Rotterdam board backs Curry Road project
ROTTERDAM Rotterdam officials will pursue a project to transform the decaying Curry Road Shopping Center into offices and 184 units of affordable senior housing.
Members of the Town Board agreed to give the Clifton Park-based Forum Industries “preferred developer” status so that the company can begin negotiating for the rights to build on the municipally owned property. Meanwhile, the developer has already begun discussions with the Golub Corp., which operates a print shop in a building there that would be demolished as part of the project.
“This is the first step of many,” developer Andrew Sciocchetti told the Town Board last week.
The project includes a 12,000-square-foot, retail-commercial building and a 2,000-square-foot bank along Curry Road. At the rear of the propery, a pair of L-shaped buildings would include one- and two-bedroom units for tenants 55 or older.
Besides reducing the number of curb cuts onto Curry Road, Sciocchetti said, the project would aim to restore green space to the property, which is largely covered by pavement. He said his company would also convey a small slice of land to the adjacent Rotterdam Fire District 2, thereby allowing the company to move forward with its own expansion plans.
Sciocchetti said they’re hopeful the project would qualify for tax credits through the state Division of Housing and Community Renewal and would fill a growing need in the area. He said market trends suggest the shopping center site would be ideal for such a project.
“We feel the market is right,” he told the board.
Supervisor Steve Tommasone praised the proposal for redeveloping what has been a town eyesore for decades. He cautioned the project would take more than a “few months,” but was optimistic the derelict property would soon be revitalized.
“Most likely by next year, there will be steel going up on this site,” he said.
Forum Industries was among the 80 companies contacted when Rotterdam officials requested proposals to redevelop the site in April 2007. Board members received back only four proposals and ultimately selected a mixed residential and commercial project by Polito-Columbia Properties LLC.
The Polito-Columbia proposal was scrapped in February after the developer indicated chemical contamination on the property would prevent building the residential component. Then last month Forum Industries approached the Rotterdam Industrial Development Agency with the proposal for senior housing.
Former board member Robert Godlewski criticized the town for not appealing to the other companies that had expressed interest in developing the property. He said Forum’s proposal was very similar to one of the three proposals the town didn’t initially select.
“I’ll let the public decide whether you’re being fair to all the other developers,” he told the board during their meeting.