COLONY ‘The Sycamore Hotel on Loudon Road may soon be razed and replaced by a Stewart’s.
The plan would combine all or part of three lots, which Stewart would purchase to build a 3,975-square-foot mini-market with two canopies covering 16 gas stations. There would also be six charging stations for electric vehicles.
In addition to the still-active hotel at 956 Loudon Road, the 2.2-acre lot currently zoned Highway Commercial Office Residential, includes 2 Autopark Drive, which currently houses a car wash once used by Nemith car dealership and a vacant piece . of land at 954 Loudon Road.
The proposed Stewart would be similar to one recently built on New Karner Road in Guilderland near the Albany town line.
Most of the discussion at the planning board meeting last month focused on access to Route 9 and Autopark Drive, now known as Wellness Way.
As proposed, there is full access on both roads, but Joe Grasso, the city’s designated engineer for the project, said it would probably be best to limit access on Highway 9 at the entrance. and exit only. Planning Council chairman Steve Heider, who doesn’t like one-way entrances and exits because not everyone follows the guideline, said there needs to be some consistency now that there is more projects in front of council along Route 9.
He pointed to, for example, a Speedway convenience store across Route 9 from the proposed Stewart’s that has two curbs on Route 9 that allow full access.
The orientation of the building, the aspect of the sides other than the facade and other nuances were briefly touched on but generally the project was well received.
“I commend Stewart’s for presenting a redevelopment project rather than an entirely new project,” Grasso said. “In general, we are in favor of this type of development on this type of lot.”
The project, presented by Tyler Fronte, a representative of Stewart’s, was a sketch plan and will need to be presented to council at least twice more before construction can begin.
In 2019, the city issued 24 citations to Sycamore Hotel owner Suman Patel for allowing the business to be used for long-term housing and for providing substandard conditions to tenants.
Some tenants had lived there for more than a year and others had 965 Loudon Road as the address on their driver’s license. At the time, motel records showed residents paid $50 a day, or about $1,500 a month, for rent.
This is the second hotel along Route 9 that could be bulldozed. Earlier this spring, a developer proposed a plan that would topple the dilapidated Karl’s Motel. The Planning Board, however, gave a warm welcome to Fred Sharifipour’s plan to build a nine-unit townhouse and self-storage buildings on two lots, 1129 and 1133 Loudon Road.
It is not known when, or if, this project will return to the council.