Saratoga County

Town homes planned for site of old ice cream plant in Saratoga Springs

Two local developers have purchased the Ellsworth Ice Cream plant property on Division Street and pl

Two local developers have purchased the Ellsworth Ice Cream plant property on Division Street and plan to build town homes on the two-acre site.

A mixed-use project of apartments, row houses and retail stores was proposed at the plant location in 2010 by developer S. Alexander Stephens III of Saratoga Springs.

The city approved the plans, which included the demolition of the old ice cream plant, but the Hotel Square Development LLC project was never started and the plant never demolished because of financial problems.

Developers Stephen Ethier of Saratoga Springs and Peter Belmonte of Clifton Park have purchased the property for $2 million. They are in the planning stages for a project that will feature about 40 town homes, Ethier said on Wednesday.

The 60,000-square-foot Ellsworth Ice Cream Co. at 120 Division St., which closed five ago, would be demolished sometime after the racing season, according to the plan.

Kate Maynard, the city’s principal planner, on Wednesday said the developers have not yet submitted an application to the city. She said there is a city-approved plan for the mixed use project still on file.

Belmonte said he and Ethier plan to stick with the footprint of the original, approved plans as much as possible.

“We want to maintain the row house feel,” Belmonte said, referring to the earlier plans for 66 town houses.

Town homes with a two-car garage and small yard are being planned because Ethier feels the city has a good “inventory” or apartments.

In recent years developers have been building rental apartments rather than condominiums or town houses because of the sluggish economy and difficulty for home buyers to obtain mortgages.

Ethier said he is hearing from “empty nesters” who want to downsize from a full-sized home to a smaller home near the city’s downtown. He said they still want to own their home.

The developers hope to submit formal plans for their project to the city within 60 days. The exact design and square footage of the town homes has not been finalized, they said.

The homes would be in the 1,800- to 3,000 square-foot range and be priced between $350,000 and $550,000, Ethier said.

Ethier said with the computer chip manufacturing plant, GlobalFoundries, opening in Malta and associated businesses locating nearby, the demand for luxury town homes in the city’s downtown core will increase.

The ice cream plant, a city landmark for 50 years, closed in 2007. Company president Gerald Ellsworth of Greenfield died in 2008.

Three generations of the Ellsworth family expanded the business. The company opened a warehouse near the railroad tracks off Perry Road in Wilton for the storage of frozen products in the late 1990s.

The company also purchased an ice cream plant in North Springfield, Vt., from Ben and Jerry’s ice cream company some years ago. That plant was auctioned off in 2007, according to a 2008 story in The Daily Gazette.

Categories: Business

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