Thursday, 28 March 2013 14:15

More Hotels and Markets In Store for Saratoga

By Patricia Older | News

SARATOGA SPRINGS – The strip mall on Congress Street known as Congress Plaza will be torn down to build a new 140-room hotel as part of a proposal by DCG Development Co. out of Clifton Park. 

The revised plans show a six-story, 140-room hotel located in the southwest corner of the lot. CVS has a lease with DCG that requires no other building be built near it, but everything west of CVS and Trustco Bank will be razed for the new construction.

The plaza once housed a Grand Union supermarket and later, Broadway Joe’s, a dinner movie theater.

The project features traffic and pedestrian access improvements that were requested by the city, and restaurants and a bar on the first floor.

The project will head to the Design Review Committee before seeking final approval from the planning board.

In other business, Sonny Bonacio presented plans for 7.8 acres on Weibel Avenue, across from Danielle’s Bridal, for 120 apartments and 12,000 square feet of commercial space, similar to ones built at 60 Weibel Avenue.

“It is similar to the existing project with slight differences,” said architect Dave Carr of the L.A. Group, adding that this project would be using the grade level on the northern side as part of the building itself and that storm water runoff would be contained underground instead of through containment ponds.

He continued, saying that the mixed use project was designed to connect with the existing project next door; but that a 120-foot-wide parcel separates the two and they have thus far been unsuccessful in getting the owner to sell them the land or grant right-of-way usage.

“The two projects are designed to work together,” said Carr. “We hope to eventually work out some sort of agreement with Mr. Stone and eventually link up and create a harmonious plan.”

The existing project has 178 apartments and 124,000 square-feet of mixed use retail space.

The project now goes before DRC for review.

Board members approved the project for the corner of Marion Avenue and Excelsior, which includes a 20,000 square-foot Fresh Market in the southwest corner.

Fresh Market, a European-style marketplace, is known for their fresh meats, seafood, fruits and vegetables. 

The project will also see an art gallery, retail shops and 30 apartments. The revised plans, known as the Excelsior Avenue Mixed Use Development project, were first approved in 2003 for a much larger-scaled project with, among other retail and restaurant spaces, 69 condominiums, a large banquet facility and an 80-room hotel.

In 2007, work stopped and the lot has remained vacant.

Planning Board Chair Clifford Van Wagner said the city is pleased to see the undeveloped corner finally being built up and on a smaller scale than what was initially approved.

“It is less dense than what can be approved for the site,” said Van Wagner. “The former project was at least twice, if not three times the size. This is clearly less dense and will encourage pedestrian traffic.”

Construction will take more than a year, but will start with the Fresh Market store. Plans call for Marion Avenue to be widened for a turning lane and re-striped. The builder has also added a bike rack, trees and benches on the Excelsior Avenue side with a sidewalk bump out for a CDTA bus stop.

In addition, along the Route 50 side, since it is considered a “gateway” to the city, the builder is going to place large landscape boulders, landscaping greens and low bushes.


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