For more than two decades, a 52-acre island of farm field behind Walmart and The Home Depot and off Lewiston Road has been designated for commercial development.
Tractor Supply is proposing a new store at 8727 Lewiston Road that will occupy 5.08 acres of the farm field, which is currently owned by the Call family and farmed by MY-T Acres.
The new store will replace the Tractor Supply store at 4974 East Main Street Road, Batavia.
Commercial real estate broker Tony Mancuso, who is assisting in the development of the project, said Tractor Supply is looking to move into a larger, more modern, more efficient building.
"They rent that building," Mancuso said. "They will own this building."
Mancuso and his father were involved with developing Veterans Memorial Drive, starting with Walmart, so he knows the history of the property.
"This has been zoned for this kind of development for over 20 years," Mancuso said. "When we did the other development, we put a road roadway up by the highway to come behind Home Depot and down (to Lewiston). So this has been on the books for 20 years so it was the logical place to go."
The developer will be Hix Snedeker, with engineering by Dynamic Engineering with legal representation for the permitting process by Hopkins Sorgi & McCarthy.
The project was presented to the County Planning Board on Thursday night and the board voted unanimously to recommend approval of the project with the following modifications:
- The applicant obtains a permit for the new road and intersection from the Department of Transportation;
- The applicant completes a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan and obtains a Stormwater Permit from the Department of Environmental Conservation;
- Given that the project is located in an archaeologically sensitive area, the applicant obtain a permit from the State Historic Preservation Office.
"With these required modifications, the proposed store should pose no significant county-wide or inter-community impact," the Planning Department said in its memo recommending approval with modifications.
The driveway into the project will take the same route as the planned roadway through the 105-acres of farmland and will be dedicated to the town so that it can eventually be part of the roadway that connects to Veterans Memorial Drive, coming out on the north side of The Home Depot. It will be up to the developer of any new commercial space on the remaining land to complete the road.
Mancuso said the same process was used when Walmart was built, with the start of Veterans Memorial Drive initially serving just Walmart.
Attorney Peter Sorgi said he expects the Calls to continue farming the undeveloped portion of the property, which they will continue to own.
The project will be considered by the Town of Batavia Planning Board at its regular meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in the Town Hall.
With Tractor Supply vacating its location on East Main Street Road, it will add to the inventory of empty commercial buildings on the east side of town, which includes the former CountryMax location and the unoccupied gas station and convenience store on East Main.
Mancuso said not to worry. He expects announcements soon about new tenants for those two vacant buildings and he already has two potential tenants interested in the Tractor Supply building.
"I don't like to see empty buildings either," Mancuso said. "So I'm trying to work it out as fast as I can."