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What you need to know for 01/18/2018

Wal-Mart proposes store in Ballston

Wal-Mart proposes store in Ballston

There is a new proposal to build a Wal-Mart store in the town of Ballston.

There is a new proposal to build a Wal-Mart store in the town of Ballston.

Nearly a decade after a proposal for a Wal-Mart Supercenter split the community, the town today received an application for a smaller, 136,800-square-foot store.

"Southern Saratoga County is a rapidly growing area. Our new Walmart will offer jobs, tax revenue and new affordable shopping options for customers in the community," Bill Wertz, company spokesman for the Arkansas-based discount retailer, said in a press release.

Wertz said the project incorporates feedback received on the earlier unsuccessful application, including making it 30 percent smaller, with improved access to both Route 50 and Route 67 to smooth traffic flow.

In the application, Wal-Mart architects said the proposed store would be smaller than the existing Wal-Marts in Clifton Park, Glenville and Saratoga Springs. It would not have the auto service shops and garden centers found in those locations.

The proposal is for the same site where the supercenter was proposed in 2005, on 75 acres on the east side of Routes 50 and 67 about a mile south of Ballston Spa.

The proposed would include 50,000-square-foot of grocery sales. About 300 jobs would be created, the company said, most of them full-time.

There have been rumors on a renewed Wal-Mart application over the last year, but representatives of developer Frank Rossi have met informally recently with town officials to lay out their new plans.

The 2005 Wal-Mart proposal deeply divided the town between those who feared its impact on traffic and Ballston Spa's downtown area and those who saw job creation, economic opportunity, and a convenient place to shop. Opponents were outspoken, and Rossi vigorously defended his proposal.

In the end, the Town Board turned down the project in July 2006, citing the proposed Wal-Mart's size and incompatibility with the town master plan. Rossi took the town to court and lost.

Former town supervisor Patti Southworth, who was elected in 2007 based on part on anti-Wal-Mart sentiment, called the new proposal "a reasonable compromise."

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