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What you need to know for 09/23/2017

Grocery store sale in downtown Saratoga Springs expected to be finalized

Grocery store sale in downtown Saratoga Springs expected to be finalized

Bonacio Construction is expected to announce today that it is buying the Railroad Place Price Cho

Bonacio Construction is expected to announce today that it is buying the Railroad Place Price Chopper, a building that for months has been rumored to be closing.

Sonny and Julie Bonacio plan to announce they’ve bought the property, they said in a release Thursday afternoon. Moreover, Price Chopper officials will “confirm their commitment to continue serving the center city of Saratoga Springs,” the statement said.

The Bonacios weren’t available for comment and Price Chopper spokeswoman Mona Golub wouldn’t divulge details about what that commitment will be.

“You’ll find out when you attend tomorrow,” she said. The announcement is to take place at 1 p.m. at City Hall in the City Council chambers, and local officials are expected to attend along with representatives of both companies.

“It’s good news,” said Mayor Scott Johnson. “Based on what I’ve been informed, I think the community will be somewhat reassured at tomorrow’s press conference.”

The news release mentions “new economic development in Saratoga Springs at Church Street and Railroad Place that includes a grocery store.” But it doesn’t say whether that will be a Price Chopper or another store.

Some city residents have clamored for a Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s.

Others want to make sure the store is affordable for the lower- and middle-income residents who tend to use the current Price Chopper.

“I certainly hope that a downtown grocery store will continue,” said Johanna Garrison, a member of Saratoga Healthy Transportation Network.

The network this spring circulated a petition calling for a downtown grocery store and 1,250 people signed it, Garrison said.

Of those, 46 percent said they had walked or biked to the store.

Although the store is older than some Price Chopper stores in the area, it is still well-used, Garrison said.

“I was there yesterday, as a matter of fact,” she said. “My parents walk there. They’re 80 and they still walk downtown every single day.”

Johnson and county Supervisor Joanne Yepsen said they have met with Sonny Bonacio to express residents’ concerns.

Yepsen said Bonacio assured her he has the city’s best interest in mind.

“I think what that means for me and my constituents is that there will a grocery store in downtown Saratoga Springs,” she said. “I think we’re going to be well-served by this transaction.”

Yepsen said Bonacio has been an advocate for downtown development.

Bonacio Construction has spearheaded several high-profile development projects in town, including the Railroad Place condominiums, its Division Street building and the new Park Place condominiums it is building on Broadway near Congress Park.

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