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Developers seeking to create new housing, retail options in Malta with Camber Ridge project

A rendering of the proposed Camber Ridge project includes a range of housing and retail options
A rendering of the proposed Camber Ridge project includes a range of housing and retail options

Developers are proposing a multi-phase project that would turn the Albany-Saratoga Speedway into a residential and retail neighborhood.

Five Corners Development and The NRP Group hope to transform the 50-acre plot in Malta into Camber Ridge, a mixed-use space with diverse housing options as well as commercial space.

Five Corners Principal Sumeet Gupta says the project’s core is in providing a diverse range of housing options.

“Potential senior housing, some affordable housing, some mixed-income components, potential market-rate, as well as some affordable home ownership. So, as I’m sure you know in Malta or everywhere in Saratoga County, rents and homeownership pricing have gone through the roof,” said Gupta.

Gupta says the first phase of construction will cost around $100 million.

Before any construction begins, however, the project’s next steps include establishing a Planned Development District, which could take up to nine months.

Malta Supervisor Cynthia Young, a Democrat, says she’s saddened by the potential loss of the Speedway, but there’s a need for new housing options.

“There’s no doubt that in the town of Malta, we need housing available for the young professionals—the first-year teacher, or the newly graduated engineer. There’s not housing available for them in Malta. There’s not housing that is attainable for that demographic. We need to be able to attract families,” said Young.

Young adds while the project is still in its early stages, she can’t say whether Camber Ridge is right for the town.

According to a 2024 study by the Capital District’s Regional Planning Commission, renter wage in the region has increased by an average of 3.3% from 2022 to 2023, while rent for both one- and two-bedroom apartments has increased by nearly 9%. Housing has been at a premium in Saratoga County especially during GlobalFoundries’ expansion.

Gupta says all phases of the project would entail a total $250 million investment; he hopes to spur further growth along the Route 9 corridor beyond Camber Ridge.

“I think that by putting in interesting retails that we’ve been working on over the last three or four months that that’s going to help to create more demand for other retailers as well as other housing to come to the area,” said Gupta.

Developers plan on seeking tax credits from the New York State Department of Homes and Community Renewal.

The sale of the Speedway is not yet final, but owner Howard Commander says he’s about to be 80, and the time to close the track has come while he continues running weekly races at other locations like Lebanon Valley Speedway.

“The reason for the sale is the staff who has been running the track for 12 years is getting older, and older, and older. And it’s harder and harder to keep a race track going, especially when the land under the race track is worth a lot of money. The problem is you never want to get rid of race tracks but at some point you have to,” said Commander.

Commander adds that his business hasn’t quite recovered from the pandemic.

“About 40% of the fans have gone to do something else. And we’re going to have bigger problems if we can’t get some of that 40% back. Whether they sell hamburgers or whether they sell full gourmet dinners, or whether they’re selling clothing, I’ve talked to many, many, many businessmen. They all agree things are tight,” said Commander.

The Speedway will remain open through its 60th anniversary racing season in 2025.

There’s more information about the proposed project at wamc.org.