The location of the new office building along Troy Schenectady Road. Rite Aid is on the left. Photo provided
#ColonieNY #Development #ProposedBuilding #JimFranco #SpotlightNews
COLONIE — After a brief debate on a jurisdictional technicality, and two residents of Niskayuna speaking against the project, the Planning Board, by a vote of 6-1, approved a three-story, 17,949-square-foot office/retail building near the intersection of Troy Schenectady and Rosendale roads.
The majority of the site, 1.49 acres, is in Colonie and is in a Commercial Office Residential zone, while about .07 acres along Rosendale Road is in Niskayuna.
The developer, Lecce Real Estate, wanted to clear some land in Niskayuna to use for two parking spaces and storm water management but the town would not grant a variance for such use.
Niskayuna also wanted a left only turn sign along a private road at the rear of the property so vehicles exiting would be deterred from getting back on Route 7 via Rosendale Road and would instead use the Riverhill Center driveway located just east of the project.
The Colonie Planning Board, though, determined a super majority could override Niskayuna’s recommendation and voted to allow right and left hand turns onto the private drive.
There will be two points of access off Troy Schenectady Road and vehicles will also be able to access the site from Rosendale Road and Riverhill Center. Exiting will only take place onto the private road running behind the buildings, parallel to Route 7.
It is not yet known who will occupy the building but plans are for the first floor be used as retail and the upper two floors as office space. It is located next door to the Rite Aid drug store at the corner of Troy Schenectady and Rosendale roads.
The Planning Board is requiring the developer to come back with more detail on things like the building’s elevation and architectural details but did grant the OK to break ground.
The project is located within the Airport GEIS and the developer will pay some $64,000 in mitigation fees for thigs like transportation, recreation and infrastructure improvements.
Samantha Chiaro, who lives on Rosendale Road, spoke against the project, saying three stories would dwarf the surrounding structures and that the “constant flow of traffic” will get nothing but worse if the building is constructed.
In other business, the owner of the Aesthetic Science Institute, introduced a plan to construct a three-story, eight-unit, 4,100-square-foot apartment building on 2.4 acres between the ASI and Grassland Equipment.
ASI sits on 1.67 acres, the owner has purchased an additional, adjacent .29 acres and is under contract to purchase another .44 acres from Grassland Equipment to ensure it has enough land to satisfy density and other requirements.
The Planning Board, though was cool to the idea of having apartments located in the middle of what is mostly commercial development and the lack of any outside amenities for the tenants and the lack of room to build any.
Also, there were concerns about building a structure on what is considered difficult topography along that section of Route 7.
Luiggi Palleschi, of ABD Engineering, said some of the apartments will be used for ASI students while others will likely be rented on the open market. To the topography, he said there are plans for a retaining wall to make the pitch no more than 5 degrees.
It was only a sketch plan review to introduce the project to the Planning Board. It must get a concept acceptance and then final approval before construction can start.
“There will have to be a lot of convincing to convince me this is a good idea for this town,” said Planning Board Chairman Peter Stuto.