First, Congress Plaza could potentially receive a considerable make over. The owner of the plaza, Don Greene, and his company DCG Development Co. would like to tear down current retail space, and replace it with a six-story hotel. The plaza has had about 40,000 square feet vacant since Grand Union closed its doors.
The plan is to tear down the building which currently houses Stepping Star Gymnastics and Dance studio, as well as the nearby retail space. Everything south of there, including Citizen’s Bank and Purdy’s Discount Liquor will remain intact, with no plans to redevelop the rest of the plaza. There is also a proposed two-story parking garage behind the Citizen’s Bank.
The plan would need to be brought before the board for a formal site plan review, but Greene said he hopes to begin construction on the project within the year.
In other planning board news, the much-talked about proposal for an 11-screen movie theater coming to the corner of Railroad Place and Church Street was also discussed. It was not voted on, but will be brought forth again at the board’s July 25 meeting.
While there were a few members of the public speaking in favor of the project, the recurring problem with most projects in Saratoga Springs returned: where is everyone going to park their car?
The project only provides seven parking spots on the site, but the proposed site for the theater is not zoned to require parking.
Contractor Sonny Bonacio suggested theater patrons would park in the two nearby parking garages at times of the day that they would normally be vacant, such as nights or weekends.