Glenville seeks business to take Friendly’s spot
GLENVILLE With Friendly’s departing the scene, Glenville doesn’t want a vacant space in the middle of its town center.
Supervisor Chris Koetzle said town officials are aggressively trying to market the site of the former restaurant, which is at the corner of Glenridge Road and Route 50.
“We believe it’s a great location and it’s going to get reused pretty quickly,” he said.
When the news broke last week that it was one of five more locations that Friendly’s was shuttering, town officials began immediately calling a long list of developers to try to gauge their interest.
Koetzle says he believes that the new Target scheduled to open in October at the old Kmart site will attract spin-off business. The plan already calls for one freestanding 3,000-square-foot building at the location for a restaurant or retail use.
Bringing another restaurant to Glenville has been a priority for the town, so Koetzle acknowledged that losing Friendly’s is a setback. “It’s unfortunate news, but it may present an opportunity,” he said.
Replacing Friendly’s with a new restaurant is vital in Glenville’s ongoing efforts to spruce up its town center around the Glenridge Road and Route 50 intersection. Businesses that have located there such as Key Bank and CVS have been made to put in sidewalks and Victorian-style lighting to create a more attractive “downtown” feel. Koetzle said they are trying to get away from those 1970s-style “gooseneck” light fixtures.
Town officials believed that Friendly’s, which is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring, had been there for at least 40 years. Kevin Corcoran, director of economic development and planning, said he is surprised that the company decided to close the Glenville location because it always seemed busy.
Company officials said they were trying to renegotiate lower rents at locations they believe were profitable.
However, Corcoran said he believed that Friendly’s owned that location at 247 Saratoga Road. Property tax records show it is owned by Malverne LLC of Wilbraham, Mass., a listing for which could not be found. However, Friendly’s corporate offices are situated in Wilbraham.
In a voice mail message, Friendly’s spokeswoman Lynn Bolton referred all questions to Malverne and gave a Seaford, N.Y., address and phone for the business. The phone number was for a law firm.
Four other Friendly’s locations closed last week, including Latham, Central Avenue in Albany and Colonie Center. Only five remain in the Capital Region, in Clifton Park, East Greenbush, Glens Falls, Wilton and Troy.