LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The former Hoffman’s Playland property along Route 9 in Loudonville has sat vacant for about five years. Many drive by wondering what’s to come. A number of redevelopment ideas have been proposed, but it wasn’t until recently that one of those concepts hit home for the Hoffmans.
“They’re happy. They’re very happy. It’s a continuum,” Colonie Director of Planning and Economic Development Joseph LaCivita said. “Some people who were there as a child can now be there in their adult years, too.”
Developers from Burke Companies and GSX Ventures, along with SageLife, have proposed the “Galleria at Loudonville.” It would be a housing complex with about 170 to 180 units for both independent and assisted living. The front of the property would feature 30,000 square feet of retail space, a combination of two high-end restaurants and boutique shops.
In order for that to happen, the eight acres of land would need to be rezoned. Currently, it’s zoned for NCOR, or neighborhood, commercial, office and residential, but it would need to be zoned for PDD, or planned development district.
LaCivita tells NEWS10 ABC, overall, the idea has been well-received by members of the planning board, but some do have their reservations.
“There’s always that concern by the neighbors, and rightfully so. We want to make sure we have the same quality of life within the town,” he said. “So we look at it, we peel it apart like an onion, go piece by piece through the process. That’s where we are right now in the project.”
One of those main concerns is additional traffic to an already congested stretch of Route 9. The idea of widening the road there, which is owned by New York State, is reportedly not an option.
LaCivita said the idea of senior living rather than traditional apartments complements the existing traffic pattern.
“We’re not going to see many cars on the road from the independent style of things. Then assisted will be very little, if any,” he explained. “It’s typically the employees or visitors to see mom and dad. Any of their shopping or errands are done at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12 p.m.”
Those errands, he said, would potentially support surrounding businesses.
LaCivita added that they’re also looking to add access points from the Village at New Loudon and Newton Plaza. There will also soon be a traffic light at the corner of Route 9 and Glennon Road. In addition, he said there’s a real need for senior communities throughout Capital Region.
“We’re aging longer and you want to stay in the community you grew up and raised your children in, so senior living makes great sense,” said LaCivita.
The proposal is at the conceptual level where the planning board makes a recommendation to the town board to adopt the zoning change. It’s still early on in the process and LaCivita said it could take up to 18 months to thoroughly review the project.
There will be a lot of back and forth between the town board for the zoning change and the planning board to oversee everything from an infrastructure and sustainability standpoint.
Any trucks and construction you see in the area currently are part of a separate infrastructure improvement capital project through the town.