Coming home to Malta

"Saratoga County has been a county in growth for the last 15 years," he said. "During the so-called housing crisis, we've really fared much better than other areas."

That's chiefly because home prices didn't grow out of control over the past few years, so the collapse of the mortgage market was not quite as painful in the Capital District. With the credit crunch in full swing and most Americans bracing for an economic downturn, it's not surprising that many are forgoing mortgaging a house, but with the region poised for growth, most realtors are optimistic about the future.

"It's one thing to sit there and be optimistic without a cause, but I think that we have a reason," said Stephen Towne, chief operating officer at Roohan Realty. "It's been a tough go for a lot of folks, but I think there's a real optimism that things will start improving."

Realtors aren't only optimistic about residential offerings, but also an increased demand for business space along Route 9 in Malta near the proposed downtown area. New developments offering both are being built presently.

Park Place, sitting on 60 acres of land, is slated to hold 238 condominium units, 60 single-family homes and roughly 115,000 square feet of retail space. The first buildings have already been erected, including a sales office.

Just down the road, Ellsworth Commons will be a more compact development, but still will hold 310 apartments, 21 homes and 70,000-square-feet of retail space on its Route 9 plot of land directly opposite town hall. Developer Albany Partners LLC, who created the nearby Steeplechase Apartments, would hope to have the site up and running by the time AMD opens its doors.

Closer to Fab4X itself, homebuilder Thomas J. Farone and Sons bought 66 acres of land at the Luther Forest Technology Campus in April. The Gansevoort-based firm's exact plans for the plot were not available.

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