Friday, 13 September 2013 10:56

City Hears Hotel Proposal

Written by Staff Report

SARATOGA SPRINGS – While planning board members were initially happy with plans to build a six-story, 159-room luxury hotel and grand ballroom on top of the historic Rip Van Dam that were presented last February, they are now expressing dissatisfaction with one point that is proving difficult to navigate—traffic. 

 

Saratoga Springs Planning board chair, Clifford Van Wagner told representatives from Merlin Development Company, owned by Bruce Levinsky, that too much thought had gone into design and none into the issue of traffic on the congested Washington Street which is used by truck traffic trying to negotiate through town. 

By May, planning board members expressed concern that not enough attention was being paid to traffic and parking for the hotel. 

At Wednesday night’s planning board meeting, Anthony Stellato, representing Merlin Development, presented new plans to board members that included a three-story parking garage that would be located on Hamilton Street and would utilize valet parking for guests. The garage would have 207 parking spaces. Guests 

 

would have to pay to use the garage. 

One of the biggest issues discussed were truck deliveries to the hotel—trucks under 24-feet long could utilize a service area proposed for under the building, but trucks longer than that would have to unload their deliveries on the street, therefore disrupting traffic. 

Van Wagner was not impressed with the proposal, noting that it sounded like a “nightmare” and not what one imagines would go hand-in-hand with a luxury hotel. 

Stellato countered that they were actually attempting to mitigate some of the traffic issues by attempting to line up their deliveries to occur at the same time as nearby businesses, such as Maestro’s at the Van Dam. 

Stellato replied that they planned to work with the existing traffic to minimize the impact. 

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