Section: MAIN,  Page: 3A

Date: Wednesday, January 20, 1988

After two years of work, Albany has seven businesses lined up for its new light-industrial park in the city's north end, near where the Erie Canal used to flow.

The 92,000-square-foot park, on Erie Boulevard in North Albany, to be known as the Erie Boulevard Commerce Park, will mean a "sizeable number of jobs," Charles Newland, city economic development director, told the city Planning Board Tuesday. The city plans to develop nine parcels on the 16.6-acre site, and Newland said seven businesses had committed to the park already. He declined to identify the businesses until plans were finalized, but said they were light-manufacturing and warehouse-type firms.

The Planning Board on Tuesday held a public hearing on subdividing the parcel into seven lots. No one commented on the proposal.

No action was taken, but the Planning Board appointed itself lead agency for environmental review of the project.

Newland's office has been working on the proposal for two years, he said.

"It's gone through quite a series of evolutions," he said. "But it's finally coming together."

One of the evolutions was a proposal in 1986 to extend Erie Boulevard along an abandoned portion of the Erie Canal into the village of Menands, which borders the city.

That plan fell through, Newland said. Instead, the city will extend Erie Boulevard north to the city line for the industrial park.

Mayor Thomas M. Whalen III's 1988 budget lists the roadwork as costing $1.275 million, with $360,000 coming from the state and the balance to be bonded by the city.

Newland said he hoped construction could begin in late spring or early summer this year.