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EDITORIAL: The saga continues in Colonie

When a story comes across our desk, we don’t just follow it until it’s no longer of any interest. We follow it to its conclusion.

Several storylines played out in 2013, one of which was the controversy surrounding a proposed youth soccer park on Watervliet Shaker Road next to Memory Gardens cemetery. Issues were raised when the proposal went before the Town of Colonie Zoning Board of Appeals in November, which led the ZBA to postpone a decision until January. Noise and traffic from the complex — which would include four lighted outdoor soccer fields and a domed structure for two indoor fields — were the biggest concerns raised by supporters of the cemetery, many of whom flooded our inboxes with letters to the editor denouncing the proposal.

As we wrote at the beginning of December, we understand the concerns cemetery supporters have about the complex, but we also believe that the two entities can coexist.

When the ZBA addresses the issue later this month, you can be sure we will be there to give you news about the latest developments.

If the soccer complex is allowed to move forward, it will be one more business added to the town’s landscape. As has been the case in previous years, development was another major storyline in Colonie.

One of the biggest stories on the development front centered on the long-neglected Latham Circle Mall. Demolition of the nearly vacant mall at the intersections of routes 2 and 9 began in March, which cleared the way for a series of “box stores” to be built in its place. Among the stores confirmed for the new Shoppes at Latham Circle are Dick’s Sporting Goods and Wal-Mart. JC Penney and Lowe’s are the two remaining stores from the existing mall site.

Revitalizing Latham Circle is a big step toward bringing life back to one of the iconic business addresses in Colonie. Latham Circle Mall was a popular destination in the 1970s and 1980s before Crossgates Mall in Guilderland and a revamped Colonie Center on Wolf Road gradually took customers away. And once Latham Farms opened in the 1990s, Latham Circle Mall was largely forgotten. Perhaps The Shoppes at Latham Circle can drive some business traffic back to the intersection that shares a name with the new development.

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