Quadrini pares down project for Master Cleaners’ site, pleases committee 

The Enterprise — Elizabeth Floyd Mair 

Relieved: After the town’s development planning committee responded favorably to his revised project, Armand Quadrini, left, talks in the lobby of Guilderland Town Hall with his project engineer Joseph Bianchine of ABD Engineers, center, and attorney, Mary Elizabeth Slevin, of Stockli Slevin & Peters. 

GUILDERLAND — Developer Armand Quadrini appeared for a second time before the town’s development planning committee on Feb. 18 with a pared-down version of Foundry Village, an apartment-and-commercial project he hopes to build on Western Avenue at the site of the former Master Cleaners. 

Quadrini reduced the number of apartments in his project from 248 to 140, which is still above the number of dwelling units usually allowed per buildable acre; this project has 7 buildable acres.

Guilderland’s town planner, Kenneth Kovalchik said earlier that 12 units per acre is the maximum usually allowed but that the town might have some flexibility and allow 14 or 16, considering the amount of remediation needed for the project. The figure 140 is more than 19 units per acre

The developer increased the amount of space for commercial, office, or community uses, from 16,000 to 28,000 square feet, and added a convenience store with fuel pumps. The fuel pumps would be on the eastern end of the site, about where a former service station still stands, Quadrini and his project engineer Joseph Bianchine of ABD Engineers said after the meeting. 

The project would be a planned unit development, or PUD, which offers more flexibility in height and density than other zoning districts. 



At Quadrini’s first appearance before the committee, in January, he had suggested putting in a full traffic light on Western Avenue at Schoolcraft Street, at about the center of the site. That has now been removed from the concept, although Quadrini still hopes that that same point will be the main access for the site. 

Quadrini plans to widen Foundry Road to improve the existing intersection with Western Avenue, and to widen Western Avenue to allow for a center turn lane into the site across from Schoolcraft Street, according to a revised project narrative on the town’s website.

He plans for an access point on Foundry Road, about 260 feet south of Western Avenue, and another access point on Western Avenue on the eastern end of the site, although any question of access from Western Avenue will be determined by the state’s Department of Transportation, since it is a state road.



Quadrini is willing to pay the cost of remediating the chemicals that leached into the ground over the years from the dry-cleaning site. 

The Master Cleaners site, about one-half-acre of the total 13 acres, has been declared a brownfield, and the soil there is known to have been contaminated with chemicals including tetrachloroethene, or PCE, a volatile organic compound used as a solvent in many industries. It also is considered by the Environmental Protection Agency to be “likely to be carcinogenic to humans.”

Another of the chemicals found in testing on the site is trichloroethene, also known as trichloroethylene, or TCE; the health risks associated with this chemical, according to the EPA, include neurological effects and possible risk of cancer.

Bianchine told the committee that, because of a clay layer 10 or 15 feet down, the contamination appears to be leaching out from the Master Cleaners’ site to other parts of the 13-acre site. 

The extent of the contamination is not known, he said, but the developer hopes to see at least some other parts of the site declared brownfields, which brings with it tax credits for money spent on remediation. 

Teri Bohl, whose uncle, Charles Bohl, owns the property, said that 30 percent of the amount spent on cleanup of the brownfield portion is the most that can be received in tax credits.

The Bohls emphasized that Charles Bohl bought the property long after the dry cleaner had closed, and that the family did not cause the contamination. They also stressed the Bohls are longtime residents who pay a lot in taxes and have already spent about $1 million on cleanup.

Teri Bohl said that, if a private developer is unable to remediate the site polluted by a dry cleaner and build there, the state will eventually declare it a brownfield and clean it. But in that case, she said, the state will want to “claw back” its costs, and the properties will become out of reach for developers.

Attorney Mary Elizabeth Slevin told the board, “We have to work on the assumption that a large percentage of it is contaminated.”

The cost of remediation, like the extent of the contamination, is unknown. 

Kovalchik told The Enterprise in January that the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation has estimated it could cost more than $2.4 million to remediate the properties. 

Resident Charles Klaer asked about the wisdom of allowing a gas station at the top of a ravine that leads down toward the Hunger Kill, which travels toward the Normans Kill, which in turn goes to the Hudson River and is a water source for communities downstate. 

Gas stations are known as sources of contamination, Klaer said. “Why add a gas station, particularly so close to the Hunger Kill, and especially with that angle of repose?” he asked. 

Members of the development planning committee also mentioned that there are town wells at Route 155 and Nott Road to which some of the water could perhaps travel, although Tim McIntyre, the town’s superintendent of water, called that “very unlikely.” 

Klaer also questioned the proposed density. 

Kovalchik said, “I think we need to be supportive of a project that will clean up chemicals that are leaching into a water source.” He said that one consideration, with PUDs, is the question of the public amenities that the project will offer, and said he thought cleaning up a brownfield was significant. 

Charles Bohl, who is in his 90s, said of Quadrini’s plan, “Everybody wants to see something nice put there, and this is our last and only chance.”

Quadrini, who is in his 80s, told The Enterprise earlier that he has previously cleaned up four or five other sites in Guilderland over the years and that he hopes to be able to do “this last one” as well. 

More Guilderland News

The Altamont Enterprise is focused on hyper-local, high-quality journalism. We produce free election guides, curate readers' opinion pieces, and engage with important local issues. Subscriptions open full access to our work and make it possible.