RPI Buys Proctor's Theatre Building in Downtown Troy
Earlier this month, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute purchased the Proctor's Theatre building at 82 Fourth Street in Downtown Troy. Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, President of Rensselaer, said that the "goal is to develop a high-end hotel that will provide economic and community benefits to the city of Troy and to the surrounding area."
Proctor's Theater, Troy, New York, was built in 1914 as the newest link in the chain of theaters owned by F. F. Proctor. Although a separate building, the theater is linked to the adjacent office building constructed at the same time. Proctor's began as a "high class vaudeville" theater, eventually adding movies to the venue. In its heyday, Proctor's Theater showcased such stars as Jack Benny, Bob Hope and Jimmy Durante. After closing in 1977, the building stood vacant and vulnerable to the elements until this fall when it was purchased by private developer who plans to turn the former office building into a first-class hotel.
The "private developer" referred to in the quoted text above is Ali Yaghoubi of 1888 Hudson Realty LLC. According to Final Act, an article in Online Preservation, he was the developer who purchased the building in 2000 and ultimately sold it to Proctor Hotel Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of RPI.
The purchase of Proctor's Theatre continues the real estate development portion of the Communiversity initiative. This has included the rehabilitation of the Hedley Building, Gurley Building, and Rice Building in Downtown Troy, and the Homebuyer Incentive Grant Program which has allowed the rehabilitation of 30 homes in the immediate vicinity of the Rensselaer campus.
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