In late 2006 the Cobleskill Village Planning Board began hearing proposals by Diamond Development to build a Rite Aid pharmacy and a 7500 square foot office building on property between Legion Drive and Campus Drive.
If built, the new pharmacy and office building would front on Main Street, where four residential homes now stand. These homes, all in the Victorian style, are presently not protected by the local historic district, although they contain many features and elements that make them worth protecting. Not only that but they provide sorely needed residential space in Downtown Cobleskill. Yet the owners of these properties have already agreed to their sale and development.
I think we have to seriously question the wisdom of allowing this project to be built. Not only will we lose 4 historic homes that are crucial to the Village’s heritage to another ugly suburban-style box, but the building of Rite Aid may result in the closure of the Eckerd’s Pharmacy down the street, as Rite Aid recently purchased Eckerd’s.
In essence we would be trading four architectural gems for an ugly box and potentially another large empty building to sit vacant. Not only is this bad for architectural and appearance reasons, this may be bad for fiscal reasons. Does Cobleskill need another big empty store? It’s been months since Advance Auto vacated it’s location on West Main street for it’s new store on Burgin St, and it still sits empty as it probably will for the foreseeable future.
I urge all concerned residents to get involved and question this project, and demand that Village trustees explain why this project has been approved and/or why they think it’s a good idea.