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Hamilton Square renovations move ahead

VENT Fitness opens, M&T breaks ground, Starbucks brewing at Guilderland plaza

An artist’s rendering by Reform Architecture shows what Hamilton Square is expected to look like when renovations are complete.

An artist’s rendering by Reform Architecture shows what Hamilton Square is expected to look like when renovations are complete.

— M&T Bank hosted a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, July 25, for its new, energy-efficient, 2,600-square-foot retail branch. Construction of the branch has begun, with Latham-based Bette & Cring, LLC, performing the work. The branch is designed to have a modern look mixed with traditional bank features. There will also be energy-efficiency elements.

“Branches continue to play a critical role in serving our communities, and it’s important for us to provide great facilities for our customers to bank,” Mike Keegan, regional president of M&T Bank, said in a statement. “M&T has been a dedicated financial partner to consumers and businesses in Guilderland for years, and investing in this branch with an energy-efficient design positions us to serve the community responsibly for years to come.”

Starbucks will also add a new store with a drive-thru in the shopping center and is projected to open in January 2014.

“Starbucks is thrilled to be a part of the transformation of Hamilton Square,” Michael Wells, regional director of operations of Starbucks, said in a statement. “We look forward to being a positive part of the community and providing the residents of Guilderland a Starbucks experience they can be proud of and look forward to.”

The plaza has gone through a few name changes even before shifting from 20 Mall to Hamilton Square, which include Loehmans Plaza and Guilderland Barkers Center. The plaza’s name is now tied to the history of the town.

“We said, ‘Let’s do something that speaks to the history of the area,’ so we did some research and came up with Hamilton Square,” Lia said.

He said in the 1700s the area where the plaza is located was settled by the Dutch and once known as the Village of Hamilton. The community was very different in those days, he said, with a glass factory located in the former village.

Hamilton Square is located at 2080 Western Ave. in Guilderland. For a list of tenants, visit its website at www.hamiltonsquareshops.com.

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