By Matt Youngfrau
MONTICELLO August 30, 2002 By Memorial Day next year, there could be a Home Depot and an Auto Zone at what is currently known as the Ames Plaza in Monticello. There could also be a restaurant and another retail store erected next to ShopRite.
That was what Michael Archangel of Columbia Development told the Town of Thompson Planning Board Wednesday night.
"We want to try and have this in place by Memorial Day," Archangel said. "This will be a good, viable project. We want to do this as expeditiously as possible."
According to Archangel, the card store that is currently in the Ames building would be moved next to Radio Shack. The former department store then would be demolished. Columbia Development would buy three and a half acres from both the town and Concord Hotel owner Louis Cappelli and build the 97,000-square-foot Home Depot with an 18,000-square-foot Garden Center.
A future retail store would be built next to ShopRite. Archangel stated that they do not have a business to go in there yet, but it would be built for future consideration.
Also to be put in the plaza would be an Auto Zone and a restaurant. The restaurant was originally believed to be Applebees. Archangel stated that Applebees has gone back and forth and has yet to make a firm commitment. He went on to say that if Applebees does not commit, another restaurant would be placed there but nothing specifically was named.
Archangel stated that they had reviewed the traffic problem and discussed it with the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT).
It was discovered that the majority of the traffic problems are because the lights are not synchronized. It is felt that if that is done, 90-95 percent of the traffic issues would clear up. DOT is willing to do that, but they need a formal resolution from the town. It was indicated that would happen.
Columbia hopes to begin construction by the end of the fall. They will try to do as many things as possible at the same time. They hope to open Home Depot and the Auto Zone by next Memorial Day.
Town Supervisor Tony Cellini made sure that Columbia would not seek any tax abatements through the Industrial Development Agency. Archangel agreed and stated that they had applied to be a part of the Empire Zone.
The purpose of the presentation was to get the planning board to act as lead agency in the environmental review process. The board voted to be just that.