Plans for a new Stewart’s shop at the Route 67 entrance to the Luther Forest Technology Campus took a couple of steps toward approval last week.
The town Planning Board has recommended that a zoning change to allow the convenience store be approved, and so has the Saratoga County Planning Board.
Those are recommendations, and the final decision is up to the Malta Town Board, which would need to change the 2004 zoning approval for the technology campus before a commercial building would be allowed at its entrance. The surrounding area is zoned for residential use.
Stewart’s, the Malta-headquartered regional convenience store chain, announced in February it wanted to build a new store at the corner, on Route 67 less than a mile north of Round Lake.
The company is eyeing the potential business from the thousands of people expected to be working at the expanding GlobalFoundries’ Fab 8 computer chip complex in coming years, as well as from growing traffic between the Mechanicville-Stillwater area and the Northway.
Both planning boards recommended the Town Board consider whether residential zoning is still appropriate for the area, given the amount of heavy commercial traffic using Route 67. The town of Stillwater has rezoned its section of Route 67 to encourage warehousing and other commercial development tied to the revived railroad yard outside Mechanicville.
Tom Lewis, a Stewart’s real estate representative, said the company has agreed to locate the planned six gas pumps behind the building — something the company has never done at any of its 328 other stores.
A new branch of the Adirondack Trust Co. would also be built as part of the project, which would be situated at the northwest corner of the roundabout where the LFTC entrance boulevard meets Route 67.
Lewis said one of the major outstanding issues is whether to bring public water to the site.
He estimated it would cost about $350,000 to extend Saratoga Water Services water to the property from where it now ends on Route 9.
Residents in the area rely on groundwater wells, though the water quality in the area is generally poor.
A town-commissioned study in 2011 found it would cost as much as $1.9 million to bring public water to the 73 homes in the Maltaville area. The plans have not been pursued since that study was finished.