Company building new Price Chopper purchases current supermarket site
CHATHAM–Village Mayor Tom Curran confirmed Saturday, July 20, that Schuyler Companies, the Latham firm that recently won approval to build a new, 44,000-square-foot supermarket just over the village line in the Town of Ghent, has purchased the site of the current Price Chopper market.
The existing market is in the village next door to the site where Price Chopper’s new store is slated to be built.
The purchase of the existing plaza comes at a time when Schuyler and Price Chopper have not yet begun construction on the new market on Route 66, scheduled to be roughly double the size of the existing Price Chopper store. But last week Ghent Town Attorney Ted Guterman to the Town Board he expected Schuyler to collect the paperwork to build the new store within two weeks. Mr. Guterman also told the board that the company would build “a connector and sidewalk” between the plaza and the new store.
Calls and emails made by The Columbia Paper to representatives of Schuyler, Hampshire and Price Chopper last week, when word of the sale first began to circulate, were not immediately returned. But a sign appeared Saturday on the lawn by the entrance to Chatham Plaza saying Schuyler Companies was seeking to lease retail space at the plaza to businesses.
In an email from Mona Golub, Vice President of Public Relations and Consumer Services at Price Chopper, in response to the question from The Columbia Paper on whether or not the sale would affect Price Chopper’s plans to move out of the Plaza into the new building, Ms. Golub wrote, “Our plans have not changed.”
The previous owner of the plaza was The Hampshire Companies, a privately held real estate firm headquartered in Morristown, NJ.
It was only a few weeks ago that Schuyler and Price Chopper representatives wrapped up the final details of a years’-long, contentious effort to obtain permits to build a new, larger supermarket on the vacant lot between the current Price Chopper and the FairPoint Communications building on Route 66. The process required permits from both Ghent, where most of the new market will be located, and the Village of Chatham, where a small portion of the building will be. At one point, relations between the two neighboring municipalities became so strained that the Village of Chatham initiated a civil court action against the Ghent Planning Board.
Despite the lengthy regulatory review and demands from local groups and individuals that the market expand its current store rather than build a new one, Schuyler and Price Chopper are pursuing their original plan, saying the existing plaza could not accommodate Price Chopper’s needs. Prior to the sale Hampshire had announced it would expand the retail space now occupied by the Price Chopper store regardless of whether Price Chopper left for a new space next door. The new sign does not say whether Schuyler has plans to reconfigure the space at the Chatham Plaza once the new Price Chopper opens and the current Price Chopper store is vacant.
Shortly after the Chatham village Planning Board approved Price Chopper’s permits there was some activity at the Ghent site. But since then there have been no indications that construction of a new supermarket was about to begin.
Emilia Teasdale and Matt Bathrick contributed to this story.
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