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Vista back on the radar

Massive tech park may include a grocery store

After many months of inaction, it looks like 2011 might be the year shovels go into the ground at the Vista Technology Campus.

That's according to BBL Construction Services, who wants to bring site plans for the first phase of construction on the massive project to the Town of Bethlehem later this month.

That phase would include construction of Vista Boulevard a long road into the heart of the development which would split off the lonely two-pronged roundabout on Route 85 and the campus's first 40,000-square-foot office building. Vista is cleared to have 1.4 million square feet of retail, commercial and professional space.

Jonathan deForest, vice president at BBL, at a recent Planning Board meeting declined to say who would be occupying the office building, but said there is now significant interest in Vista and there might be multiple takers.

"We kind of languished in the last year-and-a-half, partly because of the economy," deForest said. "We need to have curb and faCade and have something for customers to see."

The project was last in front of the Planning Board in September of 2009.

deForest said BBL and partner Columbia Development would like to begin construction in the spring. Providing a firm schedule to interested tenants will be key in securing commitments to come to Vista.

deForest declined to identify any potential Vista tenants, but he did say a grocery store has expressed interest in one large retail building.

"A lot of different vendors or operators have expressed interest," he said. "The intention right now is it would be a grocery store."

A Price Chopper is located across the street from Vista as an anchor for a shopping plaza.

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