Plans for a business center next to the Colden Mansion Ruins have been presented to the Town of Montgomery Planning Board.
Jesse Cokeley, principal at Colliers Engineering & Design, described the proposed 68,000 square-foot building as “bulk compliant flex space” at the northwest corner of Stone Castle Road and Route 17K, opposite the ruins. The property, he said, is currently vacant and mostly wooded.
The proposed building will have four loading docks with two driveways, one off 17K and the other offering egress onto Stone Castle Road. The configuration allows for multiple tenants, Cokeley said.
The proposed structure is being built on speculation, with no tenants yet secured.
“It’s attractive space on the market because of its flexibility,” Cokeley said.
Planning Board members had some concerns.
Cheri Zahakos wondered if there were any unique trees on the site and noted the plans made no mention of the nearby historic site.
“There are some Osage orange trees on this property,” replied Rose Pennings who asked if an archaeological study had been conducted.
Planning Board chairman Fred Reichle suggested the property needed “fairly significant landscaping,” given its location in the town.
“It’s kind of a billboard for our town,” added John Brown.
Neelytown Business Park
Concerns were also raised about another project being built on spec. The Neelytown Business Park is a commercial three-lot subdivision at the intersection of Neelytown and Beaver Dam Roads. The project is a proposed 664,200 SF warehouse distribution facility and separate 214,000 SF and 250,070 warehouse distribution facilities with attendant parking, utilities and stormwater management facilities on seven existing tax parcels consisting of approximately 111.47 acres at 296 Neelytown Road and Beaver Dam Road.
Zahakos wondered how the tenants of the warehouses would be able to attract employees.
“Other warehouses are having a problem to sustain themselves,” she said. “I’m not thinking they’re coming from Montgomery proper. You’re one of a multitude.”
She also noted that the Beaver Dam aquifer is on the property. The town board has been asked, but has not yet acted on the request, to declare the area a Critical Environmental Area that could potentially impact future development.
Despite these concerns, the planning board adopted a conditional scope for the project. Further review of the project will come at the next town planning board meeting.