Schenectady County

Reluctant relocation approved

The owner of the Another World adult bookstore can relocate from Erie Boulevard to lower Broadway sh
PHOTOGRAPHER:

The owner of the Another World adult bookstore can relocate from Erie Boulevard to lower Broadway should a proposed roundabout require his current location’s demolition.

The Schenectady Planning Commission on Wednesday approved a proposal by owner Rocco Palmer to construct a 1,200-square-foot addition and renovate the building at 1354 Broadway, which he owns.

Relocation of the store is necessary if a traffic roundabout is constructed as part of a $14 million makeover of Erie Boulevard set to begin construction next year.

The Schenectady City Council has not given final approval to the roundabout plan. However, in June, it gave authority for engineers to start buying the affected properties — Another World and Special Arms & Munitions. Palmer owns both properties.

Palmer is going to delay any relocation until the council’s final action. He said he does not want to move, but he said the city is forcing his hand. He believes city officials selected the roundabout option that would force Another World from that location.

Palmer was carrying around a stack of letters that have been sent to the city from nearby businesses opposing the roundabout plan, citing that they believe it’s a waste of money that will eat up valuable parking spaces and is not proven to improve traffic.

“Why shove it down their throat if they don’t want it?” he said.

The roundabout would also require that K&K Steel, which used to operate under the name National Welding & Fabrication, relocate from the 1354 Broadway property it has leased for 14 years to make way for the new Another World.

No one spoke during the public hearing. The commission approved the plan on the condition that a final design for the light fixtures in the parking lot is submitted and trees are added to the plan.

In other business, the board tabled a proposal by Tim Trier to build a 1,600-square-foot addition to Clinton’s Ditch at 108 S. College St. Trier is attempting to replicate an old firehouse that once existed on the property but was demolished 18 months ago.

Architect James T. Pollard said a 1,600-square-foot addition would be built to expand the kitchen and add a wood-fired pizza oven, a food serving area and a 400-square-foot area for private party seating. The old and new buildings would be linked through an 8-foot-wide glass entry.

Pollard said he met with the Historic District Commission on Monday, which had some concerns that the new building had a historic-looking cornice and some thought it should match the modern-looking roof line on the Clinton’s Ditch building. He said the commission also did not like the modern-looking glass connector.

Some members of the Planning Commission had issues with the blank wall on one side of the building.

Commission Chairwoman Sharran Coppola said she liked the overall look of the design.

The Planning Commission tabled the request so the applicant could continue to refine the plans and submit more materials.

Also, the commission tabled a project by BBL Construction Services to build a five-story, 313-room student residence for Schenectady County Community College next to the Armory on Washington Avenue.

Two variances are needed from the Zoning Board of Appeals for the project — one to have the entrance on Railroad Street instead of Washington Avenue and another to have only 18 parking spaces on a site where 100 are required.

The commission had some concerns about sidewalks and whether students would cross at the intersection or try to jaywalk.

Project officials said the long-term fix is to have a pedestrian bridge that crosses over Washington Avenue in that location.

The commission will hold a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 6 at which it is expected to vote on a declaration that the project would have no impact to the environment. The zoning board will meet later that night at 7 p.m.

Also on Wednesday, the commission:

u Approved a project by Highbridge Development LLC to build a 27,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution facility at 126-142 Van Guysling Ave. Metroplex is spearheading this effort and attempting to find a tenant for this space.

u Approved a request by Go Ahead Realty LLC to subdivide the property at Olean Street between Campbell Avenue and Vienna Street into 18 residential lots.

u Approved a site plan and special use permit by Dara Sim to operate a pet store at 2545 Broadway.

u Approved a proposal by Tabernacle of New Hope to locate a church at 3 Morris Ave.

u Approved a request by Dharam Hitlall to operate a mortgage broker’s office at 1001 State St.

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