QUEENSBURY — A successful local businessman is planning to expand with retail next to his liquor store on Route 9.
Monty Liu, who runs Monty’s Discount Wine and Liquor, has filed plans to build a 5,500-square-foot retail establishment between his store and the nearby Walmart Supercenter.
He had previously considered building a seafood restaurant there. Then a bank approached him, asking if it could lease space for a branch.
From that idea, he developed a plan for a building that will house the bank, a smaller version of his restaurant and space for two other small retail stores.
Customers will use the curb cut for his liquor store or enter at the traffic light by the Walmart. He will build a new parking lot, with 26 spaces, in front of the proposed building.
Liu is thrilled by the idea.
“I’m just pumped,” he said. “I was approached by a bank because there’s a Walmart there, because of the traffic count. They usually like to locate next to a grocery store. Walmart was a plus, plus, plus.”
His liquor store has done well there, too.
“This is the best location in the tri-county area,” he said.
Liu wants to run the new seafood restaurant while continuing to run his liquor store. The other retail spots are not claimed yet, but he’s interested in small, mom-and-pop retail.
“Right now, everything is franchise. You have to be different,” he said. “I think there’s a space for that, and that’s the only way to compete with the franchises. I don’t expect any trouble renting that out.”
His plans will be reviewed by the Queensbury Zoning Board of Appeals on Dec. 20 because he wants the building to have less than the required setback. He noted that it’s a commercial zone, and that his plan allows for straight roads with easy access so that traffic problems are kept to a minimum.
“This is all about public safety,” he said. “And it’s aesthetically pleasing.”
Liu immigrated to the United States from China at age 15. He graduated from Glens Falls High School and Adirondack Community College (now SUNY Adirondack) before moving on to Siena College and New York City.
As an adult, he returned because he loves the region. He has put up several successful business ventures here.
“This is a great area,” he said. “People don’t realize how lucky we are up here. I can’t emphasize enough how lucky I am, from my high school to my college years to my professional life.”