GLENS FALLS — The developer of the proposed mixed use building on Broad Street has offered to pay for construction of a sidewalk in the neighborhood of the project.
Larry Regan, of Regan Development Corp., wants to construct two connected four-story buildings on about 4 acres of land, with frontage on Broad Street between Steve’s Place restaurant and Hill Electric Supply Co. The Broad Street Commons project would include 73 mostly one- and two-bedroom apartments, with about 6,300 square feet of retail space on the first floor of the building closest to Broad Street.
Project engineer James Easton told the Planning Board on Tuesday that Regan has offered to provide $50,000 to improve sidewalks near Big Cross Elementary School to help provide a safe route to school.
Easton also presented various details of the site plan. He explained that there would be a fence and a 20-foot landscaped buffer between the building and the homes on Staple Street at the rear of the site. Lighting would be confined to the property line by using smaller, 12-foot-tall polls.
The developer is planning to provide roughly 150 parking spaces, according to the formula of 1.5 spaces per dwelling unit and one space for every 200 square feet of retail space, according to Easton. He is factoring in about four retail spaces with two to three employees each.
Judy Calogero, who is on the development team, said Regan would be working with Berkshire Hathaway agent Bob Sears to recruit retail tenants.
Calogero explained that the retail space could include uses such as a medical or law office, small gym or yoga studio. There would not be any use that is open late at night, such as a bar, out of consideration for the neighborhood, but there could be a coffee shop.
Easton also summarized the results of a traffic study prepared by Creighton Manning, which stated that the impact of this project would be minimal.
During the public comment period, resident Dan Pinkowski of Boylston Street disputed that conclusion. He said he has to wait through two cycles of lights sometimes to get through that area. When there are events downtown, he has seen traffic backed up all the way through the traffic circle to the Hyde Collection.
“Is there any consideration for an ambulance getting down there?” he said.
Easton said the project would add about 33 cars during the morning and afternoon peak hours, about one car every two minutes, which Broad Street can accommodate. Based upon the level of traffic, Broad Street would continue to operate at a “C” level on the rating system.
Other people spoke in favor of the project. Stephen Baratta of 50 Broad St. said Glens Falls needs this type of housing, because new rental units coming onto the market are on the higher end.
“If I wanted to live in Saratoga, I would have moved to Saratoga. I don’t want Glens Falls to turn into Saratoga,” he said.
Baratta said he does not think the project would create that much of a traffic problem.
“In the morning and afternoon, I usually have no more than a 5-minute wait, max, to get out of my apartment unit,” he said.
Paul Hancock of the local chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America urged the developer to set aside two or three units for homeless people who are having issues of domestic violence and substance abuse.
The Planning Board gave some feedback on the plans, suggesting that security cameras be added in the parking lot around the building, lighting be increased in the playground area and coniferous trees be added to provide more screening.
The public hearing was kept open, and the project will be back before the board in December.
In other business, the Planning Board:
- Approved a proposal by Thomas O’Neill to develop apartments on the second and third floors of the building at 24 Pine St. This property is in the rear of the Union Square office complex at 9-15 Broad St. O’Neill said they would be two-bedroom apartments. He said this is a better use of the space than commercial, because it will have less need for parking.
- Approved a proposal by Glens Falls Realty to replace the windows at 228 Glen St. with more energy-efficient ones. No structural changes are being made to the building, according to property owner Chuck Gohn.
- Approved a proposal by Michael Kanofsky to operate a home-based business at 41 Fourth St. Kanofsky is shutting down his storefront space at 56 South St., where he runs Northway Communications, which sells radio equipment for business communications. He does not have as much walk-up business as he used to, he said.