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Plaza plans sought

Rotterdam looks to redevelop long-standing town ‘eyesore’

— The blighted Curry Road Plaza in Rotterdam could become vibrant again if the town’s call for development yields positive results.

The Rotterdam Town Board on Wednesday, June 13, unanimously approved issuing a Request for Proposals for the 12-acre site at the center of town, which town officials have targeted for redevelopment for almost five years. The site has remained largely vacant since Kmart pulled out more than two decades ago.

Town Supervisor Harry Buffardi said the plaza has been an “eyesore in Rotterdam for many years” and he is happy to see the process moving forward.

Responses to the RFP are due at Rotterdam Town Hall by 2 p.m. on Friday, July 13. Developers would be required to demolish existing structures on site before redeveloping the property.

“We didn’t want someone to buy this site and continue to leave it there in a similarly unsightly way for the last 25 years,” Buffardi said.

Typically, an RFP is pursued to seek the lowest bid for a project, service or purchase. For the plaza, town officials want bids to come in higher rather than lower.

The price offered for the site won’t be the sole determination in awarding a contract. Town officials will also consider the overall positive impact of a proposed usage in regards to jobs, investment and creating a new tax base.

Buffardi declined to comment on how much town officials are hoping to receive through the sale because he said revealing a price point could affect competitive bidding. He said, though, he does have a figure in mind.

The town has worked with county officials in efforts to spur redevelopment of the property.

“By working together with the town, we hope to fix this area that has been vacant and in poor condition for too long,” Schenectady County Legislature Chairwoman Judy Dagostino said in a statement. “This is something that all of Rotterdam wants.”

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