The man who founded what was once Schoharie County’s largest industrial employer is giving entrepreneurship one more shot — this time by building a series of high-tech storage facilities, starting with one on the site of the long-vacant Andy’s Hardware on Central Avenue.
Burton Klein, 78, is preparing to construct a $4 million, three-story facility that will feature everything from an environmentally-friendly “green” heating and cooling system to a retina-scanning security entrance. It will also have a 37-foot-tall working clock tower.
Village planning officials in December approved a proposal from Klein’s Clock Tower Partners to build the storage building. Pharmaceutical companies might primarily use the facility to store records and drugs. State agencies, law firms and medical centers are other prospective customers Clock Tower will target.
To develop the Central Avenue site, Klein will have to raze two homes and Andy’s, which closed around 1998 and sits adjacent to a Pep Boys automotive parts and repair store.
“It’s close. We have a few obstacles to overcome,” said Klein, who in the early 1960s founded Burton Enterprises, a Cobleskill window manufacturer that at its peak employed hundreds of workers in three states. When the business closed in 1981, it employed 100 in Cobleskill.
Klein’s 520-unit storage facility will have a 25,500-square-foot footprint. In late spring, he expects to start construction on the Colonie facility, which should be open by fall.
Klein is Clock Tower’s managing partner. He only identified the business’ other partner as a “large area developer.”