Panera eyeing Target plaza in Glenville

Design in works for the new store

Tuesday, July 17, 2012
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— A Panera Bread restaurant may be coming to Glenville.

Rumors have been swirling around the town for months that the retailer would locate in the new Target plaza on Route 50. Owner RD Management has been redeveloping the old Kmart site into a 135,000-square-foot Target, attached 36,000-square-foot building for smaller retail tenants and a 3,000-square-foot site for a restaurant.

An email sent to the town Public Works Department from Michael White, an engineer with the Ohio-based Design Engineers & Consulting Associates Inc., said he was working on the preliminary design of a new Panera Bakery and requested information about water, sewer and grease trap requirements for the town.

White referred all questions to Panera’s corporate headquarters in St. Louis, who did not immediately return requests for comment.

Rick Birdoff, a principal with RD Management, also did not return a telephone message. However, Supervisor Chris Koetzle said Panera is interested in the site.

“I can confirm that RD Management is in talks with Panera and they have a tentative deal,” he said. “We’re obviously thrilled and excited to have them come into Glenville. We think it’s an important step forward to revitalizing our business center. We think this is something our residents have been waiting for a long time.”

The chain had 1,562 locations nationwide as of March, including sites on Balltown Road in Niskayuna, Maxwell Drive in Clifton Park and in the Crossgates Commons in Albany. It specializes in bread and pastries, cold and hot panini sandwiches, salads and a variety of coffee, tea and other beverages, according to its website.

Panera would make a nice addition to the town, according to Koetzle.

“It’s a good brand with quality products that fits the residents’ desire for a place to go and get some food and maybe meet somebody,” he said.

Panera almost came to Glenville five years ago. It was supposed to be the anchor for a 20,000-square-foot plaza to be constructed across from Price Chopper on Route 50 following the demolition of a vacant Dollar Store and a tile shop.

But Panera backed out of the plan after company officials said they had nearby locations in Niskayuna and Clifton Park that were underperforming. Also, town officials said the town’s population was older and the business needs more support from a younger demographic. That property remains undeveloped.

RD Management is seeking two variances from the Zoning Board of Appeals. One is to allow a drive-thru lane to be constructed 17 feet from the front property line and another that would eliminate the required trees at the site. Instead, there will be “ornamental grasses.” The zoning code requires a 25-foot landscaping buffer between the parking lot and the right-of-way.

Koetzle said the developer is concerned that planting trees would obscure the view of the business from Glenridge Road.

The ZBA will meet on July 30 at 7 p.m. at the Glenville Municipal Center. Koetzle did not see any issues that would prevent Panera Bread from coming to town.

“I think it’s another sign that Glenville continues to flourish and grow,” he said.

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July 18, 2012
7:53 a.m.
Cortsmom87 says...

Ok so get the story straight. First the Town tried to say that the reason Panera pulled out is because there wasn't enough traffic on Route 50 (note the lowering of the speed limit because of the increased traffic) - now they are saying it is because of the age range of the residents. Keep it up and they will change their minds again. The town needs to realize that the residents who pay their salaries are very knowledgeable.

July 19, 2012
5:34 a.m.
Cortsmom87 says...

Oh and by the way- if it really was because of the lack of traffic or right age range then why are they interested again? By the way- I was at a Panera last night and there patrons there of every age range.

July 20, 2012
1:40 a.m.
robbump says...

Grass is not a tree and the 25 foot landscaping buffer is reasonable ... don't give in on this.

With concern about the size of the average American waistline, do we really need anymore "drive-thrus"? Add to the dietary concern that of pollution and global warming of cars waiting in line to be served.

Here's a novel suggestion: "walk-ups"

Windows that can serve all after hours, whether they arrived by car, bicycle, or foot.

July 20, 2012
12:03 p.m.
Cortsmom87 says...

I tend to agree with you Robbump! Notice however, when we post no one that "works" for the Town replies?

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