When a story comes across our desk, we don’t just follow it until it’s no longer of any interest. We follow it to its conclusion.
Several storylines played out through 2013, one of which was the controversy surrounding the Bethlehem Central School District’s attempt to sell its former administration building on Adams Place to School’s Out, Inc. — an after-school and summer program for children. On the surface it seemed like a natural choice for a former school district office, but neighbors of the vacant building complained about the potential for noise and increased traffic.
The planned sale fell through in April when the Bethlehem Zoning Board of Appeals voted against a use variance, but the story didn’t end there. By the fall, The Stram Center of Integrative Medicine offered to purchase the building to turn it into an acupuncture center and offices. This time, neither the neighbors nor the ZBA had any objections, and a use variance was approved in December. Thus, a building that had been vacant since April 2012 was on its way to having a new purpose.
Another ongoing story we followed was the wait for a high-tech company to move into the Vista Technology Campus in Slingerlands. Breonics Inc. — an Albany-based company specializing in organ regeneration research — was supposed to be the first “tech” company to call the campus home, but then it decided to remain at its Harriman Campus building, which left the town and Columbia Development scrambling to find a new tech business.
The lack of a high-tech business in a part of the town designed for it has been a point of contention for some time, as people are beginning to wonder if the tech park will become a boondoggle. After all, there are plenty of other tech parks across the state — even ones right here in the Capital District — competing for these businesses. Only time will tell if Columbia Development and the town can land a new tech business for Vista and make it stick, and we will be watching every step of the way.