Massive Glenmont project on drawing board

The initial concept, while lacking definition, indicates the developer is pushing for a self-sustained, walkable, "new urban"-style development.

While town planners are tackling hamlet-style projects with increasing frequency, there exists nothing of the scale and style of the Wemple Corners proposal in Bethlehem planning department, said Morelli.

"To a certain extent, it's probably similar in some respects to Glassworks Village out in Guilderland," he said, referencing the recently-approved project with 300 living units and 190 square feet of commercial space.

Supporters say Glassworks will provide economic development without impacting the area's small-town feel. Detractors, however, fear increased traffic and doubt the ability of the troubled economy to support such an endeavor.

Several years ago and also in Glenmont, a developer forwarded plans for an larged commercial-based development with condominiums along the Hudson River, off of Route 144. The floundering Beacon Harbor project is expected to be withdrawn from consideration soon, said Morelli, and the developer will probably seek industrial users.

"I think they began to realize the location was not appropriate," he said.

Route 9W and Wemple, on the other hand, was cited in the town's Route 9W Corridor Study as a possible suitable location for a hamlet-style development.

The land is zoned for mixed economic development, which is primarily meant for office space tech companies.

"What they're proposing, in all likelihood, would have to go to the Town Board for a zone change," Morelli said.

In related news, a public hearing has been scheduled for a smaller hamlet-style project that's already before the Planning Board.

The board will hear comment on the Kendall Square project, a development of 112 apartment units at the intersection of Feura Bush Road and Elsmere Avenue in Glenmont. Between 20,000 and 40,000 square feet of commercial space is included.

The hearing will be held Tuesday, May 11, at 6 p.m. in Bethlehem Town Hall. As it is an off week for the board, no other items will be on the agenda. A presentation on hamlet zoning and design by town officials will precede the hearing.


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