Crossgates wants hotel at Western Ave entrance, raises traffic concerns

GUILDERLAND, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Crossgates Mall is looking to build a hotel next to the mall’s entrance on Western Avenue, which has raised questions about how traffic will be handled.

A 200-room hotel is slated for Crossgates Mall if all goes according to plan for Pyramid Management. The company hopes to build the hotel between the mall’s entrance on Western Avenue and Lehner Road.

“It’s a perfect accommodation for the shopping center – for the uses that are going into retail centers,” the mall’s attorney Robert Sweeney said.

Crossgates has been buying property near the mall for years. It plans to build the five-story hotel on a 6.5 acre lot next to the parking lot behind Ted’s Fish Fry. The restaurant would be demolished, according to the hotel plans.

Crossgates previously purchased homes in a nearby neighborhood but haven’t said how they would be used. The proposed hotel would sit next to the Gabriel Terrace neighborhood, and the homes have been vacant for years.

There are many site plan concerns that still need to be addressed. People have questions about traffic and environmental studies.

“There have already been problems with foot traffic, and this will bring in a lot of new pedestrians,” Don Reeb, of Albany, said.

“The concern that we would have is if there is an impact on the preserve and what that would be,” Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission Exec. Dir. Christopher Hawver said. “The good thing is, they are sensitive about the Pine Bush. The town of Guilderland is, Colonie, the city of Albany.”

The Guilderland Planning Board supports rezoning the area to general business, which would allow for hotel construction. But there’s another project in the works that people are hoping the town will take into consideration.

“We have a 210 residential unit coming in across the street at some point in the next couple of years,” Albany County Legislator Bryan Clenahan said. “I would like to see any further expansion to be done really taking into account how both projects are going to affect traffic pattern.”

Crossgates still needs to go through Zoning Board of Appeals, town board, highway superintendent and New York State Department of Transportation. If the hotel project is approved, the mall plans to complete it as early as 2018.

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