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This spring, the city could potentially seek bids for the construction of a $4 million Market Center pavilion, seen as an impetus to transform South Street into an exciting commercial district in downtown Glens Falls. The 6,000-square-foot pavilion - featuring 68 units - is the first phase of a multi-phased effort that won a $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant seven years ago from New York state.
Glens Falls is still some distance away from completion of their Market Center, but officials could potentially seek bids this spring for the project.
Recently, The Times Herald published an article outlining how economic development officials have made some major progress in recent years to kickstart redevelopment of the market center.
Some of the most crucial steps should include attracting new businesses to town, creating more jobs and improving the overall business climate in the area.
One way the city is doing this is through economic development initiatives and partnerships with other agencies.
The city has shown strong support for local businesses and is actively working to draw in more people by offering incentives for relocating or expanding in the area.
The city is also implementing programs like the recently announced Business Park Improvement Grant, which are designed to assist local businesses in starting up in new locations. They are even considering opening a downtown expo and convention center that could attract large events to the region. This is an excellent move that will benefit both short and long term.
City Economic Development Director Jeff Flagg said the new 6,000 square foot pavilion will serve as the year-round home for Glens Falls farmers market and community events, acting as a "catalyst" for South Street's revitalization.
He noted that the design was informed by feedback from South Street market and vendors. The structure has been tailored to accommodate how vendors operate within the current marketplace; many rely on space underneath and around the pavilion to store their wares.
In addition to hosting the farmers market, the newly constructed Market Center is intended to stimulate private investment. It will include a cafe, stage and flagpole/plaza area, restrooms and event support space as well as ADA improvements.
This market pavilion is part of a redevelopment plan that also includes an apartment complex and retail shop. It will be situated on city-owned land at 51-63 South St, once home to the Daily Double and Off Track Betting parlor.
Flagg believes the redevelopment of this area will benefit all citizens by creating a more inviting space for businesses and residents alike. Furthermore, it provides people with more choices when dining or shopping downtown.
Flagg anticipates the project will be finished this spring, with the hope of having a contractor selected by early May.
Redevelopment of this former school will include demolishing the old building, clearing away site work and then building a new structure on top. Included in the construction are a gym/classrooms complex, superpad for future gym use, accessible school entrance, cafe courtyard area and cafeteria.
Other projects on the redevelopment plan involve the conversion of an old warehouse into a kitchen and baking shop. This new structure will feature both modern construction techniques as well as historic fixtures.
It will feature a new roof, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems as well as electrical, plumbing and HVAC components. Furthermore, its facade will feature glazing, masonry work and tile accents.
At a recent Glens Falls City Planning Board meeting, there was a public hearing for the draft plan to move the Market Center from South Street to 31 South St. Additionally, this draft calls for building a 68-unit apartment complex within what is currently home to the farmers market.
This plan is an integral element of downtown revitalization efforts that will bring a variety of businesses and amenities to South Street, once known as an industrial crossroads. Additionally, several city-owned buildings along the street will be renovated, as well as replacing the current 6,000 square foot South Street Pavilion with a new pavilion.
Redevelopment in the city has drawn the interest of two prospective design-build groups who hope to construct a multistory building at 25-33 South St. The building would include retail space, restaurants, offices and residential units.
Throughout the planning phase, city representatives held numerous meetings with market representatives to get their input on various aspects of the project. Their feedback proved so invaluable that it helped shape the final design.
One key element for a successful farmers market is to attract customers and create an inviting atmosphere for shoppers to shop. To do this, farmers and vendors must follow certain regulations such as price integrity requirements and farm identification signs.
Another essential factor is whether or not the market will provide nutrition programs for low-income shoppers and seniors. Doing so will boost local farms' revenues, giving families access to healthier foods and items they can use in their families.
Finally, it's essential to consider the physical layout and accessibility of a market for customers. A market must be secure, clean, and intuitive for shoppers of all ages.
For instance, a market may need parking and sanitary facilities like trash cans, garbage pickup, park benches and electricity/water for vending machines and refrigeration units if required.
This spring, Glens Falls could begin seeking bids for Market Center construction, an initiative seen as a catalyst to transform South Street into an exciting commercial hub in downtown. The $4 million Market Center will be a 6,000 square foot pavilion that will replace the current home of the Glens Falls farmers market.
Sandy's Clam Bar will move to a lot near Elm and South streets, directly across from a parking lot currently used for the market. A second large building will surround it to form an enclosure around it that wraps around Sandy's Clam Bar.
Though the project is in its early stages, Glens Falls Economic Development Director Jeff Flagg believes now is an ideal time for bids to be opened. He anticipates having a contractor selected by late April or early May with construction set to commence this summer.
In addition to farmers market space, this project will feature a 68-unit apartment complex. Saratoga developer Sonny Bonacio's SpringCity development corporation plans to renovate three existing buildings near Elm and South streets intersection as well as construct a large new building which will front both streets.
Envision Architects in Troy are designing this mixed-use building with retail space on the ground floor and apartments above. Their design was guided by feedback from the market association, with a curved-oval shape designed to encourage pedestrian traffic.
On Tuesday's public hearing, many of the comments made were related to greenery and plantings, particularly around the building's "gallery" space. Furthermore, they expressed interest in trash collection and stormwater management, with hopes that the design of the new building would promote pedestrian activity.
Telberg reported to the board that the building's curved-oval shape will make it easier for customers to navigate. Furthermore, he added, it will offer more natural light than other structures in Market Square, such as its current counterpart.
In mid-2019, construction on the new building is scheduled to begin. Funded by $10 million from the state's Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant, this redevelopment project aims to reverse traffic patterns that had been slow in moving there in recent years.