Schoharie grocery plans fall through


By David Avitabile

More than seven years after the grocery store closed, the former Great American building in Schoharie remains a shell and that will not likely change any time soon.
The village, through the Main Street committee and the Community Development Corporation applied for funding in a Restore New York grant.
Two other projects were awarded in the county but not the former Great American site, according to Mayor John Borst.
The grant would have paid for site preparation, estimated about $400,000 for drainage work as well as remodeling and expanding the existing building.
The grant was for $500,000 and the project was estimated at $708,000, he said.
Mayor Borst said that the person the groups were speaking to about opening a grocery wanted a 14,000-square-foot store.
The site work would have decreased construction costs and made it easier for businesses to come into the plaza.
The Mayor said the grant was kind of a long shot and very competitive but he was very disappointed in not getting the grant.
“We’ve been working on that grocery store for six years,” he said.
“A grocery store is one of the most important businesses in any community,” he added, because it brings in people to shop.
“I can’t say how disappointed I was.”
A grocery store is critical to the village, he said.
Without the grant, there is no movement.
There are no other plans to utilize the property, he said.
He said he does not know what other grants are available and there is “nothing in the works.”
He expects the Main Street and CDC groups to meet and “regroup.”
The new Hannaford store going up on Route 20 just outside of Esperance should not hurt the bid to eventually get a store in Schoharie though Mayor Borst added, “it’s not going to help.”
The property is still owned by developer Mark VanWoert who purchased it from former village trustee John Pittman.
Great American, under the ownership of C&S Wholesale Grocers Inc. of Brattleboro, Vermont, closed in September 2002.