Clock Tower to build ‘green’ storage facility

The man who founded what was once Schoharie County’s largest industrial employer is giving entrepren
PHOTOGRAPHER:

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 environment-friendly “green” heating and cooling system to a retina eye scan security entrance. It will also have a 37-foot-tall working clock tower.

Village of Colonie 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 is next 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 25,500 square feet of space. 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.”

The steel building will feature a New York state Energy Research and Development Authority-approved Trane heating and cooling system. To better control temperature and humidity, the building’s windows will be attached to its facade and not cut into its walls.

“The building will be like a refrigerator. It’s totally encapsulated,” said Klein.

Klein has spent the last four years preparing to launch his new storage business. His window manufacturing business shut down after being hit by financial problems and a housing slump. In the 1990s, he also served as the U.S. president for Makron, a Finnish home wall panel manufacturer.

Klein runs Clock Tower out of his Albany condominium. He expects to build within four years five storage facilities, including two in the Capital Region. He will also pursue markets in New England and Pennsylvania.

Categories: Business

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