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Hannaford plans New Leb market, pharmacy

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Company sees smaller version of Valatie store opening next fall

NEW LEBANON — Hannaford Supermarkets has signed a lease with the owner of the Valley Plaza Shopping Center for a new, full-service supermarket and pharmacy to be built next door to the Route 20 plaza, where the former New Lebanon Supermarket operated. That market folded last December, leaving the community without a grocery store.

Official announcement of the project was made Wednesday, November 17, by Hannaford, which is based in Scarborough, Maine.

Town Supervisor Meg Robertson said the company has already presented its site plan to the town Planning board and the firm expects to have the new store open by this time next year. The company says it expects to employ “approximately 65 associates.”

A press release from the company says the new store will have “an extensive organic and natural offering, a butcher shop, produce and seafood departments, a bakery and a deli, and a full-service pharmacy.”

Ms. Robertson said that company officials told her the new store will be smaller than the Hannaford store in Valatie but that it would have most of the features and products of that store. She also said it would be environmentally friendly, adhering to the LEED design and building standards. The company does have a store that meets those international standards in Maine, but the release issued Wednesday does not say that the new store will be LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified, saying instead that “Hannaford will apply many of those [LEED] principles at the New Lebanon store, such as the use of energy-efficient lighting and refrigeration systems.”

John Dax, head of the town Zoning Board of Appeals, said he was aware that the project has been reviewed by the Planning Board and he believes it may need some variances which would require review by his board. But he has not yet received official word about it.

“We’re excited to bring a Hannaford Supermarket and Pharmacy to the New Lebanon area,” said Hannaford spokesman Matt Paul in the release. “The residents of this area have been without a supermarket for some time and we look forward to providing the region’s residents and visitors with an easy-to-shop store that offers a range of fresh, high-quality foods at great value, plus the convenience of a pharmacy.”

In her discussions with Hannaford executives, Ms. Robertson said they had told her that they do not expect to keep the store open 24 hours a day, because that did not fit with traffic patterns and community activity in this rural area. The company does expect to buy produce from local farms, she said. The release confirms that, referring to the company’s Close to Home program.

Mr. Paul said in the release that the store will also emphasize recycling cardboard, plastic and other materials in its operations. He said that increases efficiency and reduces environmental impact.

The store will be built on the site of the Capital District Regional Off-Track Betting Corp., which will move into the former New Lebanon Supermarket building.

Hannaford Supermarkets operates 176 stores and employs 27,000 associates in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont. More information is at www.hannaford.com.

Ms. Robertson has known about the plans for the Hannaford market for some time, she said Wednesday, by she has remained “mum” at the company’s request until the details and arrangements for the property were finalized.

But this represents the second piece of good economic news recently for the town, which has taken some hits in recent years. Last month, a Long Island metal fabricating company, RISA Management Company, said it plans to purchase the empty CeramTec factory on Route and relocate 21 jobs here. Ms. Robertson said RISA still has “paperwork” to complete before moving ahead on its plan to move to New Lebanon.

“I’m just thrilled,” said Ms. Robertson of the Hannaford announcement. She expects the market will make what town residents sometimes call the “Miracle Mile” at the center of the hamlet a “magnet” for new businesses.

To contact Parry Teasdale email pteasdale@columbiapaper.com

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