Monday, January 10, 2011

Friends of Scotia Diner Protest new Apartment Project

For a number of years the Village of Scotia has been looking for a developer to find an appropriate use for the vacant corner of Mohawk Ave and South Ballston Ave.

It was once considered for a  hotel, a new Village Hall/Firehouse and recently a Rite Aid. The Village Planning Board was willing to accept a new Rite Aid if the drug company could design a building that met with their view of the village character. Rite Aid never did come up with the proper look and they backed out. Yay, Planning Board!

Now the owner of the property has proposed a 51 unit apartment building and the Village Planning Board has approved his plan. 


Architects rending of Scotia Apartments on Mohawk Avenue.

ballstonave  Joseph M Metzger Architect, Albany NY

Unfortunately, one of the casualties of the apartment project will be the Scotia Diner which has served the village for generations. A grass roots movement was recently created on Facebook to “Save the Scotia Diner and Mohawk Ave.  The Facebook group is encouraging supporters to attend the Village Board Meeting this Tuesday,  January 11th, 2011 at 7 PM.  Mayor Kris Kastberg has gone on record as a supporter of the apartment project.

causeClick image to join.

Only four days old, the Facebook page continues to gain supporters who are sad to lose this local landmark. Many others are equally dismayed by the addition of a 51 unit rental property along the main entrance to our village. 


On December 5th, Scotia Diner showed their community spirit by hosting last months Ginger Bread House contest which is part of our annual Holiday on the Avenue celebration. Doing so they gave up space which could have been used by potentially new and old customers on this cold, busy night.

The Village Planning Board was provided the following information on the new apartment building.

The parcel is 1.7 acres and currently is divided into 7 lots. The parcel is zoned General Business.
The building will have a total of 51 units with 17 units per floor.
     First floor will have 8 one bedroom units and 9 two bedroom units.
     Second floor will have 5 one bedroom units and 12 two bedroom units.
     Third floor will have 5 one bedroom units and 12 two bedroom units.
The proposed building will be 45 feet high.
The apartments will have a blended red brick veneer on the portions of the 3 story areas of the building with the same brick and a complementing earth tone man made stone in alternating areas of the ground level areas of the façade.
The siding will be vinyl and in two colors, alternating between the architecture elements on the upper two stories of the façade. The siding colors will be earth toned clay and wicker.

The applicant’s architect has made efforts to provide a retail look 
to the façade facing Mohawk Avenue.
The storefront windows will be opaque transom panels and will give 
a commercial atmosphere to the Mohawk Avenue side of the building.
The awnings on the Mohawk Avenue side will be fabric in complementary color to the overall building pallet
The awnings will be fabric with a pipe frame and will be ornamental 
in nature

Decks and railings will be brown vinyl.
The proposed apartment building provides an elevator at the center 
bend portion of the L-shaped building.
There will be 60 parking spaces.
Snow storage will be plowed to the outer limits of the parking in 
most cases.  Excessive snow accumulations will be transported off-site.
Dumpster enclosures have been provided in the southeast portion of 
the property.

If you have your own opinion stop by Village Hall, 4 North Ten Broeck Street, on Tuesday at 7 PM.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the diner and the heart they represent when entering our village. Save the diner it deserve better than this.

Scotia, ny
Jason Hunziker

5:59 PM  
Anonymous Kathryn McCary said...

This is a whine, not a comment--"click image to join" doesn't seem to work. Am I doing something stupid?

6:05 PM  
Blogger Bill Pytlovany said...

Hi Kathryn, You're too quick. :)
Once I got the page up and tested it I found the same and it's been fixed now.
Just click refresh or go on Facebook and search Scotia Diner.

6:07 PM  
Blogger mikeology said...

A number of basic questions still require clarification:

1. Would the apartments feature a healthy mix of low-income and market-rate units, or would the building consist solely of people in economic and social distress?

2. What is Scotia's current apartment vacancy rate? What is the commercial vacancy rate on Mohawk Avenue?

3. How is the diner faring financially, compared to Jumpin' Jacks, the nearby taverns and San Souci?

4. Do the diner's neighboring businesses view the diner as a benefit or hindrance to their own commerce? Would a MIXED-income development be more beneficial to Mohawk Ave. businesses by putting residents with income closer to their establishments?

5. What is the current average commercial rent for ground-level commercial space on Mohawk Ave.?

6. What monthly rent can the current diner afford? On what terms would the diner be profitable? Is the diner current on its financial obligations, and is its current rental rate comparable to that of its neighbors?

7. Is the site owner planning to include actual commercial space, or just the appearance (illusion) of such space? Have other businesses shown interest in locating in the new complex?

In short, what does it mean to "save the diner"? If the diner can't afford to pay market-rate rent, then who is offering to invest in the diner or buy out the owner?

I live out of state now, but I care about Scotia and I hope these questions are considered by village leaders and businesses.

7:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi my name is AJ other call me Terry.I have worked at SCOTIA DINER,for 13 years.What the owner with approval of the Town will make us Shut down or relocate the business.I'm asking everyone to come to this meeting and the following ones to voice the opinions of the community.Everyone opinion counts .I love this community and want to stay.If you can please show and be heard before Scotia town desides for you .I DOING MY PART, COOKING GOOD MEALS .Now I ask for help.

11:34 AM  
Anonymous Alison said...

I'm less concerned with what the apartment building will look like and more concerned with who will be renting there. The village has enough problems with absentee landlords and the dirtbags they rent to. Do we really need low-income rentals to potentially bring in more lowlifes?

8:14 AM  
Anonymous Melissa Leavey said...

Why are our elected officials more concerned with the facade of proposed complex and how it will flow with the exisiting buildings in the village? Shouldn't they be concerning themselves with how low-income renters will flow with the many upstanding families who reside here? And how about the Scotia diner which has become a staple here in the village? Where is the reasoning? Mayor Katsberg will NOT get my vote on the next go round!

1:50 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

I will not say much about the diner since I really have no opinion. I do however what to offer another perspective about the development. That corner has been an eyesore for years. Finally somebody has an idea that is usable and financially beneficial to the village. Notice, NO government or Metroplex money is being used. Property taxes will be paid...far more than what we are seeing now. As for low what? Does being on section 8 housing make you less of a person? Leet's get off our high horses, welcome the new income and our new neighbors. I have lived in Scotia my whole life and I always thought we were a community.

11:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my name is mary I am a new waitress at the scotia diner I love this place i am a young mom an i love my job i would actually have to say that is my favorite job i have ever had the customers lite up my day. When i know that i am going into work i am actually excited i am surrounded by great people this diner has been in this community for over 50 years and there is about 10 people a day saying when are we closing we are set and determined we continue bussiness as usual we love our job we love our restaurant we love scotia please help us keep our diner there to grow another 50 years your opinions mean so much to the staff at scotia diner we love our customers and we love the community thank you for everything.

1:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cant believe the Planning Board is more concerned about how it looks than the fact that it will ruin the entire dynamics of the Village we all know and love.

It is a shame about the Diner, but to be honest the food has been horrible since the new owners took over a few years ago and what did they do to the outside of the building it looks ridiculous and tacky!

The idea of 51 apartments full of low income families flooding the downtown with potential crime, violence, and vandalism is way more disturbing! Bruce Tanski is a slumlord and we do not want his building in our Village.

Way to go Planning Board?! Where do you people live and raise your families?

7:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have lived in scotia for many years; one of the things that attracted me to this area is collins park. collins park is a gem and scotia is fortunate to have such a wonderful town park. my concern is 51 apartments of low income people living across the street from the park. is this really in the best insterest of scotia and the current residents who pay high property taxes to support it? as it is now, we share the park with many people who are not residents of scotia, and how will this new apt. building affect the volume and quality of people sharing the park? this is what I have issue with.

8:11 AM  
Blogger RevNickie said...

I certainly hope no one who will move into these apartments reads this page. Criminals? Dirtbags? Because they don't make a lot of money? As far as I have seen, the main source of crime in the village is high school kids with a sense of entitlement who take baseball bats to car mirrors. Stop trashing working people and welcome them with gift baskets. I would be happy to coordinate this.

6:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe that we are a small town village and we the PAYING TAX PAYERS should have been heard and voted on this project. What the leaders think is not what the public wants- why did we not vote on this project?? I agree there are lot of absentee landlords and home owners that no longer care what their homes/apts look like. We have enough rental places in a square mile radius than most places around here. We lost the battle but not the war !!! Time to fight "village hall" !

1:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This whole building is a dump!!!!! Best think to happen to it is to be torn down.I think its great somebody wants to invest several million dollars in the Village.And who started this rumor it was for low income people someone from that dump dinner the Village is already at the limit the county allows for section eight housing.

5:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The sign out front says "Luxury Apartments"...usually there not for low income. Does anyone know?

11:07 AM  
Blogger kay785 said...

Hmm dirtbags? Seriously? I always like Scotia, it's a great little place to get away from Schenectady. I am a single.mother of two great little boys and would love to be able to have an apartment in a nice neighborhood.Instead I have to live in Schenectady bc I can't afford to live in a nicer place right now. not everyone with a low income is a dirtbag and those comments are upsetting coming from.a nice community. let's face it, that diner had to go. The food was gross it wasn't very clean and it didn't bring in enough money to stay open. the people who cause trouble are the stoner teenagers who already live in Scotia bc they have nothing to do. instead there are about 5 barber's and several small restaurants, why can't they build these kids a place to hang out and keep them busy. I lived in Scotia for years in the past and I am a young mother. chances are I know your children and they are the ones usually causing the crimes. give these kids something! Remember all the car break ins....yeah I know the Scotia kids responsible. all the minor vandelism? Yup them again. maybe such not so perfect people should stop judging something that hasn't even happened yet. btw I will be applying to live here if these rumors about it being for lower incomes. and I'm not someone eligible for help usually but if it goes by my income then I will try. so thank you Scotia for calling me and my two little boys lowlifes and scumbags...we appreciate ur kindness and look forward to ur community support! Just a reminder...don't forget other close community members of Scotia may be more of a dirtbag than these ppl moving in. for instance, have u ever seen the inside of ur high school nurses house? The dirtiest house I have ever seen with so much garbage and clutter u are lucky if there is a path to walk...keep all of that in mind. bc u Scotia are no one to judge.

9:51 PM  

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