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ROTTERDAM: Firm plans Exit strategy

Representatives from the local architecture and design firm Synthesis began a series of public outreach programs last week, including speaking with members of the Hamburg Street Merchants Association and other residents during a public visioning seminar.

Synthesis is in charge of studying the area around Exit 25 and creating a land use proposal. Rotterdam received a $35,000 grant from the Capital District Transportation Committee's Linkage Program to fund the study.

Ian Law, the study's project manager, spoke to members of the Hamburg Street Merchant's Association Monday, April 16, and presented some ideas for ways to develop the area. He pointed specifically to the land where the old Grand Union now sits, which he said could be turned into a mixed-use commercial center with retail businesses, office space, landscaped areas and sidewalks.

The lack of sewers on Hamburg Street has stifled any development. Town officials and planners have said they believe once a sewer line is built in the area, development will spring up.

Law said having a plan for the area will make it easier to go after grant money and additional funding to make some of the dreaming a reality.

We are generating a blueprint for change, Law said. "When you have a plan you can go after grants and funding. Until you do that it's just talk."

Law also pointed out that with a plan, people like Metroplex Development Authority Director Ray Gillen can go out and market the area to people.

"You have great highway access and tons of residents to support any development," Law said.

Future and existing development was certainly a key factor with residents at the public visioning seminar held Thursday, April 19, at the Rotterdam Senior Center.

Michael Hale from Synthesis and Mark Sargent from Creighton Manning Engineering, who are in charge of the area's transportation study, met with residents to discuss what they would most like to see in the area.

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