The town of Montgomery has attracted a number of different projects in recent years—even a casino proposal—but last week they were presented with something unexpected.
“It’s a unique use and a great asset to the community,” said Ross Winglovitz, the engineer for European Outdoors, a scuba training facility in Middletown.
The owner of European Outdoors is looking to move his entire operation to Montgomery—and expand.
The proposal entails a large multi-use building featuring a retail area, café, several pools, offices and warehouse space—all conveniently located next to ShopRite on Hawkins Drive.
“It’s a very exciting project,” said Jason Anderson, representing the applicant.
He described the building as a “community facility” that would feature a pool area open for individuals to come in and rent swimming time from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Swimming classes for youngsters would be provided in a pool within sight of their parents waiting in the café.
The space—a “showpiece” for the business—would be open to the 30-foot ceiling featuring lots of glass and brightly lit.
The owner is a certified scuba rescue diver and currently uses the YMCA facilities in Middletown to provide his training classes. Those classes would also move to the new facility.
The retail showroom would feature limited items on display—think an Apple store—and stock in the rear warehouse. The warehouse itself would be unique in that it will contain about $10 million in inventory and operate as an “Amazon-certified hub for swim gear.” As such, it will have a special streamlined layout and feature a conveyance system and two-bay loading dock.
Winglovitz and Anderson explained that the business has maxed out their space in Middletown after 11 years and in order to move forward with Amazon, they need a space with higher ceilings. There will be no manufacturing.
The business will feature 5,000 square feet of office space on the second floor and expects to employ at least 35 people between the offices, lifeguards and other aspects of the business.
The planning board voted to declare itself lead agency as to SEQRA for the project.
That same evening, the board was presented with another proposal, this time for a farm brewery on Coldenham Road that would feature a tasting room, maple farming and more.
The owners of Hop Blossom advised the board that they live on the 22-acre parcel on the village of Walden line and they want to grow the existing farm into a full-time operation.
The idea is to renovate and repurpose the barn into a brewery and tasting room, tap the maple trees and in the future expand their existing hop yard. The farm also has an orchard and pasture area.
They assured the board that they do not intend to add a restaurant. The tasting room will only provide tastings of both their own creations as well as those of off-site brewers that use the farm’s hops.
The board also considered a presentation by Larry Marshall on behalf of WW Commons, LLC for a proposed expansion of the self-storage facility located on Albany Post Road. The owner is looking to expand into the adjacent 1.8 acre parcel with two new buildings. It was noted that the project would need a variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals.
By RACHEL COLEMAN