Among the influx of new businesses staking a claim in the Capital Region, Fastrac Markets has joined the mix.
Fastrac went before the town’s Planning and Economic Development Board Tuesday, Feb. 10, for concept acceptance of a market at 1159 Troy Schenectady Road in Latham. With concept acceptance unanimously approve, Fastrac can move forward in the process of getting its first regional market, including a drive-thru and gas pumps, built.
This was the second time Fastrac appeared before the Planning Board. Since its first discussion in September of last year, major revisions on the site plan had been made, such as more parking and design elements.
The closest Fastrac is in Amsterdam, with many of its stores located in Western New York. The market largely offers convenience store items, like milk and bread, but also offers freshly made foods and coffees.
The pending location is across from British American Boulevard in Latham will be the first of its prototype, according to Jeff Szkolnik, director of real estate and environmental compliance for Fastrac. While a store in Camden, about two hours west, has a drive-thru lane, this would be the first full-fledged prototype with eight gas pumps and an outdoor patio.
“If a mother with two kids wants a gallon of milk, she can go to the drive-thru for that instead of going inside. This is more of an accessory use for us and not part of our primary business model, but it’s something we feel we need to do to keep up with Dunkin Donuts, and places like that,” Szkolnik said.
Primarily, the use for the drive-thru will be for morning traffic, like getting coffee or breakfast sandwiches, but everything except for cigarettes, lottery tickets and liquor could be bought there.
At the current stage of the project, Planning Board members had little criticism to offer. Questions of how a fuel tanker will maneuver through the property and traffic concerns were brought up. Matt Napierala, of engineering firm Napierala Consulting, said these issues will be addressed in future revised site plans and with input from the Department of Transportation.
“This is a convenience store with goods inside,” said Napierala. “This is a relatively new concept for Fastrac.”
The public, however, had concerns they wanted to see addressed. Namely, Jack Faddigon of Faddigon’s Nursery across from the site on Route 7, posed the question of connecting an existing bike path with the new park by River Road. That connection, he said, would have to be on the Fastrac site.
Planning Board Director Joe LaCivita said that his office is working with Fastrac to discuss easements, and the plan to connect the bike path to the park is underway.
With the project still in its initial phases, more revisions will likely be made to the site plan. Once the plan is fine-tuned, a public hearing will be held in the future before the site can be approved by board members.