This could be huge for Schoharie


By Patsy Nicosia

A Schenectady-based developer that promises to put community first is looking to turn 48 acres it owns off I-88 and Route 30, Schoharie, into a 453,600-square foot warehouse and office facility.
Highbridge Development hasn’t marketed the site it bought last July yet; first they wanted to bring their concept to the Planning Board, co-founder John Roth said Tuesday.
The proposed project would be located across Route 30 from the Park and Ride and Dunkin Donuts.
The warehouse would be home to one but no more that three distribution centers, depending on “what we find when we go out to the marketplace,” Mr. Roth said.
Highbridge was formed as a one-stop shop in 1999, Mr. Roth said; some projects they keep, some they sell, and one of their largest to date is the 80,000 square-foot Time-Warner Northeast Regional Headquarters in Rotterdam.
They’re also built two Amazon distribution centers in the Town of Schodack; sizewise, the one they’d like to build in Schoharie would fall between the two, he said.
In addition to the warehouse, Highbridge Development LLC would include 157 loading dock/trailer spaces on the north and south sides of the building and a 649-stall employee parking lot on the west.
There would also be two “pads” for other amenities, one 4, 800 square-feet for a convenience store with up to 12 gas pumps, the other, 2,625 square-feet for a fast food restaurant with a drive-up window and 15 parking spots.
The site is zoned commercial, but would require a special use permit for the warehouse and a height variance for the two-story, 45-foot high warehouse offices; code allows 35 feet.
The project has the potential of creating as many as 640 jobs.
“We think the visibility is fantastic,” and ideal for distribution/logistics, “a really big trend” for at least the next 10 years, Mr. Roth told Planning Board member.
“We think this is the perfect location...We only take on projects we think have a very, very high chance to be successful.”
Planning Board members asked about water and sewer services to the site; Highbridge said they’ve been talking with the Town of Schoharie about extending them—though the water needs will be less than 10,000 gallons a day.
They’re already working on their traffic study and plan to submit it to DOT within a couple of weeks and showed the Planning Board a video of the project’s visual impact—their two biggest hurdles, said Tim Bailey, engineer for McFarland Johnson Inc.
Planning Board members asked about truck traffic through the Village of Schoharie, something they’d like to avoid.
Mr. Bailey said the site will require a full environmental assessment because of the possibility of archaeological finds, but previous studies for other nearby projects have found none.
There’s no timetable yet for the project.