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Group fights for historic home

The historic Ingersoll Adult Home is once again at the center of controversy in Niskayuna as a small band of preservationists scramble to prevent developers from relocating the building so a new shopping center can be put up across the street from Mohawk Commons.

It's the latest chapter of a battle that has raged throughout the year, and an ad hoc group calling themselves the Friends of Stanford Home has reached out to state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer in hopes his office will intervene.

Citing court papers, the group said that residents of the 33-bed nursing home, now located at 3421 State St., would not be served well if they are moved to a much larger facility planned for a 4.1-acre site along Consaul Road. They also said the new site violates a stipulation requiring the nursing home to be on at least a 5-acre plot of land.

In a decision last month, Schenectady Surrogate Court Judge Barry Kramer said the 4.1-acre site was sufficient and the plan could move forward, but the group said the court failed to keep them informed despite their known interest in the project.

Calling upon Spitzer's office to exercise its oversight authority, the group asked him to reopen the matter.

Led by Linda Champagne, Niskayuna's town historian, the group hopes that the attorney general's intervention will block the trustees who oversee the Ingersoll Home from selling its current site to Highbridge Development LLC for $3.5 million. Management of the facility has said that the money will be reinvested in their new location at 3359 Consaul Road. The town board narrowly approved rezoning that parcel by a 3-to-2 vote earlier this year.

Along with relocating the existing nursing home, plans have been made to build a series of stores at the home's current location in a project that requires clearing acres of green space. Plans for developing the 12-acre State Street site also include demolishing part of the historic building and moving the remaining portion to a remote section of the parcel, cutting it off from direct access to an existing public roadway.

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