BY JOHN CROPLEY
LATHAM — The Lecce Group is seeking approval to build a three-story office building off Troy-Schenectady Road on the Niskayuna-Colonie border.
The structure would be the latest project for the busy real estate developer, and it would also serve as the headquarters for Lecce-Acordia, the law firm of Lecce Group principal Lou Lecce. The law firm rents space for its headquarters on British American Boulevard, but it would occupy the entire third floor of the new building. The second floor would also be offices, and the ground floor would be a mix of office and retail space.
The proposed 18,000-square-foot building will go before the Colonie Planning Board on Tuesday. It would sit on what is now vacant land at 1209 Troy-Schenectady Road, next to a Rite Aid pharmacy. A few thousand square feet of the 1.49-acre site is in Niskayuna, but the rest is in Colonie.
There would be separate vehicle entrances; one onto on Troy-Schenectady Road and one on Rosendale Road.
Lecce Group Chief Operating Officer Shane Mahar said the site is zoned for what is proposed, and there are no apparent complicating factors, so he is anticipating approval by the town.
At this point, there is no plan to base the Lecce Group itself there, Mahar said.
Lecce Group ran into neighborhood opposition in 2017 when it proposed turning a longtime eyesore house at the corner of Union Street and Balltown Road into its headquarters, so it put that plan on hold.
That project has since been formally dropped, Mahar said.
Lecce Group doesn’t need a large headquarters — it needs meeting and office space, not parking for trucks and storage of building material — so it’s considering the former office of a physicians’ group at 2147 Eastern Parkway for a future headquarters. That property already has a circular driveway and a large parking lot, so it would be an easy conversion.
Lecce Group acquired the Eastern Avenue property as part of its deal to build a large EmUrgent Care facility for Albany Medical Center nearby on Union Street. The physicians’ group that owned it is affiliated with Albany Med and moved to the new building when it was complete.
Mahar said Lecce Group has several projects in motion now. It is building a total of five single-family homes in Colonie and Niskayuna; it recently received stage one approval for its Whispering Pines senior housing complex in Rotterdam, allowing it to clear trees and do site prep; it has begun building a replacement for Blessings Tavern in Latham, after that business was destroyed in 2016 as a result of a fiery auto crash.