Saratoga Springs' retailers off Broadway's beaten and costly path that have taken Adirondack Trust Bank up on its entrepreneur program are reaping the benefits.
The bank began the low-rent lease program in an effort to bolster business in the bottom floors of new corporate offices the bank built approximately one year ago on Church Street.
The three retail spaces are being leased for $12 per square foot, less than half the amount Broadway retailers pay for prime space. And the outcome couldn't be better, with foot traffic, referrals and steady business, said Melissa Coonradt, a partner in Hughes Interior Design, one of the Church Street tenants.
It's working out great. We get a lot of walk-ins, said Coonradt.
Coonradt's business partner Jane Hughes started the company. The interior design firm was the first to move into the retail space at 29 Church St., in early May last year. They share the space with Saratoga Storage Solutions.
The two businesses are straddled by two 1,200-square-foot spaces, 27 Church St., occupied by maternity store, Haute Mama Maternity, and florists Flower Child Floral Design at 33 Church St. Each has made a five-year lease commitment.
When the bank made its plan public to offer low-lease retail space a block from Broadway, calls began pouring in, said George Hathaway, vice president of facilities for the bank.
Many were turned away, as the plan from the beginning was to offer the space to first time retail business owners, he said. The goal is to help new businesses get on their feet and make it through the first year. The remaining four years on the lease is to help them develop the customer base needed to cut it on Broadway or elsewhere in the city.
"The thing is over a five-year period so the businesses can take root and grow. They can graduate into the higher-rent districts," Hathaway said.