A Few Brief Stories

Developer Abandons Project after Criticism from Chair of City Design Review Commission

Visions Hotels of Corning, New York, has abandoned plans to tear down the Turf and Spa Motel at 176 South Broadway and build an 89 room Fairfield Inn and Suites.

[Editor’s note: The green area on the right in the photo below is mislabeled as Congress Park. It should be labeled Greenridge Cemetery.}


Steve Rowland, the chair of the  Design Review Commission, had characterized the project as “corporate architecture” better suited for Clifton Park (I guess he managed to insult both the developer and the town of Clifton Park in one sentence :->)

At the  September 21 meeting of the DRC the principal of Visions, Arun “Andy” Patel, had complained about the resistance of the city commission to his company’s design.  “There is a price point that a developer can do a project with,” said Patel.  “Stretch a rubber band, there is only so far we can stretch.  After that it is going to break…we are at that point.”

Responding at the meeting Rowland said he disagreed with Patel.  “You are at the beginning of this process,” he told Patel, “yet… this is the first time we have seen this application [Patel’s company’s application].

Rowland: “I am the first person to tell you, when corporate architecture comes before this board, we’ve got problems.  We don’t accept corporate architecture especially in the most significant corridor in the city.”

“Quite frankly, if that means it’s not doable and it’s not feasible from a financial standpoint, then the next project that comes to that property might be…”

“Forgive me for getting a little testy about it, but this is so early in the process that I don’t appreciate that comment that you are being run around in circles…”


Class Action Against Stewart’s Convenience Stores

A Federal Judge has certified that a class action suit against Stewarts can proceed.    The suit that seeks some $20 million dollars in damages alleges that Stewarts failed to pay its employees fully for their time.  This action paves the way for the plaintiffs to contact additional employees that may have been affected by Stewart’s employment practices.  Among other things, it is alleged that employees were not paid for time at meetings and were not allowed uninterrupted meal breaks and were not properly paid for overtime.  A representative of Stewarts noted that two thirds of the original complaints were not granted class status.


Sonny Bonacio Proposes Project For Troy

Sonny Bonacio and partner are seeking tax breaks to convert two floors of the historic Hendrick Hudson building in Troy to apartments.  He and a partner bought the 80,000 square foot building for $2.4 million dollars in February.

CEO of Saratoga Hospital Talks About Merger With Albany Medical College

Albany Med is about to assume its authority over Saratoga Hospital.  It will control the budgeting, the contracts, the hiring of senior staff, board appointments, and strategic planning.  Saratoga Hospital maintains 171 beds and has expanded greatly during the last decade.

Saratoga Hospital CEO Angelo Calbone told the Albany Business Review that the hospital will be better able to negotiate with equipment providers and insurers as part of a much larger organization.  According to the ABR, the industry is having to move from a fee for service based model to a “performance model [whatever that means].  “The ability to track, report, and communicate with populations is beyond the capabilities of a community-based hospital.  Financial pressures could mount and there may not be any mechanism to manage your way,” said Calbone.

Given the rapidly changing world of medicine, I find Mr. Calbone’s statements considerably more credible than his earlier claims about how his hospital had negotiated an agreement that would maintain its independence.


12 thoughts on “A Few Brief Stories”

  1. Just as an aside, that’s not Congress Park in the first photo … It’s Greenridge Cemetery.

    Sent from my iPad



  2. And up the street (or, maybe down) we have the Spa City Diner, the cracked and pothole-filled parking lot, the Clifton Park style hotel next to the Washington Inn, the gorgeous Monro/Midas/Mavis trilogy, the decaying Not-so-Grand Union Motel, a defunct Dairy Queen, on its last legs — hopefully, and a cute little trailer park. This is the result of having full time planners, zoning boards, code enforcement, etc.
    Makes me wonder if their feet ever left the tops of their desks. And the DRC has the gall !!


  3. I like the format “three brief stories” but where are the comments about Stewart’s.
    I feel for those employees who get run ragged filling coffee pots, making sandwiches, stocking shelves and coolers, selling lottery tickets etc. No wonder they don’t have uninterrupted lunch breaks.


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