GUILDERLAND Finding a parking spot at Stuyvesant Plaza will be a little easier after 24 parking spaces are added at the shopping center.
The Guilderland Zoning Board of Appeals approved the plans for additional parking on Wednesday, June 5. Twenty-one parking spaces for shoppers and employees and three spaces designated for McKownville Reservoir Park visitors will be built between T.G.I. Friday’s and Route 20. The project will also replace several trash bins near the park with enclosed, energy-efficient trash and recycling compactors.
Stuyvesant Plaza plans to continue working with town officials to enhance the park by planting additional vegetation and installing a small retaining wall.
Vice President of Real Estate for Stuyvesant Plaza Janet Kaplan said the company has worked with town officials to address concerns it and residents raised over the parking proposal.
“The stores are completely filled at the plaza and it has been busy,” she said. “We noticed more and more people at certain times of the day filling up the lot and that was sort of the genesis that we needed more spaces.”
Employees for several years have been asked to park at the back of the shopping center or at its adjacent Executive Park, Kaplan said.
The town granted an easement in 2009 for the additional parking spots, and the plaza agreed to contribute $123,000 towards addressing drainage issues at the former reservoir.
The initial plan had called for more parking spaces than what was ultimately approved and the design was modified so the parking lot was built around trees already present at the site. Modifying the design largely reduced the number of spaces.
“We have a great relationship with the town and we’re delighted to move forward with a plan that will heighten the shopping experience at the plaza and encourage visits to the park,” Kaplan said in a statement. “The combination of parking spaces and visual enhancements will improve access and beautify the area.”
The small park primarily consists of a trail with benches around the former reservoir.
“Most of the visitors to that park walk over, I think,” Kaplan said.
The project is expected to be completed this summer.