SITE OF PLANNED GREENPORT CROSSINGS BURNS
10-12-11 - The former industrial site in Greenport being cleared to make way for the Greenport Crossing hotel and entertainment complex was the scene of an early morning fire on Wednesday.
Firefighters were dispatched to the former V&O Press factory on state Route 66 at about 4:30 a.m. A Columbia County Sheriff's Deputy arrived on the scene moments later and reported a working fire, which had vented through the roof of the industrial structure.
Firefighters from all three Greenport companies responded to the scene, eventually finding that the fire actually involved demolition debris on the roof and second floor of the structure.
The building is in the process of being demolished and firefighters said they beleived the cause of the blaze was demolition work conducted on Tuesday.
Demolition of the former metal press factory work began in September and according to reports on the scene of the fire, much of the asbestos in the facility had already been removed.
Developer Harbalwant Singh said during the town Planning Board approval process last year that phase one construction work on the site calls for the building of an A&W restaurant and drive-through, as well as a Mobil gas station, a retail unit and a liquor store. The A&W restaurant is a fast food establishment owned by the same company that produces A&W Root Beer.
Phase two construction of the site calls for the creation of a 100-room Comfort Suites Hotel that will include a restaurant and bar. The hotel, Singh told ccSCOOP recently, must be open by December of 2013 to meet contractual obligations.
Other work planned for the Route 66 site include the construction of a two-story entertainment center that would include a bowling alley, an indoor play area, a climbing wall, a laser tag facility, and an arcade.
State Route 66 was closed in front of the structure for about two hours during Wednesday's fire.
Units were back in service by about 6:45 a.m.