A ShopRite for Slingerlands, and a tech park

vista technology campus sign

Right now there's not a lot there besides dirt.

Thursday was the official groundbreaking for the Vista Technology Campus in Slingerlands. A lot of the attention was focused on one of the tenants already signed up: ShopRite. That makes three stores now officially announced/open for the area (there's a fourth planned for Colonie). ShopRite continues what appears to be a strategy to go to head-to-head with Price Chopper -- the Vista ShopRite is pretty much be right across the road from the Slingerlands Chopper. [Spotlight] [YNN]

Planning for the Vista site has been going on for a few years -- but Thursday's announcements would seem to indicate it's picking up momentum. It's a potentially significant development project. The site includes 150 acres of land planned for development. And the developer -- Columbia Development -- says its plan includes up 1.4 million square feet of office, research and manufacturing facilities, medical office, and retail space.

A few quick thoughts about all this...

+ As mentioned, the development will potentially take a large amount of land -- but the overall site is three times the size of planned development (about 450 acres, in both Bethlehem and New Scotland). Have a look at the satellite imagery. It's kind of amazing a space that big has sat open for so long so close to the Capital Region core.

+ The Town of Bethlehem is touting the site as a spot for tech companies that might be attracted here for GlobalFoundries (30 miles) and Albany NanoTech (4.5 miles). "The tech park has his own roundabout entrance that allows visitors to travel to the site from New York City or Boston without ever hitting a traffic light."

+ Like Albany NanoTech, this is another large development on/near the edge of the city of Albany (the Albany/Bethlehem line is just down Rt 85). Albany County exec Mike Breslin reportedly called Vista a "reverse commute" site today. If/when Albany NanoTech and Vista pull people here from outside of he region, we wonder how many of them will actually end up living in the city of Albany itself. [@Wiffc_Spotlight]

+ The plan for Vista sounds a lot like some of the plans that have been floated at one time or another for the Harriman State Office Campus. Maybe there's enough tech park to go around -- but it would seem the development of Vista could draw away some (or a lot) of the demand for that sort of development.

+ "Tech park" really is the go-to type of development now. It's right up there with "mixed-use." And don't forget "shovel ready."

Find It

Vista Technology Campus
LaGrange Rd
Slingerlands, NY 12159


As they prepare Vista Tech Park, someone better prepare Rt. 85 for the added traffic. 85 is possibly the most poorly maintained road in Albany -- it can't handle the traffic -- especially truck traffic -- that already travels that road.

"2011 occupancy" heh heh...

Sucks for whoever owns that mansion adjacent to the site. Agree with Rte 85 not being able to handle the traffic!

So you've got brownfields and undeveloped land in urban areas all over the region, and there's the old Blue Cross building ruining the landscape nearby.
And they're gobbling up pristine land that's not well served by public transportation instead. Surely the Harriman Campus would be a better place for development like this.
I know this has been pointed out before on AOA, but really, isn't it kind of obscene?

Does Albany really need another shop rite? I don't want to get the whole Trader Joes\Whole Foods\Wegmans argument - But, in a region that is dominated with Price Chopper and Hannaford, something of a different variety would be appreciated - I don't think Shop Rite is radically different from these two. Too much of the same is boring.

It's not about "do we really need another...." that has nothing to do with it. Shop Rite has every right to open this store. If they want to gamble on whether or not we need or will suport another one of their stores than that is entirely up to them.

I always wonder when people pose these questions "do we really need another..." what they are getting at. Do they want the municipality to deny them simply because they think we don't need it? Do they want the store togo away because they think we dont need it? I mean what is the point?

By the way, when is the last time you saw a big grocery store chain (and I'm not talking Grand Union) close down a store? They do their home work first. They know what "we need".

I will tell you one thing we absolutely need. The construction jobs, sales tax, property tax and permanent jobs this store will create.

second @mattC's comment

There is room for ShopRite here and I believe they will have an easy time competing with Price Chopper.

Advice to ShopRite: stay competitive with pricing, do not use any gimmicks you cannot keep going, tout your union employment, and be generous with the community.

I was in a Price Chopper in Guilderland yesterday, because I knew it was the only grocery store on my route that day, headed back to southern Albany after Christmas shopping, and I needed a couple things. I've come to despise the Price Chopper chain. I know the best prices for the things I buy often, and those prices are never at "Price Chopper". They have not given me any good reason to pay the higher every day prices.

third @mattC. The Shop Rite part of it doesn't bother me half as much as the business tech park/building part of it. There's the Harriman, there's that ugly empty building at Route 85 and Maher Road. Is that Lion's Institute Building completely full too? We don't need more office-space sprawl. Didn't the Capital Region economic development council that just wrapped up promote reinvigorating our cities and especially our downtowns? This hardly seems to fit into any coherent regional plan. More like developers trying to greedily capitalize on the local tech boom.

" We don't need more office-space sprawl. " "More like developers trying to greedily capitalize on the local tech boom."


We can't wait for Shoprite to open here, especially since it will be two miles from our house. We've been driving to Niskayuna since the one there opened. We can't stand Price Chopper. The prices aren't good and the produce is the worst. Shoprite has great pricing, a much better shopping atmosphere and offerings that PC can't touch. Bring it on!!

I'm south of here, in Greene County, so I've shopped the Hudson Shoprite on occasion. Aside from their loss leader sales, I have found their regular pricing to be pretty steep - certainly no better than I've found at our Price Chopper in Catskill.

I've tried only buying sales items at both Shoprite and Price Chopper, the biggest difference there is that Shoprite has been way less hassle - in my area, at least, the Price Chopper rarely will have all the items on sale actually available on the floor. Shoprite seems to keep better stock, and if they run out, it's not been a huge deal to get a raincheck or substitute. Their produce has also been better maintained.

Hate to be a pessimist but I hate that they are giving all these companies tax breaks when residents are paying obscene school tax. And destroying all that pristine land for what may end up to be another faceless big box stripmall.

There are buildings in the Renn tech park that have no tenants. How about the mall that never opened on route 4 over there? Maybe we need another walmart here...

Rt 85 is horrible. In Albany it is paved like a back road in a 3rd world country. In Bethlehem it is a scary, 2 lane, 55MPH road that is curvy and undivided. It was probably designed for 10% of the traffic it has. At least it was repaved and the markings made very clear. I guess there are plans to improve it if the park opens.

I wonder if the tech park will have decent public transportation. I won't even mention light rail, but at least there should be a bike trail so you can get to western ave or somewhere in Albany.

Aerial Photos of the the Vista Technology Park Slingerlands NY ShopRITE http://www.flickr.com/photos/aerial-photos-new-york-ny/sets/72157628456826163/with/6526477185/.

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