Sphere announces Target as anchor for New Scotland project

As New Scotland town officials consider an extension of the moratorium on commercial development, representatives from Syracuse-based Sphere Development LLC tell Spotlight Newspapers that they need an estimated 137,000-square-foot Target retail outlet to develop the 179-acre plot, formerly the Bender melon farm along Route 85A.

Greg Widrick, a managing partner at Sphere Development LLC said, We need to have an anchor store. We need Target to make it a viable development site.

The proposed development would cost close to $100 million.

New Scotland currently has a moratorium on commercial development on buildings more than 30,000 square feet. Until an extension is formally made, the moratorium ends Nov. 21.

Town officials say an extension is necessary so they can have more time for public input and to work out details in zoning law language.

The Commercial Zone Advisory Committee is attempting to bring zoning laws up to speed with the comprehensive plan, and talks about a cap on the limit of commercially developed buildings have been at the crux of the discussions to change the zoning laws.

A public workshop is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 17, and officials say the moratorium extension could be two or three months.

Widrick said Sphere understands the precautionary move to propose and draft an extension to the moratorium.

"We're trying to work with the public to come to a solution to this thing," he said.

Widrick did say, though, that Sphere would be severely limited by a building cap, and in order to "viably" develop the site, they need a building that will far exceed the discussed 50,000-to-60,000 square feet as an anchor.

A final plan will need to be reviewed by Albany County and the new Scotland Town Board.

CZAC chair Roz Robinson said that process could take 30 to 90 days.

Robinson said that while they are having trouble deciding on an appropriate cap for the size of commercial developments, that is not the primary reason for a potential extension.

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