Developers seeking restaurateur for new construction on south side


With high expectations for Amsterdam’s south side, Rob Zyzes Sr. and his son Rick Insogna have embarked on a project to bring a restaurant to a space adjacent to the south entrance of the Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook pedestrian bridge. They’ve completed basic construction and most of the exterior finishing of the 2,200 square foot building and are at the point where they are advertising the property for either lease or purchase.

“The development in the area made it a no-brainer,” said Insogna during a recent interview at the site. “With the bridge going in and the landscape down here changing, with things like the lighting and the streetscape, it made the investment seem like a good idea.”

He gave credit for the idea to his father, who is the owner of Amsterdam-based Z Core, LLC, a concrete cutting business, and who has owned the previously vacant property for many years. The two have used all their own resources to fund the project.

Insogna said he grew up in Amsterdam, and was excited about the chance to partner with his father and build a project in his home town.

“We’ve done a lot of the work ourselves, and where we haven’t, we’ve used local contractors,” said Insogna.

The interior of the building has yet to be finished, but for a good reason.

Insogna explained, “The most likely scenario is that whether someone buys it or leases it, we’ll customize it for them, once we know what their vision is for the interior, we can put that to work.”

“We want someone with a good plan and probably a proven track record,” he added.

Both partners are hopeful that the $40 million commercial and residential development being proposed to be built across the street by KCG Development will make the site an attractive prospect both in the short term, as construction workers will need a convenient place to eat, as well as in the long term as people move into the proposed 120 residential units.

While Mayor Michael Villa had expressed hope last year that KCG would start construction this spring, he said last week that spring of 2019 was looking more likely. The city signed a purchase contract with KCG in October 2017 which gave the developer flexible terms as to the length of the “inspection period” and closing date. In December 2017, the Montgomery County Business Development Center was successful in securing a $1 million grant from New York State for the project.

“This is the spot,” said Insogna. “When you look at the proximity to the bridge, the stuff that happens here – the city is doing a great a job with their events. You have the thruway, you have route 30. I can’t think of a better spot to have a business if you’re looking for both vehicular and pedestrian traffic.”

“We’re excited and I think we’re bringing a lot of energy into the project. And whoever takes it from here, we’re looking for someone who has that same energy.”

For more information, contact Rick Insogna at (518)848-0232.

Tim Becker

Tim Becker is the owner of Anthem Websites Inc. which publishes The Compass. He serves as both editor and a writer.