Local economic leaders hope a unified effort to market vacant properties in South Queensbury, including land around Warren County airport, and the east side of Glens Falls can lead to more economic development in the area.
Warren County has gotten a $40,000 state grant that will allow for increased marketing of properties in a “proposed airport development zone” that amounts to 758 acres of land owned by Warren County as well as regional economic development agencies and private developers. EDC Warren County will assist airport management in using the funds.
EDC Director Ed Bartholomew said the goal is to spur development of lands that are near the airport as well as the former Ciba Geigy plant on Warren Street, with the county, town of Queensbury and city of Glens Falls working with Empire State Development on a collaborative marketing plan.
“It’s a way for some intermunicipal cooperation and a overall comprehensive approach to properties in this area,” Bartholomew said.
Bartholomew said much of the land in South Queensbury and the east side of Glens Falls are already “mixed use” with commercial, industrial and residential uses.
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Airport Manager Don DeGraw said a marketing company will produce promotional materials for the land as part of the collaborative process, with the goal to bring in more revenue to defray the county’s costs in running the airport.
“They have identified all of the developable property around the airport. It can all tie in together,” DeGraw said.
Among the lands is nearly 60 acres of property purchased near the airport to remove flight path obstructions, which could be developed if they are deemed not needed for airport use. Bartholomew said the county would have to go through a legal process to have the land removed from airport property.
The land is known as the “Chartrand” property, property off the south end of the auxiliary runway that the county purchased for $855,000 in 2014 when the trust that owned it refused to allow the county to buy a less expensive avigation easement on it.
Warren-Washington Counties Industrial Development Agency members Michael Wild and Travis Whitehead suggested that EDC work with the IDA. Bartholomew said the effort would include the IDA.