An Ace Hardware store could be coming to Niskayuna.
Bo Michael of Michael Architectural Services appeared before the town Planning Board last Tuesday to discuss plans to convert the former Morgan Stanley financial services building at 1448 Balltown Road into an Ace store.
The property is located next to the 1st National Bank of Scotia, which stands at the corner of Balltown and Nott Street East.
"Our plan is to remove all the non-bearing interior walls and open this space up for hardware, for retail," Michael said. "They're proposing a greenhouse in the center of the building."
Plans include a 454-square foot addition, three facade signs and the installation of canopies along the building's southern and eastern facades.
Retail and service stores are a permitted, principal use in the C-N (Neighborhood Commercial) zoning district. The building, which has been home to European Spa and other physical fitness centers in the past, has been vacant for the past year.
While board member Gengis Khan said he likes the greenhouse-hardware project, he still voiced some concerns.
"The biggest one is actually traffic and traffic flow," he said. "It's a significant traffic usage."
Parking for the building has always been in the back, accessed through a passage off Nott Street East. Board members said the access road is currently in disrepair.
There is also an access road off Balltown Road.
Town Planner Laura Robertson said hardware representatives must still answer traffic questions and address access for pedestrians.
"You really want people to be able to walk on Balltown Road," she said. "It's got lots of cars but it's also in the middle of our town."
The hardware proponents will have to appear during a public hearing that will be held later this summer.
Members believe the hardware store would be a good use for the space, especially with the recent closings of Woodlawn True Value Hardware on State Street in 2017 and Phillips Hardware on Union Street this spring.
Ace, based in Oak Brook, Illinois, lists more than 5,000 locations across the U.S.
In another matter, the board approved site plan approval for the Niskayuna Farmers Market. The long-discussed market will be held three times this summer in the side parking lot of the Niskayuna Co-op on Nott Street.
The first market is scheduled for Saturday, July 13, from 8:30 until 11:30 a.m. The other markets will follow on Aug. 10 and Sept. 14, part of "second Saturday" events.
In granting the site plan -- there will be space for 12 vendors in the side lot and parking across the street in the co-op's main parking lot -- the board set five conditions market directors will have to follow. They are:
* Site plan approval limited to one market a week, to be held on a weekend day only.
* Changes to the schedules or site plan location will require further site plan review.
* Temporary parking spaces for handicapped drivers shall be required to offset spaces used during the market.
* Encouragement of pedestrian and bicycle amenities to promote walking and bicycling and limit impacts to existing parking.
* Encourage crossing guards on Nott Street to promote safety.
Contact Gazette reporter Jeff Wilkin at 518-395-3124 or at [email protected]