New life for long-vacant lot on Kings Highway

(Photo by Julie O'Connor )

(Photo by Julie O’Connor )

Weeds sprout through the cracks in the pavement of the long-vacant parking lot and graffiti coats a derelict warehouse on Kings Highway. The site sits across the street from an even larger eyesore, the abandoned buildings that once housed Philips Electronics and, later, the much-maligned American Candle plant.

Now activity will return to the site in the form of a pipe yard. Spinnenweber Supply Company, a longtime wholesaler of water and sewer pipes in Port Ewen, will soon open a new location on this site. The Saugerties Planning Board granted conditional approval to the company June 18.

The board approved Spinnenweber’s plan after the company agreed to connect the building to town water and sewer lines within one year and to provide more robust landscaping around the proposed pipe yard. The board also wants Spinnenweber to fix the derelict building on the site that once served as a warehouse.

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Spinnenweber differs from other local businesses that sell construction materials (like Saugerties Lumber) because homeowners are not their primary customers. “We sell pipes for water, sewer, and drainage to contractors,” said Richard Kappler.

He said the company hopes to open the facility by the end of the summer.

Spinnenweber has been in business since 1958. Spinnenweber is a family business. Kappler’s mother owns the company.

Kappler lives in Saugerties. He is excited about the opportunities for the new location.

He noted that Spinnenweber’s primary sales location would be in Saugerties.

“This is a really great location for what we’re trying to do,” Kappler said. “We’re glad to be in Saugerties.”

He plans to hook up to town water and sewer as soon as possible. In the meantime, he plans to truck in water and use porta-potties for restrooms.

Kappler plans to fulfill the town’s request to fix up the building by removing the graffiti, repainting it, putting a new roof on it and making numerous other repairs to it.

Planning Board Chairman Howard Post is glad. “We welcome them with open arms,” Post said. “That site has been long an eyesore. We’ve been trying to redevelop it for a long time.”

Post cited the great access to transportation, and new water and sewer connections as reasons why companies should consider locating along the Kings Highway Corridor.

Paul Andreassen, a member of the Saugerties Planning Board, is also excited about Spinnenweber’s plan, calling it “an asset to the town.”

He strongly believes Spinnenweber will meet the board’s conditions. “I’m very confident they will meet the sewer and landscaping obligations,” Andreassen said.

Barbara Budik lives on Kings Highway near the site. She looks forward to the opening of her new neighbors.

“It’s a good use for that site,” she said.

Budik has no concerns about Spinnenweber creating any disruptions to life in the area. “It’s already an industrial area,” she said. “The Army is right down the street.”

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