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Niskayuna eyes new CVS building

Preliminary planning is under way to revamp the building on the corner of Balltown and VanAntwerp roads in Niskayuna that houses a CVS pharmacy and a vacant space that once held Hollywood Video.

According to Kathy Matern, planner for the Town of Niskayuna, the plan is very new and there is no timeline whatsoever, but it would include demolishing and rebuilding an new structure to solely house a CVS with a drive-thru.

"The Zoning Board of Appeals has to grant a variance. If the variance is granted then they come back to the Planning Board for site plan review," said Matern.

The building, as it stands now, including the vacant portion that once held Hollywood Video, encompasses 17,120 square feet. The property is owned by Albany-based MXW Holdings Corporation.

"We've had a lot of inquiries [about the property]," said David Ray, a developer with MXW. "We've also been speaking with CVS over the past year and a half. We originally were talking about occupying the 17,000-square-foot building, but the problem is it's an old building."

He noted that it is in somewhat of a state of disrepair and the current configuration of the structure, in regards to width and depth, doesn't meet the needs of CVS.

"They're also looking for a drive-thru and it's not possible to put one there," said Ray.

The new structure would be smaller than the current one. There would be access points to the new structure on both Balltown Road and VanAntwerp Road.

Part of the plan might involve demolishing several homes that sit adjacent to the property in order to build parking lots for the new structure and also for the drive-thru to work. One is owned by MXW Holdings Corporation and sits vacant. Others are rented out. None is owner-occupied.

According to Morris Auster, a member of the Niskayuna Planning Board, there is a general concern that demolishing these homes and putting in a parking lot might not be consistent with the town's Comprehensive Plan, since it might potentially cut into a residential zone.

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