CARS HOMES JOBS

Projects pitched along Route 50 corridor

Milton board to consider plans for supermarket, convenience store

Tuesday, February 4, 2014
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— The corner of Route 50 and Northline Road north of Ballston Spa could be in for major new commercial development, including a supermarket.

The Milton Planning Board next week will have its first look at plans for a major supermarket at the southwest corner of the intersection, as well as plans for a Cumberland Farms across the street, at the southeast corner.

The supermarket, whose owner has not yet been identified, is a proposal for a 50,000-square-foot store on land behind an existing Stewart’s Shop and Great Bay, a seafood restaurant.

Both projects would seek to appeal to local residents and the growing traffic on both Route 50 and Northline Road, which has become busier in recent years because of single-family and apartment development in other parts of Milton.

Concerns about traffic are likely to be a big issue for county and municipal planners.

Many people who live in the Ballston Spa area, however, have been longing for the area to have a full-service supermarket. The nearest such stores are Price Chopper markets in Malta and Saratoga Springs, and a smaller Hannaford in Milton Center, about three miles away.

A 3,400-square-foot restaurant and 2,300-square-foot bank are also part of the proposed project, which includes plans to acquire seven existing parcels, said Milton Building Inspector Wayne Howe. The largest piece is 8.7 acres owned by Rick Mattrazzo.

The project would have an entrance from Route 50 opposite Saratoga Avenue that would be controlled by a traffic light, Howe said. Another entrance would be through what is now a residential property on North Line Road.

The property includes federal wetlands, and the developers want to get initial town input before entering the lengthy Army Corps of Engineers wetlands review process, Howe said.

“I think they want us to get a first look at it before they move forward,” Howe said.

The land is zoned for commercial development, so only a site plan review from the Planning Board is required at the town level. The Army Corps of Engineers will also need to approve, as will Saratoga County public works officials and the state Department of Transportation.

Cumberland Farms, meanwhile, would be located on the 2.4-acre vacant lot across Route 50 from the Stewart’s Shop and across Northline from an Adirondack Trust branch.

The site was approved for a gas station and car wash under a different plan in 2009, but that project never went forward. Cumberland Farms has signed a contract to buy the property and is seeking to put one of its widely recognized stores there.

The proposed store would be a 4,500-square-foot building with 27 parking spaces and five gas islands, according to the company’s application. A Colonial architectural design is envisioned, though a company representative said they’ll do what the town wants.

“Due to the fact that this is one of the entrances to the town of Milton, the applicant looks forward to working with the town to create a site that the town is proud to have as a welcoming point,” Cumberland Farms attorney Stefanie LiLallo Bitter wrote in an application letter.

Cumberland Farms will need a special permit from the Planning Board for gas sales, as well as a standard site plan review.

Howe said there were extensive traffic studies done for the previous gas station proposed at the site, providing information Cumberland Farms may also be able to use. Among the earlier recommendations was construction of a new turn lane on Northline Road.

The roughly one-mile stretch of Route 50 between Ballston Spa and the Saratoga Springs city line is lined with a variety of small commercial businesses, but has been expected to be redeveloped at some point. Both the supermarket and convenience store properties are proposed on land that is already zoned for commercial development.

If built, they would bring a new intensity of commercial use to an area just over the municipal line from Saratoga Springs. The city has sought to keep that section of Route 50, which leads to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center and then the city, largely undeveloped and green.

Both the supermarket and Cumberland Farms projects are scheduled to come before the Milton Planning Board at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12, at Town Hall.

 
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