SARATOGA SPRINGS — Local eatery, Urban Roots Kitchen, announced the launch of a new brand identity, name and vision for its future. The company will begin operating as Thorn + Roots.
There is much ado about the semiconductor industry these days. While countless businesses had been on hold or shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, computer chip maker GlobalFoundries is seeing boom times. News that GlobalFoundries plans to invest $1.4 billion into fab expansion amid the current rise in chip demand is dominating headlines
The Downtowner Hotel
SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Downtowner Hotel is seeking modifications to an approval from the city Design Review Commission for exterior changes to the existing structure at 413 Broadway. It is anticipated the DRC will review the application at its next meeting, which will be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 7.
Additional applications under consideration for the meeting include: an Architectural Review of 18 townhomes – exterior; an Advisory Opinion to City Council regarding the proposed installation of missing link sidewalks located in the right-of-way within the city’s Historic District (project title: Saratoga Springs Missing Sidewalk Links Project), and modifications to an approval for exterior modifications – specifically a south façade porch extension, new east façade porch – at Mouzon House.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — A sketch plan conducted by the LA Group regarding a subdivision at 110-114 Nelson Ave. was submitted to the city Planning Board on behalf of applicant JW Hemmingway LLC, and property owner CRND Properties, of Watervliet.
The sketch plan calls for 2.16 acres to be subdivided into 12 lots. The land, which is currently vacant, sits opposite the Saratoga Race Course on the Nelson Avenue side, and across from Frank Sullivan Place. In addition to the independent lots, the property is also proposed to site a “neighborhood rooming house,” according to plans, that will house three guest suites.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — A proposed 21st century development may return the corner where Broadway meets Washington Street to the visual splendor it enjoyed in the 19th century.
A newly proposed application under review by the city’s Land Use Boards calls for the construction of a five-story apartment and hotel structure on Washington Street that would tie in with the neighboring former Rip Van Dam Hotel, and the property of the Adelphi Hotel.
The application, filed by 353 Broadway Acquisitions, calls for the construction of approximately 86 new apartment units – 30 two-bedroom units and 56 one-bedroom units (for a total 116 bedrooms) - as well as 31 one-bedroom hotel rooms. The hotel office will be set in the existing stone house at 23 Washington St.
The corner building which houses a Starbucks Coffee Company store will remain. The existing building adjacent to it at 5 Washington St. will be demolished.
The dimensions of the proposed five-story structure on Washington Street would stand 70 feet in height, 118 feet in width, stretch 273 feet long, and would require a dredged/ excavated area of just over a half-acre.
Plans also call for new street frontage walkways on both Broadway and Washington Street to overall improve the streetscape. Vehicle access will be on Washington Street and a split-level parking layout, on the lower level and ground floor, will include spots for about 100 vehicles.
Earlier proposals approved for a portion of the site but never materially developed in the past have included the construction of a 176-room hotel with a 200-seat banquet hall.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Whitman Brewing, located on Lake Avenue in downtown Saratoga Springs, was named among top new breweries in the country by USA Today’s “10Best” ratings.
Saratoga County — According to the newly released Regional Economic Recovery Dashboard, the largest increase in job numbers by industry in Saratoga County are in Health Care and Social Assistance, which grew from just over 10,000 in 2015 to more than 12,000 in 2020, or an increase of 20%.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — After more than four decades providing quality housing, mental health, and substance use support services – Transitional Services has a new name.
Firm to double in size, plan to revolutionize what customer service means.
In the crucible that is COVID-19, there are lessons to be learned. We have collectively faced many challenges over the last 12 months, but the focus of this piece will be using the pandemic as an opportunity to reevaluate one’s finances.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Fingerpaint, a full-service health and wellness marketing agency, has executed a strategic investment in Leaderboard Branding, a leading global naming and branding business headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, to grow its portfolio of companies. Details of the transaction were not disclosed.
WILTON — Zieker Eye is a full-service ophthalmology practice serving the Capital Region and North Country, including communities from Clifton Park, Saratoga Springs, Mechanicville, Glens Falls and Lake George. The Zieker Eye team includes Christopher Zieker, MD. and Steven Clark.
Q. Where are you originally from and how did you find your way to Saratoga?
A. Both Dr. Zieker and Mr. Clark are from the Capital District. Dr. Zieker attended Albany Medical College and then returned to the area after completing residency on Long Island. Mr. Clark has lived in the region his entire life and attended the PA program at Albany Medical College as well. Dr. Zieker and Mr. Clark are brothers-in-law and decided the Saratoga Springs community was the right one to build their business and raise their children together.
Q. When did you first know you were going into ophthalmology?
A. During medical school Dr. Zieker realized he really enjoyed surgery and the ability to reverse blindness for patients. Mr. Clark started in ophthalmology when he was 18, as a technician, and was trained on the job. He loved learning the science of it, and being able to help people, so he decided to pursue his Physician Assistant degree to further that education, expand it into general medicine as well, and develop my own patient base.
Q.What kind of services are offered? Is there a specific area of specialization?
A. Our practice focuses on medical, surgical, and general eye care. Dr. Zieker’s schedule is focused on cataract surgery primarily.
With 10,000 new baby boomers each day there are a lot of patients noticing vision loss as a result of their cataracts. Dr. Zieker is trained on the latest technologies including femto-second laser and lifestyle lens implants that reduce a patient’s reliance on glasses while offering more ranges of vision.
Mr. Clark sees many diabetic patients, glaucoma patients and treats many eye injuries as well. He also sees patients for their annual eye exams. Glaucoma for example is a slow, progressive and asymptomatic disease of the eye. It is painless and vision loss may not be noticed until the disease is already advanced. It is imperative people see their eye doctor as a part of their regular health check-ups so that diseases like glaucoma can be treated before it is too late.
Q. In the 10 years of being in business, how has technology changed?
A. There have been dramatic advances in technology over the past 10 years. Dr. Zieker offers patients cataract surgery using a femtosecond laser. It emits bursts of laser energy at the extremely fast rate of one quadrillionth of a second. It is difficult to even imagine something so fast. This laser offers more precise incisions with less damage to the surrounding tissue compared to those made with a blade. That leads to fewer complications which helps patients heal faster post-surgery. In cataract surgery the cloudy lens of the eye is removed and replaced with an artificial lens. We now have lenses that offer multiple focal points, such as near, intermediate and distance, thereby improving the range of vision. Essentially the trifocal glasses you wore in front of your eye can now be implanted into your eye. We also offer Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) which is an in-office procedure that reduces eye pressure in patients with glaucoma. The laser enables many patients to use fewer eye drops to manage their glaucoma and fewer drops means greater compliance.
Q. Is there a simple piece of advice you can offer people related to eye care?
A. Vision is affected by lifestyle choices just like other body systems are. Exercise, eating healthy, maintaining your blood sugars and blood pressure are all ways to ensure you have a lifetime of healthy vision. And wear those sunglasses! The sun can damage the eyes like is does the skin.
A. Is there anything else you would like people to know?
Q. We are so grateful to be celebrating 10 years in business in this community we love. Adirondack Trust Company provided us the financing we needed to start this business and we are forever thankful to them for their support from day one. Our patients, our families and our staff are supportive, kind and encouraging. We would not be here 10 years later were it not for all their support. We are a small, family-owned business (five family members all work here) and we feel that coupled with our fantastic staff has been a big key to our success. We have meaningful relationships with the optometrists we partner with, the patients we get to care for and the team members that we employ.
Zieker Eye is located at 14 Mountain Ledge Drive in Wilton. For more information, call 518-450-1080, or go to: ziekereye.com.
In September of 2020, Bennington Furniture and Mattress owner Michael Fiacco increased his portfolio when he purchased The Old Brick, rebranding all locations to be Old Brick Furniture and Mattress Co.
With the ink barely dry on that deal, Fiacco is now expanding into Saratoga County with an additional 116,000 square feet of space!
First the company will centralize its tri-state distribution (NY, Vermont & Western Massachusetts) with a 70,000 square foot warehouse located in Clifton Park. "The space will allow for greater levels of centralized inventory which in turn will allow Old Brick to offer more rapid delivery to all three states" Fiacco said. "We believe that speed to the consumer is as important as it has ever been.
The new facility will have a larger customer service and repair department to better serve customers and will include a rooftop solar array bringing the company total to six arrays totaling 3,000 solar panels. The facility is due to open in summer 2021.
In addition to warehousing growth, Old Brick will open its eighth retail location; the fourth in the New York Capital Region. The 46,000 square foot space is a former Toys 'R Us location. Located on Clifton Country Road in Clifton Park, it is less than five miles from the new centralized warehouse.
This will be the first ground-up showroom with both the former Old Brick and Bennington Furniture teams working as one. "Saratoga County is one of the fastest growing counties in New York and the market is great for the value proposition and interior design services that Old Brick offers" Fiacco said. The showroom will leverage technology and place focus on in-store atmosphere. The showroom is due to open fall 2021.
Fiacco added "We are the only non-commission furniture Retailer in the area. Our Tag line is "Sell low and Tell The Truth". We are a very low pressure environment for consumers to shop. The old Brick from the 1960's till the 1980's where wholesalers who sold to retailers so working at low prices on tight margins is what we are used to."
Plans also include growth in its distribution, merchandising and sales teams. "As we continue to invest heavily in our infrastructure, we will also invest in human capital that will afford us continued growth" Fiacco says.
With regards to digital growth, Old Brick will expand a newly formed Digital Experience Team responsible for e-commerce sales, social and digital marketing, reputation management and digital communications. The team is set to launch a new e-commerce website in April 2021. Fiacco remarked "We recognize the changing times we are in and how we must evolve with them. However, with that growth we cannot forget the immeasurable value in remaining authentic. We are hyper-focused on nurturing the authenticity of the brand as we invest in and grow operational, digital and human capital."
Old Brick Furniture and Mattress Co. owner Michael Fiacco.
HALFMOON — A drive-thru convenience store may be coming to the region.
Farm Stores are drive-thru convenience/grocery stores in retrofitted shipping containers that resemble red barns. Drivers pull up on parallel sides of the building to view merchandise – dairy, eggs, fresh-baked bread, produce, beverages, and more – through the windows. A clerk working inside takes and bags orders.
An article done by the Albany Business Review states that a developer of Farm Stores has already purchased a 0.67 acre plot of land at 9 Route 236. This plot is across from a Stewart’s, and a few miles down the road from a Trader Joe’s that is currently under construction.
Olivia Huffman, a commercial real estate broker at RedMark Realty out of Clifton Park, exclusively represents Farm Stores and confirmed that the developer who purchased the land is Pointe Companies. Huffman also said that there are a minimum of 10 locations in upstate New York where they are looking to build more Farm Stores. Franchisees Richard and Angela Barone will be opening one soon in Wappingers Falls.
Richard Harris, the Director of Planning & Building for the town of Halfmoon, says that they have not yet received an application or concept plans for the Farm Store, and that the approval process could take approximately 2-3 months. However, Harris believes that it could be a positive commerce opportunity for Halfmoon, and might help to spread out traffic near other businesses in town.
Saratoga County — Rebuilding Together Saratoga County announced a new name for their store in Ballston Spa. ReShop for the Good sells new and gently-used furniture, household goods and decor. Proceeds from ReShop for the Good support Rebuilding Together Saratoga County’s work to provide critical repairs and accessibility modifications for low-income homeowners in our community. ReShop for the Good originally opened in 2017 and has continued to see increased business year-over-year.