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Lowe's still a go on Freeman's Bridge Road

Despite a slow economy, construction on a Lowe's Home Improvement Store on Freemans Bridge Road in Glenville is set to begin in the coming weeks, with an official opening slated for the end of the year.

Glenville officials say that is a good thing for the area as the store will bring in an expected 100 jobs.

The Glenville Town Board and Zoning and Planning Commission have worked with Lowe's officials over the past couple of years on zoning and logistics, including traffic concerns.

Supervisor Frank Quinn said the town welcomes the store because it will not only bring in new jobs, but also consumers from across the county. Currently, the nearest Lowe's is in Mohawk Commons.

Councilman Chris Koetzle said that even small local business owners have said that Lowe's can be an asset to the area. Koetlze said he believes that the increase in traffic to the store will help local retail shops through spill over, including the smaller home improvement businesses that can better compete on service and shopping ease.

"We expect that Lowe's will bring jobs in two ways: First, we expect nearly 100 jobs in the actual build out of the store, which includes infrastructure projects; second, we anticipate somewhere between 60 to 75 retail jobs once the store opens. At this time, there are no longer real concerns about traffic. We are widening the road, adding a turn lane, flattening angles, and adding walkways for pedestrians," said Koetzle.

The home improvement store will have 103,000 square feet of retail sales space, with an additional 31,600-square-foot garden center.

According to Maureen Rich, spokeswoman for Lowe's, the average store of this size represents an investment in the community of approximately $12 million.

"People don't really have the money to be going out to be purchasing the stuff that they are selling in that store, but maybe there are people out there that can still afford to do that," said Scotia resident Jennifer Gribben. "My first feeling was it's another big building coming into town and it's not going to be really beautiful, but it will create a lot of jobs, so that's a good thing."

Rit Ruzzo, manager of the Lighthouse Restaurant, just down the road from the Lowe's site, said he is hoping the added traffic in the area draws more diners.

"Obviously, we're always excited to see new jobs come into the area. Hopefully it will mean an economic stimulus for everyone in this area, and we're always in favor of that," Ruzzo said.

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