The apartments would likely be priced at $900 to $1,200 per month, and the senior apartment rent would be market driven.
Indeed, there has been a great deal of study as to what the future of this area might be, including the town's Route 9W Corridor Study. Councilman Mark Hennessey commended the developer for taking this document into consideration.
"I usually have a very tough time supporting a proposal like this," Hennessey said, "but it seems to me you've done a lot of the thinking about the direction we want to take this community in."
There was some talk about the size of the hamlet. Zee said the developer wants to seek approval for the 526 units but could conceivably build fewer.
If approved, Wemple Corners would be the largest hamlet project to be seen in Bethlehem, and one of the biggest in the area. There are comparisons to be drawn to Glassworks Village in Guilderland. That development of 300 living units and 190,000 square feet of commercial space has been given the stamp of approval by the town, but shovels have yet to hit the dirt.
Not too far from the Wemple Corners site is a hamlet-style project that is under construction. Kendall Square got the go-ahead from the town last year and structures are making their way up now. This development is to be much smaller than the Glenmont project, with 110 housing units and up to 40,000 square feet of commercial space.
Kendall Square received some considerable criticism from neighbors of the property, who feared it would snarl traffic and change the area's character. The Town Board directed Milltowne to reach out to neighbors to let them know about the rezoning process.
Even if the zoning change is approved the plans would have to be reviewed by the Planning Board. Zee said he'd like to see construction start in 18 months assuming the approval process goes well.
Councilman Kyle Kotary noted this is just the beginning of the process.
"This is simply about a change in zoning. We're going to have opportunities to have narrow as well as broad discussions on how to develop this area of town," he said.""