Worries about a vacant Glenville eyesore came down along with the walls of the former Kmart.
The former Kmart Plaza on Route 50 in Glenville is starting to look a little different. Workers from Jackson Demolition, based out of Schenectady, were tearing down walls and moving debris on Friday, Nov. 4, as Schenectady County and Glenville officials came together to see the walls tumble firsthand. Once demolition is complete, Target is constructing a new 135,000-square-foot store with an adjoining30,000-square-foot retail space.
The total project cost is estimated at $20 million and is said to make way for over 200 jobs in the new Target. The Schenectady Metroplex Development Authority provided an exemption from sales tax for construction material and equipment used to set up the two new retail buildings. Also, Metroplex is providing an $180,000 grant towards infrastructure costs.
Glenville Supervisor Christopher Koetzle expressed his pleasure in seeing one of the blighted commercial spots in the town being redeveloped. The 13.2-acre site has been vacant since August 2006, which lead town officials to mark the site’s redevelopment as a top priority.
“We are excited for this project to get started. We are excited for this project to continue. It really demonstrates the renaissance that is happening here in the Town of Glenville,” Koetzle said. “Many of our empty spaces have been filled over the past months.”
Ray Gillen, chairman of Metroplex and commissioner of Economic Development and Planning for Schenectady County, recounted Koetzle’s commitment to move the project forward. Gillen added he had “great support” from the town.
“I remember one Planning and Zoning Board meeting (Christopher Koetzle) was nice enough to come out … it was a very long meeting and we had a lot of issues on this project,” Gillen said. “Chris looked everyone in the eyes and said, ‘My wife told me not to come home tonight until the Target project is approved.’”
Gillen, along with other officials, touted the project as a team effort to reach “tight deadlines” and approvals to make sure Target opened on time in the fall of 2012.
Dawna Smith, spokeswoman for Target, said the company would begin staffing at the Glenville location in July 2012 and the grand opening will be in October 2012.
Schenectady County Legislator Cathy Gatta, D-Scotia, said she remembered the plaza as the economic center it used to be and said Target would provide a rebirth for the town’s commercial corridor.
“I have such fond memories of this plaza growing up. We were here all the time shopping at Kmart and [Albany Public Market] and later becoming Grand Union,” Gatta said. “It has sat quiet and empty for too long and having a vacant 13-acre site in the middle of town was simply unacceptable.”
Target previously expressed interest in the site but in 2009 the company stopped plans to develop in the town. Target wanted to own the building, but previously RD Management wanted to only lease the property. RD Management will now lease the planned retail strip and restaurant, but Target will own their building, according to Koetzle.
No further information was revealed on what other businesses would be opening shop on the adjoining retail strip. Also, no information on the 5,800-square-foot restaurant pad, included in the original site plan, was discussed.
With plans solidified for Target, Koetzle said residents are pleased with the development.
“Town residents are thrilled to see the demolition of this eyesore,” Koetzle said. “We are replacing a blighted site with a positive new development for our community.”