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KeyBank Donates Space to Troy Savings Bank Music Hall



Michael DeMasi, Albany Business Review

The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall Corp. now owns the vacant space on the ground floor of the historic performing arts building in downtown Troy because of a donation from KeyBank.

The former bank branch at 32 Second St. has been empty since 2012. The donation ensures the cultural landmark will continue to be preserved, officials said.

“We are delighted to have acquired this beautiful community asset and look forward to what we are certain will be an exciting transformation to come,” Jon Elbaum, executive director of Troy Savings Bank Music Hall Corp., said in a prepared statement.

The corporation, which handles programming at the music hall, expects to announce in two to three months how the space will be used.

"There's still some aspects that have to be flushed out but we do have a general sense of what's going to happen," Elbaum said.

The ground floor was originally Troy Savings Bank.

The music hall, opened in 1875, is renowned for its acoustics and has hosted musicians such as Benny Goodman, Ella Fitzgerald, Arlo Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Bruce Hornsby, Wynton Marsalis, Yo-Yo Ma and a long list of other performers.

First Niagara Financial Group, then based in Buffalo, bought Troy Savings Bank's parent company in 2003. The bank branch on the ground floor changed names, but the music hall — owned by a separate foundation — remained.

First Niagara closed the branch in 2012 after buying HSBC Bank. Then, in 2016, Cleveland-based KeyBank bought First Niagara.

The uncertain future of the empty bank branch in downtown Troy led to a court fight between the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall Foundation Inc. and First Niagara.

The lawsuit was resolved amicably, said Leslie Cheu, executive director of the foundation. The settlement terms are confidential and unrelated to the property donation, she said.

The property was transferred to the music hall at no cost on March 28.

KeyBank Capital Region President Ruth Mahoney said in a statement: "Troy Savings Bank Music Hall is among of our region’s most cherished cultural institutions. We value all it brings to our community and are proud to make this donation.”

“We know the community has a great deal of fondness for the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall and is interested in what will happen next," Elbaum said. "Now that we own the former banking unit of the property, we will move quickly to consult with our stakeholders, determine a concrete path."

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