of money.  $110,000,000 million dollars is going to COMPLETELY change the look of this city!  Work is just beginning this year and you won't believe what will happen in just a couple of years!  Hold on tight.

Disclaimer: Accuracy of the above must be independently verified by you! I am just posting what I have seen.  If I have something wrong, sorry.

3. Sticker Mule & Hill and Markes.

If you don't know who they are, you must be living under a rock because everyone wants to work at these two companies.  

Sticker Mule is a super awesome company that started right here in Amsterdam, NY and is rapidly expanding both here and all over the world!  They are now the printer of choice for many of the worlds largest companies including a few you may have heard of such as ESPN, Google, Coca-Cola, Netflix and Facebook. If you don't know why they are awesome just check out this article HERE, or this one HERE, or maybe this one 💪HERE🥊.

Hill and Markes is the Albany Business Review Family Business of the Year! View the article HERE.

4. Developers are noticing, and they are coming.

  1.  $30,000,000+ Development coming to Amsterdam's waterfront! View the article HERE.
  2.  Developers propose 3 story, 60 unit Apartment complex for the East End between Lark and John St.  View the article HERE.
  3.  Forbes St 18-Unit residential apartment building proposed! View the article HERE.
  4.  Amsterdam Microtel Hotel being constructed.  View the article HERE.

5. Jobs and Business are Coming

  1. 1 million-square-foot distribution center planned near Thruway exit 27.  View article HERE.
  2. Dollar General builds a 750,000 sq ft distribution center!  View the article HERE.

6. Private Investors are purchasing property

  1. Former Alpin Haus building receives a face lift. View the article HERE.
  2. Private Investor DJ & Ka Enterprises, LLC purchases 14 properties in the City of Amsterdam in 2019.

7. Killer Events Hosted in the City

1,000's of people are flooding the streets of Amsterdam several times a year for amazing events put on by the City including but not limited to:

  1. Soupfest
  2. Octoberfest
  3. St Patty's Day
  4. Italianfest
  5. Wingfest
  6. Spring Fling
  7. Riverfest

8. History

One of the first light bulbs, a Robert Trent Jones Golf Course, a Carnegie library, a Castle, amazing mansions and historical architecture.    Amsterdam has incredible history that is becoming noticed!

9. Location

Amsterdam is the perfect location in the Capital Region to live or open a business as it's centrally located on the NYS Thruway and within a 1/2 hour to 1 hour commute to Albany, Schenectady, Saratoga, Glens Falls, Utica, Johnstown, Gloversville, and Cobleskill.

10. Affordability

Amsterdam is one of the most affordable communities within a 1/2 hour drive of Albany.  The average price per sq ft and average tax amounts for homes that have SOLD in the MLS and in surrounding cities in the last 12 months are as follows:

  1. Amsterdam School District - $83.02 price per sq ft including Seller Contributions | $4,471 average Total Tax ( includes properties with taxes reported by agent only) | 1,609 average sq foot home
  2. Schenectady School District - $81.46 price per sq ft including Seller Contributions | $5,352 average Total Tax ( includes properties with taxes reported by agent only) | 1,512 average sq foot home
  3. Albany School District - $117.10 price per sq ft including Seller Contributions | $5,901 average Total Tax ( includes properties with taxes reported by agent only) | 1,593 average sq foot home
  4. Saratoga Springs School District - $210.85 price per sq ft including Seller Contributions | $5,951 average Total Tax ( includes properties with taxes reported by agent only) | 2,049 average sq foot home

As you can see, assuming your interest rate is around 4% and a down payment of 10% down, if you purchased a 1800 sq ft in one of these areas you would expect to pay per month approximately:

  1. Amsterdam - ~$1,014 per month excluding insurances.
  2. Schenectady - ~$1,076 per month excluding insurances.
  3. Albany - ~$1,398 per month excluding insurances
  4. Saratoga Springs - ~$2,127 per month excluding insurances

A few other things to note, Amsterdam includes Water, Sewer, and Garbage user fees in their taxes in the city.  The other municipalities may or may not.  

Disclaimer: the above numbers are estimates and are reliant on accurate information reported in the MLS by other agents.  These numbers are not written in stone and may have some inaccuracy

In closing, Amsterdam is officially on the map once again.  Don't sleep on Amsterdam.

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