Another large vacant space at ViaPort Rotterdam may soon have a new occupant in the area that used to be Kmart.

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A scotia based organization called The Beukendaal Temple Association plans to lease about 90,000 square feet of the former Kmart and convert it into a bingo hall. The space is being designed to hold about 200 people.

Beukendaal Temple Association president Rick Frederick says the new bingo hall will fill a void after the Schenectady Bingo Palace on State Street closed because of the pandemic. He thinks this will be a great place to re-locate the bingo crowd:

We’re hoping to be a great partner in the mall. They already have food vendors and restaurants, so hopefully we’ll bring folks in to help the mall a bit

The association is hoping to begin having events this summer, but it can be a lengthy process to get approval because it is technically a gambling operation, which requires oversight by the state. Rotterdam town attorney Jonathon Tingley explains:

It’s a state business usually to gamble, so usually whenever anybody else is doing the gambling even in the case of bingo they want to make sure there’s control over that, regulation, inspection, things of that nature.

In the between time, the organization expects to start making preparations at the site in anticipation of state approval.

Three different organizations are expected to use the new bingo hall for fundraising purposes. They include Shriners Hospitals for Children, Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons and Schenectady Baseball. Events will be held Thursday through Sunday.

The town of Rotterdam recently signed a deal to move the town offices and town court into the other part of the vacant Kmart, but that is still undergoing an engineering study, so no moves have been made yet.

[Daily Gazette]

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