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At long last, groundbreaking set for Vista

Tech park plans met approval four years ago, work to start Monday

— Monday’s work is slated to begin without fanfare, but a groundbreaking ceremony will be set in a few weeks.

Many Bethlehem residents have already noticed the construction equipment staged by Builder BBL Construction.

“It’s going to be a busy next couple of months. This project represents a great deal of construction for a whole lot of folks. That’s good news in any economy,” said Jonathan deForest, BBL executive vice president.

The Vista master plan calls for 1.4 million square feet of office, retail and commercial space. Developers have been guarded when it comes to the identity of initial tenants but it’s likely a Shoprite grocery store will anchor the park’s retail component.

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RichardReevesEllington 2 years, 10 months ago

This project has been termed to be a technology park but there is no mention of technology in the first round of building. The only "likely" tenant is a grocery. Commercial office space is listed as important, as retail space. When I hear that developers are "guarded" about who might take space, I suspect the list of people signed up might be sparse.

I have several questions concerning the project and cannot find answers to them. For example: exactly how much of the cost is being underwritten by Bethlehem? What are Bethlehem responsibilities to the maintenance of the site? What are the tax revenue flows from the project to the Town? There is mention of employment but are the construction crews local or from elsewhere? If elsewhere, how does that benefit local Bethlehem merchants? Retail space creates jobs, but jobs that are usually part time, minimum wage, and none to limited benefits. Are these the the types of jobs Bethlehem needs or wants.

I believe it is time to refocus efforts to activities that help existing small business people in our community. An example to have an online index of businesses owned and operated by Bethlehem residents. This list is now a partial one owned and for a charge through the Chamber of Commerce. Also, the Town should look to local businesses as a first choice for services. These are existing businesses trying to make a living and that already contribute to the Town's tax base, employment, and community service. They deserve to be the center of the Town's development efforts.

For more on my Candidacy for Bethlehem Town supervisor, go to www.bethlehemsupervisor.com.

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RichardReevesEllington 2 years, 10 months ago

Today's Times Union has made the case for shifting development priorities under an article entitled "Think local when planning." Good advice. It is time for ;the citizens of Bethlehem to be empowered to decide what kind of community development they want and for the political establishment to respond.

My position is that monies spent on site development, tax incentives, and other supports that promote non resident companies to perhaps come to Bethlehem, attention would be better focused on our existing, local businesses, including farms. Look at small successes of the Delmar Farmer's Market. I am certain there are other opportunities.

If elected to the supervisor's position, I would lead the 20/20 committee toward this end rather than continuing with their past recommendations of industrial parks and box stores. For more see my web site www.bethlehemsupervisor.com or my personal site www.rreevesellington.com If you have a quesiton call me at 518 817 2641.

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