The town will issue a building permit allowing a new Hannaford Supermarket to start construction at Malta Mall. The project has faced delays caused by questions about the property’s use for a commuter park-and-ride lot.
Construction work on the supermarket, which was announced in September 2009, is now expected to begin early next week. Extensive demolition has been going on at the mall for months in anticipation of construction getting started.
The Town Board on Monday authorized issuing the permit after representatives of landowner Country Club Acres of Clifton Park said they weren’t being given a permit pending negotiations with the state Department of Transportation over the 50 park-and-ride spaces.
Town Supervisor Paul Sausville said the park-and-ride issue still needs to be resolved, but construction can go forward at the mall, which is on Round Lake Road, less than a half-mile west of Northway Exit 11.
“We agreed to issue the building permit to Hannaford, but we need to come to an agreement on the park-and-ride,” he said.
Malta Mall has had an agreement with state DOT to lease spaces for the park-and-ride, but that agreement has expired, said Dean Taylor, a Realtor representing Country Club Acres.
The site is used as a pickup point for a Capital District Transportation Authority commuter bus to Albany.
Taylor said there have been negotiations with DOT about renewing the lease, under which the state paid for the parking spots, but it isn’t clear when or if they will be resolved.
The Town Board’s November 2010 zoning approval of the Hannaford project requires that there be a park-and-ride lot. The project was approved as part of a planned development district, which typically involves extensive negotiations between town officials and developers over “community benefits” like park-and-ride lots.
Based on the lack of a contract for the park-and-ride lot, the town building department said conditions of the approval weren’t being met, so it refused to issue the building permit.
The Town Board overruled that decision, but members said the parking lot issue remains.
“At the end of the day, before a certificate of occupancy is issued, this issue will have to be resolved,” Sausville said. “We just want to be sure our residents have a park-and-ride. That was one of the community benefits negotiated when we passed the PDD.”
Taylor maintains the town’s approval doesn’t require Malta Mall to have a contract with the state.
“We’re being held up by a third party that doesn’t know if they want to use it,” he said.
The developer agrees it’s committed to the town to provide park-and-ride spaces, he said.
The planned Hannaford would occupy 35,000 square feet in a section of Malta that doesn’t currently have a supermarket.
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