Medical center, 202 apartments proposed on contaminated Western Avenue site

The Enterprise — Melissa Hale-Spencer

A 250,000-square-foot mixed-use development is being proposed on five parcels of land between 2298 and 2314 Western Ave. in Guilderland, including the site of the former Master Cleaners.

GUILDERLAND — A mixed-used development is being proposed on 13 acres of partially-contaminated land at the corner of Western Avenue and Foundry Road. 

Developer Armand Quadrini recently submitted an application to the town of Guilderland proposing a Planned Unit Development on five parcels from 2298 to 2314 Western Ave., including the site of the former Master Cleaners, currently designated a brownfield by the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation. 

The DEC defines a brownfield as any real property where a contaminant is present at levels exceeding the soil cleanup objective or other health-based or environmental standards, criteria, or guidance adopted by the DEC.

Quadrini first brought the project to the town in 2020

Called Foundry Village, the proposal “is envisioned as a modern mixed-use development,” according to the project narrative submitted to the town.

The development would be a single 250,000-square-foot building made up of nine “connected modules,” each with a height of three or four stories. The 202 apartments would be a mixture of studios, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom units, which would house between 250 and 300 residents, according to the project narrative. 

The remaining space in the building would consist of 6,400 square feet for a medical office and 5,000 square feet for a fitness center. In addition, the site would have a 1,500-square-foot building that would house a restaurant or bank. 

The proposed project would have a total parking capacity of 362, with 115 spots under the building and the remaining 247 spaces outdoors. 

The five parcels that would make up Foundry Village are owned by Charles Bohl Inc., whose president, Charles A. Bohl, in a November 2021 letter to the Enterprise editor sought to “set the record straight and stop the uninformed comments on our ‘dilapidated’ properties.”

A disclosure submitted to the town notes there are “94.5 shares issued and outstanding of Charles Bohl Incorporated,” with the shares owned as follows:

— Guilderland Councilwoman Laurel Bohl, 3.5 shares; 

— Charles Bohl, brother of Councilwoman Bohl, 28 shares; and 

—  Theresa Bohl, 63 shares. 

The project narrative states the “parcels were developed decades ago and contain a total of 10 major structures, both commercial and residential. The existing structures have all been vacant for several years and are in varying degrees of deterioration; presenting a major eyesore for anyone living in the area or traveling Western Avenue.”

A frustrated sounding Bohl wrote, “People may describe some of these buildings as ‘abandoned.’ Abandoned buildings don’t pay $53,000 per year to the town in taxes. We have never, ever missed a tax payment.” In 15 years of attempting to sell the parcels, Bohl estimated $750,000 in property taxes were paid.

Bohl bought 2312 Western Ave., the former Master Cleaners, which closed in 1996, from Albany County in 2011 for $200,000 in order “to have contiguous frontage on Route 20 for a potential buyer who was going to develop a senior living facility.”

Bohl wrote that he worked with a prospective buyer for years, convincing him to do the work needed to get the site ready but, in the end, the buyer failed to get financing. “We were then left with a contaminated dry-cleaner site,” he wrote.



Bohl never owned or operated Master Cleaners, he wrote; however, “contamination from that site was found on our sites and we had to clean that up, paid for by us as there are no owners in that chain of ownership (including Albany County) who can pay for the cleanup of the contamination they caused.”

The soil contamination at the Master Cleaners site, according to the project narrative, “is generally shallow and exists above low permeable silt and clay deposits that are less than 15 feet below grade.”

Contamination in the form of probable gas spillage and buried tanks was also discovered at 2300 Western Ave., once home to a Sunoco station, and was also removed by Bohl, he wrote, at a cost of over $1 million. DEC records indicate there have been “13 petroleum releases [that] have occurred on this 13-acre property as a result of petroleum storage failures and automotive repair activities,” according to the project narrative. 

The project narrative states 2312 and 2314 Western Ave. are currently part of a DEC Brownfield cleanup program known as the “Master Cleaners site.” 

The narrative goes on to say, “Remediation will take place as part of site development for this project. A remedial action work plan has been submitted to the NYSDEC and is currently under review.”

Bohl in his November 2021 letter to the Enterprise editor wrote that the program gives a developer a 30-percent tax break on clean-up costs, which were estimated by the DEC to be about $2 million. 

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