Colonie approves ShopRite and gas station
A new ShopRite supermarket and connected gas station are set to come to the Village of Colonie after the village planning board green lights the project. Innae Park has more.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
COLONIE, N.Y. -- It's been a long battle for Village of Colonie residents over the proposed ShopRite and gas station on Central Avenue on the site of Otto Cadillac.
After months of debate and public hearings, the planning commission voted it into reality Tuesday night, 5-2.
"The developer does have rights. It was all zoned correctly, so we put a lot of limitations on them, but we felt it was their right to use the property," said planning commission chairman Chris Dennis.
Kent Smith is the franchisee of the Midas garage next door to 1730 Central Avenue, and he believes the move is a beneficial one for all. "There's going to be great savings for gas, and there's going to be a great destination for discount food," he said.
However, other residents are still fearful. They're concerned over the potential for more noise and more traffic, as well as a decrease in their property value. Some even cited safety concerns, referring to a gas leak in Hudson Falls last December that prompted the evacuations of hundreds.
In addition, many felt this vote made it seem like they didn't have a voice. "They feel like they're not being listened to, not being represented by the local government. They let you have your say, but not being heeded," said Nikki Smith, whose property borders the future ShopRite site. "We're all getting the feeling 'money talks'...we're calling it the dragon of greed."
Dennis disagrees. "It was all public meetings, all out for view, throughout the whole process," he said. He cited the many months that went into the process as proof the commission was considering the locals. "I would say we stood up for residents on this project." Among the changes the commission asked of the developer were adherence to the sound attenuation laws, lower lighting levels and increased landscaping.
The store would not be a 24-hour location, and it would house about 500 associates, according to Lakefern Food Corp., the owner of ShopRite.
The owner of Otto Cadillac did not want to comment on the site plans' passage.
The president of Columbia Development, which will own the site and lease the property to ShopRite, said the Capital Region hasn't seen the last of these supermarket-gas station combinations. "When you look at the overall strategy of ShopRite, there will be other gas stations in the area. This isn't the only one coming," said Joseph Nicolla. Lakefern Food Corp. said the pending Colonie location would be the second of its kind in the state, the first being located in Wallkill, N.Y. And Nicolla says a number of these combinations are already in the works in the capital region.
At this point, Columbia Development has a few more steps to iron out before construction begins, but Nicolla anticipates it will start after 30-45 days. Construction is estimated to take 10 months to a year, bringing the projected opening date to early 2013.
However, residents who spoke to YNN said they're not going down without a fight. "We are talking to someone about making further steps," one property-owner stated.