MAYFIELD - Gloversville native Howie Smith opened his new Mexican restaurant Tortilla City earlier this month in Vail Mills with high expectations.
"I felt it was something the area has wanted for a while, and I have a love for the food. So I decided to open it," Smith said. "With the development in this area, I felt like it would be a good idea to jump on this before somebody else did."
Smith is among the developers and entrepreneurs who are flocking to the area in Vail Mills surrounding the roundabout that opened a year ago at Routes 29 and 30.
Dustan Burrell, left, head of the kitchen at Tortilla City, and Howie Smith, owner and manager, prepare a dinner at the restaurant in Vail Mills on Nov. 15.
The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan
New businesses soon will add to the existing businesses near the intersection in Vail Mills.
Among the existing businesses are Russo's Bar and Grill, Embree's Wine and Spirits, Subway and Dunkin' Donuts on the north side of the roundabout, and Fritz's Pizza, Fastrac, NBT Bank and Dough Boys Gourmet Pizza and Pasta on the south side of the roundabout.
The longtime Dairy Frost business still stands at the corner of the intersection, and other businesses - some new and some that have been operating for years - also are located on the stretches of Route 30 leading away from the roundabout.
Among the biggest new developments will be a plaza across from the newly opened Harley-Davidson store at Route 29 and Bellen Road.
Scott MacLauchlin is developing a 13,000-plus square foot building. A Dollar General store will fill most of the building, he said.
The building is expected to be constructed by June and the businesses there could open 60 days later.
MacLauchlin is waiting for a an agreement with a business for the remaining 3,700 square feet of the plaza before beginning the building construction.
MacLauchlin said he chose the site because of the significant amount of traffic there. He also said he was seeing an increase in development in the area, and he likes the character of the area.
The nearby Harley-Davidson store opened in September 2011 after relocating from Gloversville.
Town officials are happy with the new developments, including MacLauchlin's plaza.
"It seems like a good project and it will fit nice with the area down there," said Mike Stewart, town code enforcement officer. "I think the construction that he has planned will be harmonious with the Harley- Davidson across the street there. I think it's definitely going to be an asset to the town.
"This is going to be, obviously, a nice, well-maintained commercial building. I think it's going to improve the town's tax base as well as the sales tax for the town," Stewart said.
Town Supervisor Richard Argotsinger is excited about the area's new developments, but he said municipal sewer and water services would make projects easier.
Argotsinger said town officials have spoken with officials of the village of Broadalbin, the village of Mayfield and the Gloversville-Johnstown Joint Wastewater Treatment Facilities, but there are no plans for municipal services there.
"The problem with Vail Mills is we're not in relatively close proximity to any other area to pipe to," he said. "We've looked at other ways to develop sewer and water in that area ... The problem with the Gloversville-Johnstown [option] is the distance involved. The problem with the village of Broadalbin is they're not interested in any outside users at this time."
Argotsinger said the issue with the village of Mayfield also is distance.
MacLauchlin said water and sewer service was an obstacle with his project.
"That required us to put in our own well and septic," he said. "That also limits you to the tenants you can accommodate."