Upstate golf course zoned for housing, but developer seeks change

Residents fear pivot to business, light industrial use

Tri-State /
Jan.January 31, 2022 05:36 PM

333 Jackson Avenue in Schenectady NY with Scannell Properties Development Manager Zachary Zweifler (Google Maps, Scannell Properties)

Golf courses are typically leisurely locations, but one in Schenectady is becoming a battleground in a fight between a developer and residents.

And in an unusual twist, the developer wants the land rezoned from residential to industrial use.

The Times Union reported that some locals are pushing back against a proposed redevelopment of the Stadium Golf Club. Owner Greg Hennel agreed to sell the course to Scannell Properties in November, a transaction set to happen once Hennell retires, which he hopes will be after this coming golf season.

The course covers about 117 acres — about 55 in Schenectady and 63 in Rotterdam. The former is zoned for multifamily residential use, while the latter is zoned for single-family residences. Typically, residential development is more lucrative than industrial, and rezonings in the Rust Belt have typically been to build housing in place of abandoned factories.

But Schenectady is a bit far north for New York City residents seeking upstate homes, and industrial real estate has been hotter than fish grease thanks to the e-commerce, fast-delivery boom. Warehouses are routinely fully leased before they are even built.

Scannell has proposed rezoning the Schenectady land for business use and the Rotterdam land for light industrial use, according to the Times Union.

Scannell has no clear plan yet other than to take advantage of the site’s proximity to I-890 and Route 7. But the biggest factor powering industrial real estate is not in the picture — yet.

“We’ve had no conversations at all with Amazon, no vision of Amazon. Nothing’s been discussed, nothing’s been thought of,” said Zachary Zweifler, development manager for Scannell. “I think that this is a large enough site that we should have, and I anticipate we will have, a mix of uses.”

Nevertheless, residents are gathering their 5-irons, ready to resist the changes.

“You’re talking about taking 160 acres of green space in our neighborhood and transforming it into a parking lot, warehouses, and massive amounts of trucks coming and going on a regular basis, and we don’t really see how that works for our neighborhood,” Chad Putman of the Woodlawn Neighborhood Association told the Times Union.

Since November, Scannell has heard from businesses involved in retail, research and development, medical, office, and light manufacturing about the land. Meanwhile, the golf course will be open for at least the coming year.

[Times Union] — Holden Walter-Warner





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