Area politicians and Golub Corporation executives gather for a groundbreaking ceremony Oct. 16 for a new supermarket — the first ever of its size and range of services — to be built just south of Warrensburg. Notables participating in the event include Price Chopper Chairman of the Board Neil Golub (third from right), Mona Golub (far left), plus (left to right): Warrensburg Town Supervisor Kevin Geraghty, Lake George Town Supervisor Dennis Dickinson, state Assemblyman Dan Stec, and various Price Chopper officials. At the ceremony, officials predicted the development would have a substantial impact on the regional economy.
The new Price Chopper supermarket to be built soon just south of Warrensburg will offer a variety of specialty departments, is expected to create up to 115 permanent jobs and stay open 24 hours/seven days per week, company executives announced at the store’s ground-breaking ceremony Wednesday Oct. 16.
Area politicians and economic development officials praised the store plans that were unveiled at the event.
Neil Golub, Chairman of the Board of the 132-store chain, said he was “really excited” to introduce the new store to the public. He said it would be modeled after a new store in Alexandria Bay (Jefferson County).
Although it won’t have that store’s dockside shopping, it will have a full-service deli, a bakery with artisan breads and pastries, a coffee shop, a hot pizza/rotisserie chicken counter, and host full-service meat and produce departments and a floral shop, according to the plans.
He said that the Alexandria and Warrensburg-Lake George stores, both in resort areas, have another aspect in common: the wide variation in staffing during the summer and off-season.
Golub said that Price Chopper officials have been eyeing a store near Warrensburg for decades, knowing that the town, with its confluence of highways, was indeed “The Gateway to the Adirondacks,” as it has been called.
He said that during the 1990s, Price Chopper officials had scouted the building that is now a Tops Store as a potential location, but decided it was too run down to open up a Price Chopper there.
“It was so small, so in need of renovation that we walked away,” he said, adding that the executives didn’t forget about the potential that existed for a full-scale supermarket in or near Warrensburg.
“We saw a good opportunity to develop a store there that fits the community,” he said. “We waited until we could do it right.”
A grand opening celebration, he said, which might be as soon as summer 2014, would feature a party at the store, with proceeds of an admission charge — matched by the Golub foundation — going to three chosen local charities.
The new store and plaza are to be located between Bakers Crossing Road and Prosser Road. The complex is about 150 feet off Rte. 9, across from Warrensburg McDonald’s restaurant.
The full-service supermarket and its host shopping plaza are expected to be a reality by early next summer.
The plaza includes a 2,200-square-feet freestanding building that is to house a TrustCo bank branch and a 4,000 square-feet building that is to host a retail store. Barry Feinman of Vanguard-Fine, the firm that is developing and owns the property, said talks are underway with retailers to lease that latter space.
The plans also call for another 10,600 store — adjacent to the supermarket — which is permitted and could be built later on.
The supermarket, at 30,500 square feet, is to be about half the size of the anchor Price Chopper store on Glen St. in Glens Falls. Golub said that the inventory of the new will be downsized from the scale of the Glen St. store.
“There will be 12 feet of shelf space for salad dressings rather than 24 feet,” he said, citing an example.
The bank office is to sit at the north end of the development by Prosser Road, and the grocery store and the attached larger retail space is to be at the southern end of the plot near Bakers Crossing Road.
The intersection at Prosser Road and state Rte. 9 is to have a traffic signal installed within several months.
Initial grading for the plaza has been accomplished.
Warrensburg Town Supervisor Kevin Geraghty said Price Chopper store would provide the permanent local jobs for people of all ages, jobs that had ceased to exist in town during recent decades.
Lake George Town Supervisor Dennis Dickinson characterized the new supermarket and its host plaza as “the Seventh Wonder of the lower Adirondacks.”
“It’s something we’ve really needed — and it will be great for the area,” he said.
Officials: supermarket to boost the region
Lake George Regional Chamber of Commerce President Michael Consuelo also offered his thoughts. He said the Price Chopper and its host plaza would provide needed jobs, but also simulate economic development regionally.
“This is a very exciting project not only for Warrensburg and Lake George, but for all of Warren County,” he said.
Barry Feinman of Vanguard-Fine, a developer and owner of various plazas in the Capital Region and Queensbury, praised the local officials for helping move the plans through the regulatory process.
He said it was the most challenging site his firm had ever worked on, considering its bedrock, how it is cut into a hillside and requires retaining walls up to 30 feet high, and features an 80-feet drop in elevation from east to west. Feinman also observed that the site, created by purchasing and combining six different parcels, has a major utility transmission line running through it. Additionally, the development needed a sewer line run partially up Harrington Hill and water brought in underneath state Rte. 9, and required re-engineering of an intersection on the highway.
These challenges didn’t dim his enthusiasm, he said.
“We’re excited about the project,” he said.
Concern about Garage Sale traffic snarls
Golub said he had one big concern about the Warrensburg site, and that was the severe traffic backups occurring over the first weekend in October during the annual World’s Largest Garage Sale.
He said he had contacted the state Police to see how the Garage-Sale traffic snarls — which can back up vehicles for about a mile and cause hour-long delays — could be resolved. Geraghty responded later that he was discussing with the state Department of Transportation the idea of adjusting the timing of traffic signals to lessen the congestion.
Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce President Peter Aust said that the new supermarket would have considerable regional impact.
“I applaud Price Chopper executives for realizing there’s a need for such a full-line supermarket here in northern Warren County,” he said. “And the 100 or so well-paying jobs created with this development are badly needed, like elsewhere in the North Country.”
Assemblyman Dan Stec said the new Price Chopper would help boost the upcounty economy.
“This supermarket will be filling a vital need — it’s good for the community and the whole county,” he said. “Price Chopper is known to be first-class — And it will create competition, driving prices lower and increasing selection for consumers.”