continued Development projects have gone from taking years to complete, to mere months.
“We’ve seen some major projects happen in four months. That’s concept to final approval to shovel into the ground,” said LaCivita. “Before, that was unheard of in the town.”
A local redevelopment law passed within the town has also created incentive to set up shop in Colonie. Under the law, certain sites deemed ideal for redevelopment are given priority.
“Those sites that were once prosperous but are now blighted, we’re looking at those sites to be priority sites and projects,” said LaCivita. “If a developer chooses to redevelop within that site we’re looking at expedited approval time frames.”
Collaborating with businesses and embracing small businesses has also added to Colonie’s growing commercial community.
“We developed a small business advisory council … partnered with the business community to assess their needs,” said LaCivita. “We’re in the process of developing a toolbox for when businesses enter into the town.”
Cutting down on crime
The town itself isn’t the only collaboration businesses have been embroiled in lately. Chief of Police Steve Heider said the police department has stepped up its interaction with retailers.
“[We] try to work a lot with local businesses to make things better for them and the town as a whole and we’re very proud to be in this partnership,” said Heider.
One facet of that partnership has been bringing business leaders together to brainstorm ways to thwart crime.
“There are between $3 million and $5 million a year of thefts from companies by their own employees and trusted agents,” said Heider. “A new initiative we started last year is really unique and shouldn’t be. We brought together 40 of the biggest retailers in town … because crime doesn’t read the name of the store on the way in.”