Saratoga County

Hospital plan subject of scrutiny

Plans are still moving forward for a proposed Halfmoon Health Care Complex on an 82-acre parcel o

PHOTOGRAPHER:

Plans are still moving forward for a proposed Halfmoon Health Care Complex on an 82-acre parcel of land on the south side of Route 146, though the Town Board was told this week by developers that they don’t have a hospital yet lined up to run the facility.

The complex, 1.3 miles east of Route 9, would include a 225,000-square-foot hospital and additional medical and office buildings.

Developers Boni Enterprises and attorney Kevin Dailey gave another project overview to the Town Board this week. The board requested a more detailed presentation on July 15, preceding a second public hearing tentatively set for early August. Last month, the town Planning Board recommended the zoning change from residential or agricultural space to medical business space.

Halfmoon Supervisor Mindy Wormuth said Thursday the developers told the board they do not yet have a commitment for an established hospital to partner with the Halfmoon facility.

“We were told site plan approval by the Town Board will be the next step to attract a partner,” Wormuth said.

The proposed hospital would be five floors and 225,000 square feet. Dailey estimated that the hospital could cost as much as $120 million to build. The site would employ several hundred people, earning an average of $60,000 a year. Project discussions with the Planning Board and Town Board have been under way for two years. Most building projects today require that developers include a measure of public benefit, often land set aside for public use as parks or walking trails. But the developers instead have offered to make a cash donation to the town of about $1.5 million to cover infrastructure enhancements.

“The board hasn’t reached any agreement on a figure,” Wormuth said.

The first public hearing in late May was met with mixed response from residents, many of whom support having emergency health care closer than the nearest hospitals — Ellis Hospitals in Schenectady, about 14 miles away, and Saratoga Hospital, about 21 miles away. Project developers estimated the facility could serve more than 100,000 people in southern Saratoga County and the surrounding area.

Other residents were worried about accessibility for emergency vehicles and aesthetics of two, five-story biomedical buildings that could be visible from Route 146. Dailey said planners had not yet drafted designs for the specific buildings but, based on the proposed dimensions, the buildings would barely reach above the existing treetops.

Wormuth said the Town Board needs another few weeks to look at maps before the next public review.

“This is the largest facility we’ve looked at, and it has much more impact than even a large subdivision,” Wormuth said. “We have to look at the fall-out in the long term.”

Dailey said he is happy to work within the detailed approval program in Halfmoon.

“They do an exhaustive review in town, but I can’t find fault with them for that, because this is a significant project,” Dailey said. “This can’t just be a pile of bricks. When fully built, this could be the signature project for the town. We’re committed to making this happen.”

Categories: Uncategorized

Leave a Reply