Saratoga County

Plans for medical, research facility submitted to town of Halfmoon

St. Peter’s Hospital and a developer have submitted plans to build a medical campus at a Route 146 s

St. Peter’s Hospital and a developer have submitted plans to build a medical campus at a Route 146 site where town officials previously approved a hospital.

The Albany-based health care provider and Boni Enterprises of Rexford on Feb. 4 sent papers to the town asking to amend plans to allow a medical and research campus on the 81-acre property about 1.4 miles east of Route 9. Supervisor Mindy Wormuth expects the Town Board to address the issue at its next meeting, on March 21, and set a future date for a public information meeting about the project.

It will still need to go through a review process, most likely by the Planning Board first and then by the Town Board, including a formal public hearing. The property is a planned development district, or PDD — a zoning district designed especially for that property.

Developers in 2008 gained approval to build a 120-bed hospital, but the state Health Department wouldn’t approve a certificate of need.

Last May, Boni and St. Peter’s announced during a news conference at Town Hall their partnership to build an outpatient medical campus with 467,200 square feet of buildings, to potentially include biomedical research facilities and medical offices.

The application submitted last month is a formalization of those intentions.

“I think there will be various doctors’ groups that will come here,” said Kevin Dailey, attorney for Boni Enterprises. “We’d like to get the PDD uses broadened just a little bit.”

The group envisions starting with a building between 60,000 and 75,000 square feet and expanding from there.

Eventually, Dailey expects the state will allow another hospital as the region’s population grows and as traffic on the Northway gets heavier and more congested, stretching the time it will take to transport patients to hospitals.

“We certainly have a campus that a hospital can grow into,” Dailey said.

Wormuth wants more details on the proposal.

“I have a lot of questions, like what exactly does biomedical research mean?” she said. “It’s just not well-defined enough yet for me to understand it.”

In correspondence to the town, the developer asked to remove a $1.2 million public benefit payment, which Wormuth said was agreed to as part of the original process. Evidence of some kind of public benefit, such as road improvements, water and sewer extensions or monetary payments, is required for every PDD in Halfmoon, she said.

Dailey said he and the supervisor came to an agreement that the hospital itself was the public benefit, and he believes the $1.2 million was written in error.

Wormuth said the amount of the public benefit for the St. Peter’s project will be renegotiated as part of the process anyway.

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