Tuesday, January 29, 2008

super STOP & SHOP proposal being discussed today at 2

The proposed Stop & Shop application for 119 (near Sheraton Hotel) will be discussed today at 2 PM

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

How about a new super market on Central ave.
\The atlas building would be fine.
If stop and Shop will generate $700,000.00 dollars in tax revenue why can't we have the same going for us at this end of town.

hal samis said...

The Town doesn't make the decision of what to build -- the owner of the property decides what will bring him the highest rate of return or at least an acceptable rate.

High on their list of considerations, generating tax revenue for the Town is not.

Does any Supermarket Company see the need to compete with the A&P a half mile away. Can it do so profitably enough to pay $700,000 in tax revenue (I am guessing but if this is the number quoted, it would include not just the supermarket but the other retail and commercial space proposed within the Tarrytown Road project) and the then there is the little matter of how much land is required to build a project that could produce $700,000 in taxes.

The problem that people who live in close proximity to Central Avenue, let's call them Edgemonters, have a strange notion that retail and commercial property development is god's gift to Greenburgh and the School District. Thus they have this view that that which produces the highest taxes should that which should be allowed to exist.

Since they don't have a dollar of their own invested, they are quite happy to devise plans for those that do. And, because they also are concerned about existing retail and commercial space along Central Avenue, they show their comprehension about what building even more of the same would do to help the existing problem.

Because of all uses, the one that has the most chance of success is residential multi-family development but since the Edgemont School District is "at capacity" (at the enrollment numbers last seen 35 years ago), Edgemont activists don't want to see anything that could lead to more population growth. I really do understand this desire.

But, still I have to point out that those who are in retail or build for retail, what they want are areas which are growing, growing shoppers not growing more stories. If Edgemont got what they want (in this limited view of the world) and that is zero population growth, this also happens to be exactly what a potential retailer does not. The retailer is looking for more customers, higher margins to pay higher rent and taxes, but mostly more customers. And because there are few parcels with either depth or plottage, the free-standing units and small strips are less and less desireable to retailers in an age of high gas prices. Shoppers do not want to get in and out of their car for each destination, circle the lot for an available space etc. and that is why they flock to shopping centers (think the word "center") either in big box clumpings like Home Depot, Costco, Stew Leonard or Ridge Hill or the malls of Cross County, White Plains and elsewhere but in their wake will be the remains of Central Avenue and other than reasons of convenience and excellent location, even Midway will feel the effect of larger centers growing pains.

Make it tough for Midway to survive and one day you will see for sure a Toll Brothers, Avalon Bay or the equivalent Town House development. Who needs the grief?

It is time to inject some reality in the pursuit of ratables.

And there is no miracle ingredient arriving with the Comprehensive Plan. As sure as the lord made little green apples, the rx for Greenburgh's Central Avenue and Tarrytown Road commercials strips is basement parking, ground floor retail and four to five floors of mixed use commercial, office and residential above. The second floors may be community-use rooms, office, medical etc. as part of the incentives to allow variances for three upper floors of multi-family

There I've saved the Town the $400,000 Comprehensive Plan cost.

And encouraging new construction in effect produces new assessments at new fair market values. Otherwise, everyone supports revaluation of someone else's home or commercial property.

However no one wants anything to change. No one wants higher taxes, no one wants more traffic, no one wants more residential and its cost upon existing schools, sewers, fire districts, garbage collection...,no one wants to see more vacancies, no one who owns an existing home wants to see its value decrease...

People readily accept their computers, fax machines, answering machines, cds, dvds, global positioning systems, email, video games, cell phones, flat panel hdtv home entertainment centers etc. They only change they can't accept is what happens on the other side of their property line.

Making people understand that living 20 miles from New York City is no longer living in the suburbs. Keeping the green in Greenburgh is no longer about grass and open space; it is about enticing the green dollars which keep the garbage being picked up, the schools open and the roads cleared when it snows and even a swim team at the Community Center.

If you want these things, then be prepared to for more lights to change before you get through the intersection and be prepared to embrace anyone who is willing to invest dollars in Greenburgh.

Or get out now while prices are still high. There are still untapped and undiscovered Greenburghs of 50 year ago pedigree awaiting settlement in northern Westchester, Putnam and Ulster counties.

But if you stay, be prepared to pay higher taxes or allow what little development remains to be done on underutilized parcels. The victory from reducing an 800,000 foot plan to 500,000 feet is a hollow one; all it means it that the Town has lost the tax revenues for 300,000 feet which aren't going to come back after the construction crews have left.

Anonymous said...

Hal,

You are correct, that it is unlikely anyone will put a grocery store so close to the A & P.

And it was Paul Feiner who chased away the Home Depot on Route 9 to just over the Greenburgh border.

hal samis said...

This was entirely Feiner, right?

Not the Town Board, not the Zoning Board, not the Planning Board and not the nearby civic associations.