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More building projects seen in Queensbury in 2017; Pace expected to continue this year

QUEENSBURY — Developers spent 25 percent less last year on their projects, but the building boom continued in Queensbury with even more projects than in 2016.

“More projects. Less expensive projects,” summed up Building Director Dave Hatin.

In 2017, developers got permits for 1,089 projects, with an estimated total value of $52 million.

In 2016, they got permits for 1,045 projects at an estimated value of nearly $69 million.

The change wasn’t very significant.

“We still had a very busy year,” Hatin said.

There were more commercial projects last year than in 2016. Those require more review, so the team did 7,800 inspections last year, up from 6,650 inspections in 2016.

The biggest commercial project was the new Hilton Home2Suites being built next to Aviation Mall. Its estimated value is $6.9 million for 60,597 square feet.

Work at that project and others went on straight through the end of the year.

Hatin was out doing inspections even in the deep chill last week, when workers set up heaters inside partially constructed buildings and kept on working in subzero temperatures.

There were also more residential projects last year, and Hatin expects that growth to continue.

“They’re selling them as fast as they can be built,” he said. “There’s still a lot of land in Queensbury. There’s still some very large tracts of land.”

While most new houses built last year were valued at about $300,000, the most expensive house was $1.2 million and 5,717 square feet. That house is at 60 Knox Road.

It wasn’t the only big residential build. A new house at 120 Lake Parkway was valued at $700,000 for 2,796 square feet, and another new house, at 146 Chestnut Ridge Road, was valued at $600,000 for 2,706 square feet.

Especially in commercial work, Hatin expects 2018 to be bigger than 2017.

“It looks like 2018 will be another busy year. We have a number of commercial projects in the review process,” he said. “We have another hotel that’s starting in the spring, too.”

That will be a Fairfield Inn and Suites at Exit 18.

There were some big-ticket items built in 2017, including a $700,000 new ride at Great Escape, Bonzai Pipelines. It is a set of dueling waterslides that start 30 feet in the air and slide riders down through nearly 300 feet of twists and turns.

That ride was even more expensive than Extreme Supernova, which Great Escape built in 2014 at an estimated cost of $650,000.

Great Escape didn’t just build a ride last year. It also spent $70,000 on a new business office, $10,000 to improve offices, $75,000 on alterations to stores at the amusement park and $2,000 on a shed.

Other big projects included a $2.6 million improvement project at SUNY Adirondack and the $1.5 million new McDonald’s at 819 Route 9.

A 22,000-square-foot Sky Zone trampoline park, the size of a medium grocery store, opened at 235 Corinth Road over the summer. It was a $2.9 million project.

Rocksport’s new indoor rock climbing facility opened at 54 Carey Road in April. Its former facility was at 138 Quaker Road.

Other new businesses include Fastrac Market at 220 Corinth Road, which is estimated to cost $724,999, and Chipotle in the Northway Plaza, which had an estimated cost of $300,000.

It was a big year for expensive new offices as well. Asad Petroleum’s new office at 985 Route 149 cost an estimated $853,000 for 5,832 square feet. Similarly, Performing Asset Strategies LLC built a new office building at 87 Main St. for an estimated $600,000. That building is 6,180 square feet.

There were also several big-ticket industrial projects.

Northeastern Power Systems spent an estimated $700,000 on alterations to add 11,000 square feet in additional warehouse space at 66 Carey Road.

Also in the industrial category were a project at J & D Marina at 2585 Route 9L and improvements at the Lake George RV Park at 74 Route 149. The marina project cost an estimated $300,000, while the RV park project was estimated at more than $400,000.