Package delivery service outlines plans

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The former Manchester Wood building will be transformed into a package distribution center, with more details to come later this month.

The Granville Town Planning Board heard a presentation on plans for the former Manchester Wood building at its July 26 meeting which, pending final approval, will result in a package delivery service business at the site by next summer.

According to the project’s permit plans dated May 20, “The facility is being designed for a package delivery service. Packages arriving at this facility are pre-packaged in cardboard boxes and labeled for shipping within local neighborhoods and areas surrounding the facility.”

Michael Junghans of Kimley-Horn Engineering reported to the planning board that the building will have only minor modifications: “We’re going to reuse the building in its entirety. We’ll take off a couple of shed roof additions, and so forth. The building will be rehabbed but will remain the same size it is now.”

The site plan presented to the Granville Town Planning Board.

He continued: “We’re changing it into a distribution center for an online retailer, so this will have delivery trucks as well as box trucks coming in and delivery trucks going out.”

Speculation is that the online retailer is Amazon, but Junghans was not able to either confirm or deny this.

Junghans told the planning board that the site will increase the number of access points to the main road from two to four. “The reason we’re doing this is for function. We’ll have box trucks bringing materials in, we’ll have the in and out for the employees and at the bottom the in and out for the delivery trucks. The additional driveways are to split the movements and have more safe in and out to the site.”

Engineering plans include an expansion of pavement around the building to accommodate the increased number of vehicles. Junghans said the parking lot will include 140 parking spaces for delivery vans and 118 car spaces.

Kimley-Horne conducted a traffic study that determined all trucking into and out of the site will come from the north, with no box trucks going south into town. In addition, Junghans noted that there wouldn’t be a significant increase in wait times at the intersection of Route 22A and 24.

Planning board chair Todd Smith asked Junghans to explain the timing of various activities during the day. Junghans said that box trucks will come in at different times of the day: “It’s pretty spread out,” and delivery trucks will go out mainly in the middle of the day, between the peaks, so that there is no increase in existing peaks in the morning and the evening.

Junghans said the regional traffic pattern will not be impacted.

He also told the board that the building will have people working in it only at night with truck activity during the day.

Planning board member John Norton asked about additional lighting at the warehouse. Junghans said the lighting will be upgraded to LED cut-off lighting, “which means that it just goes down; it’s called night-sky friendly, state-of-the-art. It won’t be lit up like a shopping mall.” During the night, perimeter lights will be dimmed, but for security purposes, lights next to the building will be kept on.

Junghans said the business will be run 24/7, but “I don’t think delivery will be seven days a week; probably Saturday, but not Sunday.”

Pending a hoped-for final approval by the planning board in October, Smith asked about the timing of the project. Junghans responded: “I would expect we’d be up and running by early next summer.”

Signage for the building will be minimal, Junghans said, as the building will not be open to the public.

Further discussion included some questions about the traffic study, to which Norton said, “The amount of research these people have done, if there was going to be a traffic effect, they wouldn’t want to be here.”

The planning board then completed a required State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQR) form and was able to approve the application as complete.

Junghans was invited back to the planning board’s August meeting to provide further information and answer any additional questions.

“This is a nice project for a great building and a great business for the town,” Smith said.