Developers appeal on Ingersoll in Niskayuna

Developers seeking to build a shopping mall on the site of a two-century-old building in Niskayuna have served formal notice they are appealing a court ruling that threatens to derail the project. The notice submitted by attorneys for Highbridge Development LLC starts another round in the high-profile legal fight over the Ingersoll Home for the Aged, a building that area preservationists have spent months fighting to preserve.

Notice is hereby given that respondents appeal from each and every part (of) said decision, the brief two-page document filed by Albany-based attorney John Henry said.

Developers have spent nearly a year pushing forward with plans to build a strip mall known as Stanford Crossings on the 12.5-acre property used by the Ingersoll nursing home. Under their most recent proposal, Highbridge Development would retain the original portion of the existing building but use much of the currently wooded grounds for several retail stores and parking. Preservationists have criticized the construction of the proposed mall as a threat to open space and the town's longest standing historic building.

"We are certainly not surprised by the developer's decision to appeal. They have too much money at stake in the construction of another mall," said Linda Champagne, a former Niskayuna town historian and president of the Friends of Stanford Home.

"We really appreciate the support we have received from hundreds and hundreds of people from throughout the region as we seek to preserve this important historic structure and the open space around it," Champagne said. "We will absolutely continue this fight until that property, which is such a treasure, is protected from being turned into just another shopping mall."

The battle over the early 19th-century structure initially led to the creation of the Friends of Stanford Home, a local non-profit organization that sued Niskayuna after the town board narrowly approved granting developers a special use permit allowing construction of the Stanford Crossings mall.

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