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Progress made at prominent intersection

A new Delmar Medical Arts Building will be completed in 2012 at the intersection. Town officials once the current medical building is torn down, the amount of green space at the property will increase from 4 to 16 percent.

A new Delmar Medical Arts Building will be completed in 2012 at the intersection. Town officials once the current medical building is torn down, the amount of green space at the property will increase from 4 to 16 percent.

Construction work at one of the busiest intersections in Delmar is moving at a rapid pace, and two projects are set to wrap up in the new year.

Bethlehem town officials said the former Saratoga Shoe Depot site at the intersection of Delaware and Elsmere avenues would likely be ready for occupancy by Berkshire Bank in the early part of 2012. The bank will relocate to the site from its branch in the Delaware Plaza.

Across Delaware Avenue, it’s likely that construction of the new Delmar Medical Arts Building will be finished by next summer, allowing for doctors to move from their current location next door. Doctors from Community Care Physicians will occupy the first floor, with medical office space making up the second floor of the facility.

“Once the building has been completed, and they get their certificate of occupancy from the town, the doctors will then move in to the building, and the old 15,000-square-foot building will be torn down,” said Michael Morelli, the director of economic development and planning for the town.

The vacant space will then be used for landscaping, parking and for stormwater management purposes. It’s progress that Morelli is happy to see.

“You had two vacant buildings sitting across from each other,” said Morelli. “You’re talking about an adaptive reuse of existing, previously developed sites. That’s a good thing.”

Morelli pointed to the mandate in the town’s comprehensive plan to refurbish existing sites wherever possible, rather than starting from scratch.

The intersection is considered a “gateway,” a description used in the Delaware Avenue Hamlet Enhancement Study developed by an advisory committee but never adopted by the Town Board. Morelli is hopeful that the board will act on the study in 2012.

“It was a good guide that we could share with the developers and say, these are some of the things the town is trying to develop and articulate along that corridor,” said Morelli.

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