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Tech Park talk in Slingerlands

Town wraps up Community Town Halls with updates on Vista, hamlet plans

— The focus was on the Vista Technology Campus as the last of the Bethlehem Community Town Hall meetings came to a close in Slingerlands.

The final meeting of the community tour spearheaded by Supervisor John Clarkson took place on Monday, April 29, at Community United Methodist Church on New Scotland Road. About 20 residents attended the meeting, where town officials discussed the progress of Vista over the last year and also touched on the New Scotland Road Hamlet Master Plan.

The majority of the presentation was given by the town’s Economic Development and Planning Director Michael Morelli. He showed those in attendance a slideshow of aerial photographs taken throughout Vista’s development from May of 2012 to several months ago. He explained the tech park’s progression and described how 20 percent of the site was approved by the Town Board for secondary uses.

“We get questions all the time asking how people thought this was supposed to be a technology campus and what’s with all the retail. In fact, that was all part of the master plan,” he said.

Morelli said the idea was to allow service-based businesses in order to attract more offices and tech companies to the park. Sites that have what’s considered “one-stop-shopping” for employees are considered to be more attractive to employers.

Right now, secondary businesses consist of ShopRite, two banks and a medical office building. Another building that will house the Garden Bistro restaurant is under construction, while a doctor’s office is proposed along with a mixed retail building. Morelli said a Moe’s Southwest Grill is proposed for the mixed retail building, as well as a yogurt shop and a massage therapist office.

The first technology building has also been proposed at Vista. It is slated to be built on the site behind the ShopRite grocery store, with Breonics Inc., an Albany company specializing in organ regeneration research, to lease space inside.

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