Investment grows in Schoharie's Highbridge site


By Patsy Nicosia

Investment grows in Schoharie

SEEC hopes to leverage $500,000 in ARPA funds and more than $1 million in pre-development spending for a FAST NY grant to make the I-88/Route 30 Highbridge Development site shovel-ready.
The ARPA funds will be used to upgrade and extend sewer and water to the 48-acre site; Highbridge is seeking approval for a 453,000 square-foot warehouse and offices with a stand-along 12-pump convenience store and fast food restaurant.
The project could create as many as 640 jobs.
Tuesday, SEEC Executive Director Julie Pacatte brought representatives from CLP Engineering—the Rochester-based firm responsible for much of the fast-track development in Genesee County—to the site to meet Highbridge reps John Roth and others.
Getting a look at the proposed project for the first time were Assemblyman Chris Tague and State Senator Peter Oberacker.
Also on hand were Cobleskill Supervisor Werner Hampel and Gilboa Supervisor Alicia Terry, who chairs supervisors’ Economic Development Committee.
“One of the best things we can do to prepare for the future is to bring in quality jobs,” Mr. Werner said.
“I agree,” said Mr. Roth. “That’s why we’re so excited. I think it’s a great project that will be very, very successful for this area, and it will help your community grow.”
The Schoharie Planning Board has begun reviewing the Highbridge proposal.
Even before that—hopefully—comes, Mr. Roth said they will have invested $1 million on things like engineering and traffic studies.
“It’s a big risk,” he said, “but we think it’s worth it.”
While they can’t market the site and won’t begin building until they have a tenant, Mr. Roth said as soon as word of the project ran in the Times-Journal in June, “the phone starting ringing off the hook.”
Mr. Roth said he’s hoping for Planning Board approval in the next 3-4 months.
Then, CBRE, which bills itself as “the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment company,” with clients in more than 100 countries, will begin marketing it.
“They feel fairly confident it can be leased up pretty quickly,” Mr. Roth said.
Tuesday, Ms. Pacatte also took the CLP representatives to three other sites in the Route 7 corridor identified by consultants, the MRB group, as having high development potential: the IDA property on Mineral Springs Road and land off Forrester Road and at Shad Point, all in the Town of Cobleskill.