Latham hotel developer gets tax break

A Latham development firm will receive more than half million dollars in tax breaks on continued development at the intersection of Route 9R and Columbia Street Extension.

ADD Development and Management was before the town's Industrial Development Agency Monday, Jan. 28, seeking $537,000 in tax relief.

However, at least one resident was wary of awarding a Colonie hotel such a break considering the number of hotels already in the town and a looming $8.5 million town deficit. The proposal also drew the ire of newly appointed IDA members, who, except for one member, were Democratic appointments under the newly elected administration in Colonie.

I feel we have so many hotels in Colonie, and I would like to know how many vacant rooms are in these hotels today, asked Gloria Knoll of Albany Shaker Road, who owns 13 acres adjacent to the Times Union building. Knoll, who said she would like to develop affordable housing on her parcel, said she doesn't like the idea of giving tax breaks to another hotel in the town and instead favors town action geared toward developing mixed-income housing in Colonie.

"I feel we need to somehow put money into a land trust. We don't have the money (for this tax break); we are $8.5 million in debt. I think they can afford to pay this," said Knoll shortly before agency members voted to approve the tax relief.

ADD took over the defunct retail center at the intersection in early 2006.

After whittling down its original proposal to build and reaching an agreement with town planners on traffic issues, the firm got the go-ahead to construct a 6,800-square-foot, six-story, 126-room Holiday Inn Express. As part of the proposal, the firm has been redeveloping the retail center overlooking Alternate Route 7, and plans to add two restaurants to the site.

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