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Displaying items by tag: city blog
Public Encouraged to Bring Welcome Signs
WILTON - Dollar General is eyeing a parcel of land off of exit 16 of the Northway as a potential location for a $92.4 million distribution center it intends to build somewhere in the Northeast.
According to Dan MacDonald, a spokesman for the company based in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, they are currently evaluating multiple locations. Although Dollar General is interested in this site, the large retail chain has not yet committed to building a distribution center in Wilton at this time.
Wilton Town Supervisor Art Johnson confirmed Dollar General has an option on the land, and they are through the zoning board, but are still in the very preliminary stages of the planning board process.
“It’s very exciting, the thought of all those jobs and the addition to the tax base,” said Johnson. “A lot of the jobs are not automated, as some people might think. There’s a lot of manual labor involved and they need a lot of people. Salaries will likely average between $35,00-$45,000 a year, and there will be upper level management positions, too. This will give people who may not have a professional license or young people a chance to make a decent income. I look forward to working with them.”
MacDonald said the company has much to consider when exploring a location for the 934,000-square-foot distribution center, such as availability of workforce, the business climate, roads with easy access to an interstate system, and infrastructure.
“We’re still early in the site selection process,” said MacDonald. “We need a new distribution center to support our growth. We just opened one in Janesville, Wisconsin with over 500 jobs. We’ll have more than 400 jobs in this new project somewhere in the Northeast. We opened 730 stores this year, and plan on 900 new stores in 2016. We’ve had pretty successful growth over the last five years. We’re looking for a site that fits in our footprint for growth in the Northeast. It’s an exciting time.”
Johnson said they are also looking for $11.26 million in sales and property tax incentives from the Saratoga County Industrial Development Agency. There will be a public hearing on January 11 at 8 a.m. at the Wilton Town Hall regarding the requested tax incentives.
“They want a 10-year PILOT,” said Johnson, “a payment in lieu of taxes. The company is doing its due diligence. They know there’s no sewer, water, or gas on that side of the Northway; that all three utilities will have to be extended from the other side.”
Given the unknown competition from locations in other states, Johnson thinks the best thing the public can do to help bring these jobs here is to show up at the meetings in support of the project.
“This is a new-coming business that is not familiar with New York,” he said, “and the fact that a town is receptive to a project can make a world of difference. The planning board meetings are monthly as they move through the different phases of approval, and the public is always welcome.”
Dollar General currently has 12 operational distribution centers in Alabama, California, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia. Two distribution centers are currently under construction in Texas and Wisconsin.
For more information on Dollar General, how it serves communities with value and convenience, its commitment to literacy and education and more, visit www.dollargeneral.com.
Saratoga Springs’ New Destination for Running Gear
By Megan Irene Kretz
For Saratoga TODAY
SARATOGA SPRINGS – When husband and wife duo Jamie and Anthony Mastroianni were training for their first marathon together, they ran the bulk of their miles in Saratoga Springs.
From the wooded trails of Saratoga Spa State Park to the historic mansions on North Broadway, the couple explored all that the area has to offer. Saratoga has a rich running history, a strong community of harriers, and miles of training routes, but it was missing something vital: a place for runners to gather and purchase supplies. Whenever the Mastroianni’s needed to pick up fuel or gear for their training, they had to either drive on the Northway to reach the closest running shop or resign themselves to the paltry selection in nearby big box stores.
The couple soon realized the community’s need for a specialty running store and decided to move forward with their dream of becoming small business owners. The Mastroianni’s worked with the local Chamber of Commerce and SCORE, a mentoring resource for small business owners, to put together a business plan for a store they named iRun LOCAL.
Once they had a plan in place, Jamie began attending running clinics such as the Newton School of Running to further her knowledge of the sport. Before opening iRun LOCAL, Jamie and Anthony focused on crafting a mission statement that would mirror their goals.
“The store is a reflection of us, we want to make sure that we keep our core values in place,” says Jamie. Inspiring runners and providing expert advice is at the core of iRun LOCAL’s mission, but the Mastroianni’s also place an emphasis on serving and helping the local community. In the three months since they opened their doors, iRun LOCAL has developed relationships with the running club Saratoga Stryders, area high school teams, the Wilton Food Pantry, and the Franklin Community Center.
When iRun Local opened back in March, the Mastroianni’s wanted to ensure the store felt very warm and welcoming, with a boutique feel. “When you go to a big box store for running shoes, you’re not necessarily going to get one-on-one attention or a salesperson who knows anything about running,” says Jamie. In contrast, iRun LOCAL gives a personal touch to each customer that comes through the door. The store offers a custom fit process and video analysis to determine which shoes will work best for an individual. And when it comes to product, iRun LOCAL offers brands that are geared specifically toward runners, including Pearl Izumi, Newton, and Oiselle. The store also currently stocks track and field spikes for area high school runners and plans to offer cross-country spikes later in the summer.
In addition to a keeping their product inventory fresh, iRun LOCAL has been hosting a variety of events to engage the running community. Recently, the store hosted bi-weekly happy hour runs, a ladies night, an injury prevention clinic, and a scavenger run that took runners to various downtown businesses.
The Mastroianni’s are continually brainstorming new ways to get involved and their next big partnership will be with the Strong to Serve Half-Marathon scheduled for July 13. iRun LOCAL will serve as the packet pick-up location for the race, which will take place in the nearby State Park. As for the future, the couple hopes to increase awareness of their store and become a top resource for local runners. “Our main focus is to continue growing as a business in Saratoga Springs,” Jamie says.
From beginning walkers to competitive marathoners, iRun LOCAL strives to provide a welcoming atmosphere for everyone. For those new to the sport, Jamie advises, “Just put your shoes on and go at your own pace. Taking the first step is always the hardest part.” If you feel inspired to hit the pavement, visit iRun Local at 18 Congress Street or check out the store’s Facebook page: facebook.com/iRunLOCAL.
Word-Of-Mouth Spreads That Milton Wants Development, Contractors Respond
MILTON – The Town of Milton is in the fast lane of development as individuals looking to invest are responding to the town's plans to help expedite development projects.
In the initial works for three commercial structures on 11 acres located at 2143 Doubleday Avenue near Route 50 and Northline Road will house a 50,000-square-foot supermarket as well as two other structures that are to host a fast food restaurant and a bank.
Also, recently having brought the pen to the sketch board and in the approval process are also plans for a 20,000-square-foot-structure that will house either a retail and or office space.
Jeffery Pfeil; developer, builder and real estate broker of Pfeil & Company Principals, and his partner have owned the lot situated between Ballston Spa National Bank and Cumberland Farms in Milton for several years with the intention of developing it, but they were waiting for the right time.
“We’ve owned the lot for many years, but it’s been sitting there,” Pfeil said. “But Milton is growing now so there is opportunity. We are just starting the approval process now. If everything goes well, we may start this fall.”
Vanguard-Fine, LLC., developer of the supermarket lot was attracted to the area for similar reasons: a growing and open community. “We've been watching the downtown area prosper,” Barry Feinman said, broker and managing director. “We are watching the permits grow, and were looking to add to the community.”
It was not long ago that Planning and Zoning Official Wayne Howe can recall when growth in Milton had stopped at times in 2012 and 2013. “It had stalled at times to a point in which consecutive planning board meetings would be canceled because there would be nothing on the agenda,” he said.
At the planning board meeting on February 12, there were six.
“It’s now steadily picking up,” Howe said.
The first large commercial projects to hit the stage in Milton were the 700-room Winner’s Circle apartments at 100 Madison Drive, now 50 percent complete and steadily developing, and the Milton primary care facility that began building in fall 2013.
Word is out that Milton is growing and ready to receive more developers. Aided by the Town of Milton’s Comprehensive Plan, which encompasses the Town Center Plan’s for sidewalks and street scape on Geyser Rd., the town has been attracting attention as a new downtown in the area, and they want a piece of the anticipated business.
“We’re receiving a lot of calls,” Howe said. “It’s probably because of the economy, but also because Milton has a sound comprehensive plan in place with a great mix of commercial and residential goals since 2001. Our comprehensive plan is moving forward, and I’m very encouraged by what I’m seeing and the people are interested in buying, building, living and working in Milton.”
Town Supervisor Dan Lewza said that a part of bringing in developers is not bogging down the process of bringing businesses into the area by, for example, helping them to organize their plans for the planning board.
“We are open for business, and we will do what we can to welcome and not hinder businesses looking to come into the area,” Lewza said. “When I first got into office, I said we first need to invest in ourselves for people to invest in us.”
SARATOGA SPRINGS — With the steady influx of customers to the new bookstore in downtown Saratoga Springs, the much-anticipated opening of Northshire Bookstore did not disappoint the customers or the owners.
BALLSTON SPA — The owner of a popular area restaurant that burned to the ground last Monday has started an online fundraiser to help his employees who are out of job.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — It was the talk of the town this past spring—what was going on behind those newspapered windows of the former Borders Bookstore—was there going to be a fresh foods market? Or a bunch of retail shops on the lower level and apartments above? Maybe an Apple store had finally decided to locate in the Spa City.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Dreams do come true—just ask Danny and Shelly Jameson who started Saratoga Chips out of a back room in their house just four years ago and have just sold it to investors who are not only keeping the Jameson’s on, but have plans of taking the brand nationally.
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Children are complicated and basic; naïve and savvy; unyielding and moldable. They are often eager to learn, grasp new concepts and explore new adventures. They are also unique individuals with varying needs and desires. One child in a family may love baseball, another happier playing music, while another may enjoy the art of Tai Chi.
SARATOGA SPRINGS - Seth Berger was only a high school student when he learned the art of Adobe Photoshop, a popular photo editing software program. A lacrosse player since the sixth grade, he started toying around with lacrosse clothing designs after he found a template of a pair of athletic shorts. After designing and ordering practice shorts for his friends on the school’s lacrosse team, they told Berger they liked his designs and would even buy them.
SARATOGA SPRINGS – If you are one of those people burning with ideas but can’t seem to get the notion out there or develop it further, this may be just the ticket you need – 54 hours of buzzing excitement, networking, a team of like-minded individuals working with you and the possibility of having your idea backed by an investor. Think Shark Tank Saratoga style – that’s Startup Weekend Saratoga.