SELKIRK — The site plan for the proposed Gateway Commerce Center along River Road was unanimously accepted by the Bethlehem Town Board Wednesday evening, July 27.
The board’s approval of the site plan only states that the town agrees the proposed mixed economic development complies with the town’s overall economic development plan. Rosenblum Companies is now tasked with providing additional details to the town’s planning board, which will include addressing State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR).
Three modern warehouses are to be built within approximately 27 acres along River Road. The lot, nestled between Maple Avenue and the on-ramp for I-87, is in a designated truck route. And, its proximity to the ports of Albany and Coeymans, promoted many members of the community to voice approval for the planned industrial development.
Those who voiced concern over the proposed development cited increased traffic volumes, traffic hazards and worries over septic treatment for potentially 100-plus employees. The spans of Maple Avenue and River Road are often used by 18-wheeled transport trucks as they make their way to and from the ports and to the New York state Thruway.
Robert Leslie, Director of Economic Development and Planning, cited a three-year traffic study revealing 21 vehicular accidents along River Road, including the two intersecting points with Maple Avenue and the I-87 on-ramp. In that timespan, only one accident involved a “heavy vehicle.” Leslie also shared that the development was expected to increase traffic by approximately one percent.
Rosenblum Companies will next present details to Bethlehem’s planning board.
Michael Hallisey is managing editor of Spotlight Newspapers.