Chase Bank proposed for corner of routes 20 and 155

GUILDERLAND — Lia Realty Group is proposing to do a major remodel to the building it owns at 2027 Western Ave., at the corner of routes 20 and 155, to accomodate a Chase Bank branch with a drive-through automated teller machine. 

Currently the building is occupied by MattressFirm and Your CBD Store, which sells cannabidiol products including lotions and pain creams. 

Lia proposes demolishing 1,530 square feet of the eastern part of the building, current home to Your CBD Store, to accommodate the ATM, according to a narrative by the project’s engineer, Bohler Engineering. 

Christian Spenziero, who owns Your CBD Store, told The Enterprise that he had had only a nine-month lease and had wanted to test the location. “The response from the community,” he said, “has been amazing.”

He will move his store across the street to Hamilton Square, next to Citizens Bank, Spenziero said. Since opening the Guilderland store, the company has added locations in Loudonville and Albany, he said, and is set to open two more, in Niskayuna and Clifton Park. 

The project site is .87 acres and has two entrances, one on Western Avenue and one on Route 155; both entrances would remain. 

The Chase Bank project is in a Local Business District, where it is an allowed use with a special-use permit, the narrative says. The project will require site-plan review by the planning board and a special-use permit from the zoning board of appeals. 

The narrative describes a traffic analysis that is not posted on the town’s website. The narrative says that this traffic analysis was done using the ITE Trip Generation Manual, 9th Edition; the analysis compared “Drive-In Bank” to “small strip shopping center containing a variety of retail shops.” The analysis found, Bohler Engineering wrote, that the bank would generate 15 fewer trips than the existing conditions in the morning peak hour, and nine fewer trips in the evening peak hour. 

The Albany County Planning Board discussed this application at its meeting on Nov. 21. 

A county right-of-way exists within the parking lot, where cars would circulate, Senior Planner Laura Travison said told the county board members. That problem has existed for decades, the members agreed, as many businesses have come and gone from the site.

The board voted unanimously to request a resolution from the county to obtain an access easement, although that would require legislative approval.

“If you do it that way, you get it cleaned up, so it’s not like another 30 years of —” said Chairman Dominic Rigosu, as another member finished his sentence, “Mayhem.”

Another said, “Fortunately, there’s not been an accident there, knock on wood.” 

The board also included an advisory, stating that the board “strongly encourages the property owner to consider cross-access with adjacent retail buildings and the former Rite Aid.” 

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.