Ellsworth Commons has become an almost laughable landmark in “downtown Malta”. Nearly six months ago, I was happy, eager and optimistic at what the future of Ellsworth Commons would hold. Now, after my phone calls have been ignored countless times by the property manager and I can’t seem to get any information at all about potential commercial tenants, I’m not pleased.
There’s something wrong at Ellsworth Commons
I recall clearly reading the sign (long been taken down) that said, Ellsworth Commons, Delivery March 2012. March came and went, April and May did as well. It begs the question, what is happening to Ellsworth Commons and what is wrong? I know for one that the price they are charging for commercial space is about $18 per square foot; comparable to Clifton Park Center. As of this post, only two contracts for commercial space have been signed; Myrtle Street Ob/GYN, and DNS Electronics LLC, which is a semiconductor equipment supplier (as reported by the Business Review in April). Hardly places to enjoy a cup of coffee. In the project’s defense, almost half of the 312 apartments have been rented. But what about that 70,000 sq ft of retail and office space?
We have the Malta Farmers Market – but we need more!
Rumors and excitement over a Starbucks, Panera, a brew pub, and boutique shopping have disappeared. I was looking forward to a summer being able to walk to my new neighborhood shops, to stay in Malta for coffee, a nice dinner, a drink, an ice cream cone. Thank goodness for the new Malta Farmers’ Market, which by the way opens this Tuesday at 3pm by the Malta Community Center! Malta is coming along, but we need more to keep residents shopping, dining, and spending their money in Malta.
Remember Excelsior Park in Saratoga?
Ellsworth Commons is a development in the ‘New Urbanism‘ style. I heard that term kicked around a lot about eight years ago when my husband and I looked into buying a townhouse in Saratoga’s Excelsior Park. (Right off of Exit 15 by that Residence Inn). We were being heavily sold on that concept and promises of shops, restaurants, bakeries, dry cleaners, etc. right in our community.
While I wouldn’t call Excelsior Park a total flop, their website, which hasn’t been updated since 2005 should give you an indication of how the project unfolded, or didn’t. With only Phase I completed, Excelsior Park now consists of some awkwardly isolated condos, townhouses and a Residence Inn, with no other sign of life there. I imagine we’re not the only one’s extremely thankful that we didn’t buy a townhouse in Excelsior Park!
Will New Urbanism work in Malta?
The concept leaves me very optimistic, but the execution of Ellsworth Commons leaves me doubting.