Tuesday, September 16, 2014

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Queensbury town officials aim to redevelop former industrial site

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Albany/HV: Queensbury town officials aim to redevelop former industrial site
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QUEENSBURY, N.Y. -- After a more than year-long study, Queensbury town officials hope to move forward with the redevelopment of a former industrial site.

“This was the economic heart and soul of South Queensbury," said Stuart Baker, a senior planner who’s worked for the Town of Queensbury since 1989.

More than 20 years ago, the former Ciba-Geigy paint and pigment plant was one of Warren County's larger employers. A now mostly vacant 70-acre swath, town officials hope to return it to its former glory.

"It's an area that has a history of bringing good jobs and I would like it to continue to bring good jobs," town supervisor John Strough said Friday.

Partnering with The Chazen Companies, the town is moving forward with efforts to redevelop the property with the so called "Queensbury South Vision Plan."

"The vision is focused on really two elements,” Baker said. “Economic development and recreational access."

Once a lease agreement is worked out with the property's owner, BASF Corporation, the multi-year project is set to be complete in four phases. It includes plans for a 140,000 square foot warehouse space, alongside three smaller 40,000 square foot buildings for commercial use.

"We are not linked into any one type of development for the job creation but we know the opportunities here are really great," Baker said.

Project managers expect redevelopment to create 700 full-time jobs, but they believe the plan's real benefit is a large park and cultural space, that will connect South Queensbury to the feeder canal trail and Hudson River waterfront.

"The improvement of this site is about tying into those improvements in improving the whole quality of life," said Paul Cummings, a project manager with The Chazen Companies.

"This is a part of Queensbury that doesn't really have any access to the Hudson River,” Baker said.

In addition to a rail line, utilities like power and sewer are already hooked up to the site.
With a total price tag approaching $50-million, town officials are seeking grants to lower the cost. They believe the site's location and assets make it attractive to private developers.

"I feel confident as long as we keep moving forward we will get there," Strough said.

For more information, visit the Queensbury South Vision Plan officialwebsite.

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