Produce firm eyes expansion

GLOVERSVILLE – Antonucci’s Wholesale Fruits, Produce and Seafood Co. on South Main Street is planning a warehouse expansion that would encompass part of the neighboring Pine Brook Golf Course.

Engineer Steven Smith, who said he represents produce company owner John Antonucci, addressed the project with the Common Council Tuesday night at City Hall.

“Antonucci’s is planning on an expansion,” Smith stated.

He said the company, now in a commercial zone, needs to purchase land from Pine Brook, currently in a residential zone.

With the expansion, Smith said Antonucci’s land would be in both zones. He said he and the produce company “implore” the city to change zoning in the area of Antonucci’s to include the additional land. Land needed by Antonucci’s, he said, includes property toward the Pine Brook club house and to the western part of the driving range.

The council approved a public hearing on the project for 6 p.m. April 22 at City Hall. The council also passed a motion to have the city Planning Board further review the project May 6 at City Hall.

The “concept plan” for the Antonucci’s warehouse addition at 274 S. Main St. was initially reviewed by city planners April 1. According to the plan, the warehouse expansion will involve construction of about 13,400 square feet of additional building space, with two new loading docks and about 11,500 square feet of new asphalt and concrete for a paved driveway and tractor-trailer maneuvering areas.

In that April 1 planning board meeting, John Antonucci told the board the building addition will actually be compartmentalized for specific uses. He indicated he is going to be purchasing a “coffee roasting company” in the near future. He said he is required to keep separate spaces for different products he keeps in the building.

Smith told the council that city Department of Public Works Director Kevin Jones has been “instrumental” in Antonucci’s attempt to secure a zoning boundary change. Prior to the meeting, Jones showed council members plans for the project.

The new owners of Pine Brook Golf Course said in April they will continue to operate the course and may build condos and town homes around it.

Everett Simek of Johnstown purchased the 157-acre property for $200,000 at an auction earlier this year. He operates E.J. Simek General Contractors on Snyder Avenue in Johnstown.

The new owners plan to open the course to the public in the spring.

Simek said he, his father and Antonucci are partners in the endeavor. The three worked out an agreement before the auction to work together so the Simeks and Antonucci wouldn’t end up bidding each other up on the price. He said Antonucci wants some of the property for an expansion of his business while the Simeks wanted the golf course.

Late in Tuesday’s council meeting, city Attorney Anthony Casale announced he represents Antonucci’s. He said he would be “happy to” recuse himself from the city’s dealings with the company’s expansion project.

However, council members told him they didn’t think that was necessary.