New users pitch Vista buildings

Tax breaks said to be key to continued interest in Slingerlands tech park

— Four new buildings have been proposed for the Vista Technology Park in Slingerlands.

On Thursday, June 14, the town’s Industrial Development Agency held a public meeting to hear comments from residents about the projects. The developers for each of the buildings have applied for tax abatements with the IDA under a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreement.

Columbia Development has plans to build three of the proposed structures. Thomas Keaney, the company’s project executive, presented them to members of the IDA. Keaney was a former employee of BBL Construction, the company hired to build the Vista Technology Park.

The plans call for one single-floor, 6,000-square-foot building containing a restaurant called The Garden Bistro, a retail store and a telecommunications user. That building would create 25 new jobs, said Keaney. The next building would also be 6,000 square feet on a single floor and would be a Community Care Professionals medical building.

“Dr. (Lev) Barats with CCP is relocating his practice to Vista Development to go ahead with his group and offer their medical services for internal medicine to their client base here in the Town of Bethlehem,” said Keaney.

The third building proposed by Columbia Development is a 7,500-square-foot, two-story, multi-use building. It would have retail users on the first floor and office space on the second floor. Expected tenants include a hair salon, a medical center and another telecommunications user.

Albany Enterprises is proposing one 15,000-square-foot building with two stories. It would house Cornea Consultants, an eye care and vision corrections practice. The presentation was given by Stephen Reilly, a partner with Whiteman, Osterman & Hanna, on behalf of Albany Enterprises. The building would create nine jobs, he said.

“The practice has a facility today in the town, however the lease is not being renewed and an existing tenant in the building is moving into that space,” said Reilly. “The doctor would love to stay in the town, wants to stay in the town, but he has looked at facilities outside the town and financial assistance from the IDA is very much an important factor for keeping the practice in Bethlehem.”

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