Duanesburg could soon see its first major grocery store.
Officials from the Maine-based Hannaford Supermarkets announced Thursday that they plan to open a 35,000-square-foot store on seven acres of farm land off Route 20 near the intersection with Route 30. If approved by the town Planning Board, the market would become the nearest major grocery store for Duanesburg residents, who now drive miles to Amsterdam, Rotterdam or Cobleskill.
“They’re all the same difference,” said Town Board member Phil Carlson at the planning meeting Thursday to hear the company’s proposal. “They’re all 13 to 15 miles away, every one of them.”
Preliminary plans for the new market include a full-service pharmacy with drive-through, plus all of the normal supermarket amenities such as a butcher shop, produce and seafood departments, a bakery and a deli. The store will employ up to 100 people, with a third of those jobs full-time.
“We’ve been keeping an eye on this place for some time,” said Mitch Feeney, a Hannaford real estate representative. “We think the area is underserved.”
For years, large grocery chains have shunned the town because of the lack of population and layout. However, Feeney said Hannaford is now developing smaller stores called “tweener” sites to fill gaps in market coverage.
“With the smaller prototype, it opens up the market,” he said.
In comparison, the Hannaford location in Guilderland has about 45,000 square feet, while another in Albany is about 84,000 square feet. Doug Boyce, an engineer with Hannaford, said a similar store was constructed in Milton in Saratoga County several years ago.
“This is the smallest prototype we have,” he said.
Based in Maine, Hannaford operates 167 stores in five states in the Northeast. The proposed Duanesburg location would join 43 others in New York.
Site plans include 176 parking spaces and a wastewater treatment plant. The project also includes a 100-square-foot sign in front.
Chris Schneck and Bill Feinstein of Ventura-Duanesburg LLC are developing the project. Schneck said plans include other comercial building for the property, which encompasses 58 acres off the busy intersection.
“It’s a logical place,” he said.
If the plans are approved, Schneck said he hopes to break ground in April. He said the market will take about nine months to construct.
Planning Board members were generally receptive. Board Chairwoman Sandra Scott said, “There is a need for it, there’s no doubt about it.”