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Curry Road Plaza hits stumbling block

Golub land acquisition complicates Columbia’s plan; late bids tossed

— Another snag has cropped up in the town's efforts to redevelop the blighted Curry Road Plaza, even after a clear bid winner emerged.

The Rotterdam Town Board was expected to award Columbia Development Companies’ bid to purchase the ailing plaza for $1.23 million and redevelop the 12-acre site, but a resolution did not surface at its Wednesday, Sept. 12, meeting. Columbia’s bid was nearly triple that submitted by the only other bidder, Forum Industries, Inc.

However, it turns out Columbia will not be able to fulfill its wish to purchase the adjacent Palma Lumber property, because The Golub Corporation recently bought it, according to Town Supervisor Harry Buffardi. That development could jeopardize the entire process.

“The landscape has been changed,” Buffardi said. “This complicates the issues and we certainly have to entertain the bids in an appropriate way.”

Councilman Robert Godlewski asked Buffardi if the board would vote to award the bid at the next meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 26, which spurred Buffardi to explain the problem.

“To rush into this in a hasty manner and have bids withdrawn or bids rejected, we have to proceed in a cautious manner,” Buffardi said. “It is my intention to bring it forth at the next board meeting.”

The town acquired the plaza property from The Golub Corporation, but it holds a deed restriction not allowing anything competing with Price Chopper to be developed at the site. A competing business would be allowed on the adjacent Palma Lumber property just purchased by Golub, but Columbia hasn’t disclosed whatever plans it had for that area.

Calls requesting comment from The Golub Corporation and Columbia were not returned.

Columbia has worked with one of Price Chopper’s new local competitors. All four ShopRite supermarkets developed, under construction or proposed in the Capital District have been handled by Columbia.

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