By Paul Post
Alan Schnurman epitomizes the American Dream. Raised by his single mom, a seamstress, in Brooklyn, he slept on the couch of an affordable housing unit with no room of his own.
Fast forward a few decades, he and business partner, Gary Seff, recently bought up more than $15 million worth of commercial properties in Saratoga County.
“I was passing through Saratoga Springs a while back and didn’t see any vacant stores,” said Schnurman, 77, a retired lawyer and Dutchess County resident. “I saw a very vibrant community. I did a little research and found out about GlobalFoundries and how jobs were coming into the county. I was looking for a place to diversify and decided this was it.”
His first local acquisition, on his own, was Red Roof Inn on Old Route 146 in Clifton Park. Next, he and Seff, owner of Fountainhead Construction Co. on Eastern Long Island, purchased the Bank of America property at the corner of Route 146 and Clifton Country Road in Clifton Park.
Recently, they paid $1.67 million cash for the historic 472 Broadway building in Saratoga Springs, which was the long-time home of Menges & Curtis Pharmacy and deJonghe Original Jewelry. On the same day, they bought a 17,800-square-foot retail plaza at 4 Kelch Drive, off Northway Exit 12 in Malta, whose tenants include Five Guys, Jersey Mike’s, Starbucks, ATT, a beauty parlor and pizza shop.
Plans call for renovating the currently vacant upper floors of the downtown Saratoga Springs building, at the corner of Lake Avenue, into upscale apartments.