COLONIE — Ayco Part II moved ahead last week after the Planning Board granted concept acceptance to a plan to build a three-story, 60,300-square-foot office/retail building on six-plus acres at the intersection of Columbia Street and Coliseum Drive.
It is the second building at the site of the former Starlite Theater off Route 9. In 2018, the Planning Board gave final approval to the Galesi Group to build a 150,000-square-foot headquarters for Ayco, a financial management company under the Goldman Sachs umbrella. In 2019, a road bifurcating the site, Coliseum Drive, was open for public use.
In April, the Planning Board gave a cool reception to the proposed Ayco Phase II because of the building’s proposed size and location. Some on the Planning Board thought it was too close to Columbia Street and did not fit in with existing buildings in the immediate area.
The land is zoned Commercial Office Residential and tenants could include a bank, a restaurant and other retail. It is within the Boght Road GEIS, and any mitigation fees will go towards paying for Coliseum Drive, most of which Galesi paid for out of pocket with the expectation of partial reimbursement from the mitigation fees paid by other developers since the road will, in theory, alleviate traffic along Route 9 to the benefit of the town as a whole.
The site area where the proposed building will be located is vacant, and once served as the parking lot for the Starlite Theater, which closed in 1997 and was demolished in 2012. The Galesi Group purchased the entire 120-acre site and built a new $23.6 million headquarters for Ayco.
There is a Phase III but what it will entail has not yet been formalized and it has not begun the planning process.
The project will need to come back before the Planning Board for final site plan review before construction can start.