GLENS FALLS, NY (NEWS10) – There is a vacant lot along South Street, the home for a future year-round farmers market and a mixed-use building. The Town of Glens Falls has been working on its construction since its proposal in 2017.
Two years after the plans were revealed in 2019, work has still not started on the Market Center project. The main reason: the project would cost the city more than $ 2 million more than expected.
The city is reassessing the plan for the 10,000-foot center after working with Albany-based architectural firm Envision Architects and finding that rising material costs would bring the cost of the project to $ 6.6 million.
That’s more than a third more than the $ 4 million the City of Glens Falls budgeted for the project. Now the city is seeing what it can cut to make up some of the difference.
“What we’re trying to do is find a building that is as versatile as possible,” Glens Falls economic development director Jeff Flagg said in a phone call Monday. “Something that can do as many things as possible.”
When Flagg talks about finding a building, physical space isn’t the issue. The old Juicin ‘Jar, OTB, and Daily Double buildings on South Street have been demolished, near the corner of South and Elm streets, and are the intended home of Market Center no matter what.
“We have this empty land, we are going to put something in it,” he said. “It’s about finding a building plan at the right scale and the right size. “
The center is planned as a new year-round home for the Glens Falls Farmers Market, which is currently bouncing between a summer house elsewhere on South Street and winters have passed inside the Cool Insuring Arena. Being all year round is still essential, but what it should be all year round is another story.
Flagg couldn’t disclose the full extent of the goals the city envisioned for the market, but said ideas have grown since the first sketches were released in 2019.
“Maybe you shave the edges,” he said. “Maybe it can’t be everything for everyone, but it can be more than just a farmers market. “
Build on buildings
In addition to the three buildings that were demolished on South Street – 49, 51-57 and 59-63 South Street – two more are expected to be renovated to be part of the plan.
One is 45 South St., on the corner of South and Elm. The building is the former home of the HotShots bar.
The other next door along Elm Street is 36 Elm St. – the so-called incubator building.
The plan since 2019 is to use these buildings, and part of Elm Street next to them, for farmers’ markets and other purposes. Now the city takes another look at what these endings can include.
“There may be a way to make existing spaces more productive.
Part of the plan from the start was to install a commercial kitchen inside the incubator building, which would occupy up to 700 of the 5,000 square feet of space shared between it and HotShots.
For comparison, there wouldn’t be the space-wide culinary school run by SUNY Adirondack nearby on the first floor of the 14 Hudson building. The city has had some sort of commercial kitchen in its plans from the start, to be used for special events; including those that would take place at the Market Center, potentially.
“Finding ways to incorporate, integrate or complement whatever we find ourselves in the vacant lot, I think, is an important way to use the spaces to the best of our ability and to make good use of it. taxpayer money. “
Make the difference
Ultimately, an additional $ 2.6 million in potential costs is a lot to compensate for.
When asked if these changes and optimizations could reduce that number enough, Flagg laughed.
“That’s a very good question.”
The city doesn’t start over by reconsidering parts of the plan, but what is envisioned is, in the end, some degree of overhaul.
It will be some time before this redesign process results in specific saving numbers to report, but Flagg said he feels good about the effect cutting certain items would have on getting the money back. ‘a budget and a reality halfway.
“We’re going from a reset to come up with a plan we can work on,” Flagg said. “I am very confident that we can get closer to the budget we have.”
In the meantime, although rising prices are not a new concept, physical and material goods have become much more expensive to obtain during the COVID-19 pandemic. The city keeps this in mind when considering how quickly to act, should those prices drop as the circumstances of the pandemic change.
“We’re trying not to drag this project out,” Flagg said, “but at the same time, these are, if not unique circumstances, certainly unusual circumstances.”
Flagg heard from contractors that lumber prices have actually started to come down; only for steel prices to rise.
“Ironically, the first iteration of this building was a timber and steel building; maybe you make it more wood and less steel, I don’t know.
The project was funded in part by a $ 10 million New York State Revitalization Grant. The city can try to wait for the prices for a while, but must show results within the time frame set by the state.
Meanwhile, Flagg said other parts of the city’s revitalization project are going smoothly. These include the GF DRIVE program, which provides local businesses with start-up and expansion funds; as well as streetscapes and an arts trail.