GLENS FALLS — Argyle Cheese Farmer hopes to open its cheese and yogurt manufacturing plant this fall in what is currently a vacant warehouse on Pruyn’s Island.
The Planning Board on Tuesday gave a conditional approval to the project to renovate the building at 4 Reed St. Co-owner Marge Randles said she is “excited and nervous and anxious” about clearing this hurdle.
Randles and husband Dave had originally planned to occupy space at 7 Pruyn’s Island, which they would have shared with Sheetlabels.com. But the Reed Street space had more flexibility because it required less renovation, Marge said.
“This is like a blank palette,” she said.
The new location is better for their purposes, she said.
“It’s private and sort of countryish. There’s nothing back there except the bike path and the canal,” she said.
The building will be painted red with white trim to mimic the appearance of a barn.
“It sort of says who we are without having to say anything,” she said.
The Randles want to be on the cheese tour being organized by Warren County.
Architect Ethan Hall explained a small addition would be put on the east side of the one-story prefabricated metal building to hold the receiving tanks for the milk. In the center of the building is a wide open area for processing. One corner has office space and the building has a small space for a retail operation.
Hall said it will also be easier to put in a floor drainage system in this new building.
It’s important to keep the floor dry, so bacteria cannot form, Marge said.
“We have air filtration systems, so the air is as clean as possible,” she said.
Hall said the plan calls for a viewing area, which will allow the public to view the cheese- and yogurt-making.
City Engineer Steve Gurzler has been helping the Randles figure out how to handle the waste the plant will generate. Argyle Cheese Farmer is also receiving assistance from state pollution control officials.
The board liked the plans.
“I think it’s a good idea, the farm image,” said board Chairman Dan Bruno.
“I think it’s a great fit down there,” said board member Rachel Murray.
Randles estimated construction would begin in the spring and take 4 to 6 months.
The cost of the renovations is about $300,000, according to the project application. The project has received $125,000 in funding as part of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative.
The business was founded in 2007. Company officials said previously they expected to create 10 to 17 more jobs with the new production plant. The milk will come from the Argyle farm owned by Dave Randle’s brother, Will Randles.
The addition will require a variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals, because it lies within the required setback from the property line, according to Hall.
The board made its approval conditional on that variance, which it did not think would be an issue.
“Good luck. We’re very happy that you chose Glens Falls,” Bruno said.