Middleburgh's grocery store project coming along


By David Avitabile

Middleburgh's grocery store project is progressing according to developers and the store could be open by the middle of next year.
Most of the current work is "behind the scenes," but the project is on pace to meet the developers' and the operators' timeframe for opening in the summer or fall or 2017, according to Jim Becker, one of the developers.
The original plan was to open the grocery store late this year, but earlier in 2016 there were delays in the payment in lieu of taxes approval process that added an additional four to six months to the timeline, Mr. Becker explained.
In addition, the partners are working on several final grants to assist with the internal equipment and accessories for the store, Mr. Becker added. The grants are important to the project.
The group, he said, is still working hard to line up any grant funding that is available. If the goal is not met, the developers have committed to fund the shortfall.
The final legal paperwork and grant awards are near completion and preparations were being made for the building permit application. If all goes well, Mr. Becker added, there is a chance site preparation could begin this year.
Mr. Becker said that the store will bring about 20 jobs to the area, ranging from full-time department managers to part-time clerks and cashiers.
The operators of the store are still enthusiastic about the plans.
Geanine Eisel, who also helps operate the grocery store in Prattsville, said, "I am so excited to be working with the Middleburgh Meadows partners on bringing this much needed store to reality, and becoming a part of this wonderful community."
The other part of the project, the construction of condominiums, is lagging behind the grocery store portion of the plans, Mr. Becker noted.
The developers have recently applied for the demolition permits for the former River Implement building and adjacent garage.
Neither building will be coming down immediately, according to Mr. Becker.
The River Implement building will be taken down piece-by-piece, much like the buildings on the Doerge property in the development.
The garage will be used by the village at least through the spring for no rental fee.
Plans have called for a total build out of 64 condominiums and commons areas.
"The grocery store is the most important part of this project and has the most community need, so we are concentrating on making that happen first," explained Middleburgh Meadows partner Carver Laraway.
"The condos will be coming along shortly afterward, but they are not our immediate priority."
Village Mayor Matthew Avitabile added, "We are happy to work with our partners in the Middleburgh Meadows project to bring this much needed economic development to the region."
A 15-year PILOT agreement was finalized in June. It was approved by the village, town, school, and county.