A national dollar store chain may soon be coming to the hamlet of North Creek.
Westlake Development LLC, a development company from East Syracuse, is in contract with The Holiday Organization, Inc., of Long Island for the purchase of a 5.5-acre piece of land in the hamlet of North Creek, across from the train depot.
Westlake Development purchases land and partners with national corporations to create retail organizations, including Walgreens and Family Dollar.
Joe Cain at Westlake Development and Johnsburg Supervisor Ron Vanselow confirmed the contract, which is contingent on Family Dollar implementing the design that the town of Johnsburg requires.
Vanselow believes as long as Westlake Development and Family Dollar comply with the requirements that will be put forth by the Johnsburg Planning Board, the sale will go through, stating that there are no rules in place that would block the development, simply some requirements for the design of the building.
“The planning board can’t say they don’t like this development and block it, because it is a permitted use for the site,” Vanslow said. “They can possibly mitigate that, but at this point, if Family Dollar satisfies the Planning Board’s requirements, it is likely to happen.”
A phone call to Cork Nester, Planning Board Chair, to determine the Planning Board’s specific requirements, wasn’t returned.
Many of the business people are opposed to a, “big box,” chain store on a piece of land they hoped would be developed as a mid-price hotel.
At one point, there was an approved hotel plan for the site, but it never came to fruition and the site has been vacant for many years.
Laurie Prescott Arnheiter, owner of Hudson River Trading Co. in North Creek, said she was concern about the perception that could be made based on the location of the site.
“I believe we, as a community, are at a tipping point,” Arnheiter said. “This spring, citizens will begin to see the budding of that work. Working with Warren County Planning Department and funds from the state and federal governments, construction will begin on a $2 million plan which includes improvements to our historic riverfront park, the train station area, the sidewalks and pedestrian comforts like gazebos and seating and eventually gardens and water features. Thousands of people will ride the train and disembark to a spectacular new North Creek. What do we want them to see when they get off the train? A Family Dollar?”
Vanselow said the town should keep its options open
“I believe people should have options,” he said. “We already have chain stores in town in Rite Aide and Tops. This will give people another choice and bring in people from all the surrounding areas to shop. It will also mean a half dozen jobs and a boost to the tax base.”
Vanselow said he feels any development will enhance the property.
“It’s unfortunate for those opposed, but there has been what looks like a bomb crater at the end of town for years,” he said. “Nothing has been done with this site and this possible development is, again, a permitted use. Joe Cain has stated that Family Dollar would only need 2.5 acres and would consider donating the remaining three acres to the town.”
No formal applications have yet been made to the Planning Board, although Vanselow said that Cain is in contact with Nester.