Colonie Center marquees to tout major retailers

The town has approved Colonie Center's request to begin constructing and placing more than $350,000 in new signs as redevelopment of the mall continues.

Mall owners and tenants were before the town sign review board last week to seek approval on 30 new signs. The mall and board reached a compromise that granted Colonie Center leeway on maximum size requirements on some of the signs.

Board members were reluctant at first to grant some of the variances to town code, but the overall benefit of the redesign to the town proved to be the deciding factor.

They (board members) felt that Colonie Center used to be a hometown shopping center and that a lot of people went to the mall that lived in the area, said Building Department director Michael Rosch.

The board felt that free-standing signs on Central Avenue, Wolf and Sand Creek roads would be redundant being that the tenants they would list would be clearly marked on the outside. However, some argued that nationally recognized stores, such as L.L. Bean, P.F. Chang's and the Cheesecake Factory, would draw patrons from throughout the Capital District, as they are the only ones in the area, and those signs were eventually approved.

The new signs will allow anyone traveling down the busy thoroughfares to easily catch a glimpse of what is at the mall, said Rosch.

"I thought the sign review board was fairly generous, not that I disagree with them, but they are usually a bit more stringent," he said.

Town code states that free-standing signs can't exceed 160 square feet and 20 feet height. It also states that the sign can only list eight tenants at the establishment and that they each must match or exceed 25,000 feet of retail space.

The existing sign overlooking Wolf Road is 360 square feet and stands 30 feet tall.

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