The Malta Town Board unanimously agreed to move ahead on a proposal by Saratoga Care that would create a medical park on 140 acres just off Exit 12. The Monday, April 2, decision comes after six to eight months of discussions with the town and a detailed presentation made at the board’s March agenda meeting.
I think it would be welcomed, said board member Cliff Lange. `Not just for Malta, but people surrounding us, too.`
Keeping in line with early recommendations from town officials, the Saratoga Medical Park at Malta Planned Development District (PDD), as it is being called, will incorporate and preserve much of the equine setting that is associated with the existing site. Most Malta residents refer to this site and the site adjacent to it, now owned by the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese, as the `Old Horse Farm.`
Mike Ingersoll, of the LA Group, said Saratoga Care intends to preserve the horse farm, fencing and setting that is associated with the parcel.
`It will have a campus feel that preserves as much of the land as we can,` said Ingersoll.
Plans are for the agri-recreational area to stay green, giving the project 55 percent of green space. With lawns and landscaping that increases to well over 60 percent, Ingersoll said.
Attorney Matt Jones, representing Saratoga Care, said the plan Ingersoll presented was one of long range that would occur over a 20-, 30- or 40-year period.
The plan presented by Ingersoll included seven `development areas` on the site, which could include a two-story building offering medical, retail and professional offices, physicians offices, senior living, assisted living and a sustained community similar to that currently offered by Wesley or the Eddy.
Also included in the proposal is an area for a 400,000-square-foot, 240-bed hospital, which would have multiple floors and likely include a parking structure.
The LA Group is looking into the possibility of locating a helicopter landing pad in the area as well. In this same development area, an urgent-care facility with an outpatient surgery component could be built. Saratoga Care, which owns and operates Saratoga Hospital and Wilton Medical Arts, later this month will open Malta Medical Arts, a small urgent-care facility located on Route 9 that is expected to move into the larger medical park site when the project is complete.
Ingersoll said that all buildings in the medical park will be within walking distance of one another, not requiring patients to move their cars from point to point if they are visiting more than one location in the campus. In addition to a village green area, Ingersoll said the layout, which groups the buildings in the middle of the parcel, preserves the buffer from the Northway as well as the area’s rural character.
Jones indicated that Saratoga Care is currently working with the Cornell Cooperative Extension to explore the possibility of incorporating therapeutic riding, or equine-assisted therapy, into the overall plan. He said patients could benefit from this unusual treatment because the movement of the horse simulates walking.
Discussion of the Saratoga Medical Park at Malta is on the planning board’s April 17 agenda. Planning board meetings begin at 7 p.m. at the Malta Town Hall. “