Last night the Planning Commission waived a public hearing and granted site plan approval to Eric Galloway's Hudson Arcade Project at 449 Warren Street, the proposed location of Filli's Fresh Market.
Offstreet parking had been a big issue when the project was being reviewed by the Historic Preservation Commission. HPC member Tony Thompson maintained that parking lots accessed from the main street were inappropriate for historic districts; Galvan lawyer Mark Greenberg insisted that parking was not within the HPC's purview. Last night, however, the conversation about parking took a different turn.
Although Greenberg was present, the presentation to the Planning Commission was made by another lawyer, introduced as Joe Catalano, an authority in municipal law. He explained that the market would be an "urban model type of grocery store" and hence the plan for offstreet parking had been abandoned. Mike Welti of Behan Planning and Design in Saratoga Springs reported that his analysis of onstreet parking in the vicinity of the market found that at any given time during the day there were at least 12 parking spaces available within 450 feet of the site. Although Planning Commission members Cleveland Samuels and Laura Margolis expressed their personal opinions that they would be unlikely to shop at the new market if there was no parking, Catalano stressed walkability in an urban location and explained that the business owners believed there was no need for offstreet parking.
The plans for Filli's Fresh Market seem to encourage the old world habit of shopping for fresh food daily rather than stocking up at a supermarket for weeks at a time. The market will offer groceries, meat, produce, dairy products, frozen food, baked goods, beverages, and general merchandise. There will also be a deli and a pizzeria, both of which will be take out only. Shopping baskets will be provided but only a few shopping carts, and it will not be possible to take those carts out of the store. The market will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day; the pizzeria, however, will stay open until 11 p.m. on weekends.