Thursday, February 07, 2008


Benefits: significant taxes.
No additional costs for school district
Low traffic
Negatives: Current zoning does not allow for self storage
Feel free to contact
Dear Supervisor Feiner:
My name is Steve Novenstein and I am the President of Storage Deluxe Realty. We currently own 27 Self-Storage Properties in the New York area, including 4 facilities in Westchester (White Plains, Tuckahoe, New Rochelle and Yorktown).
As a resident of Scarsdale and with my office located in White Plains, I am constantly driving and shopping on Central Avenue. There are many vacant and underutilized sites along Central Avenue that would make great self storage facilities. Self Storage developments offer tremendous benefits for towns in that it generates very low traffic and offers a nice real estate tax rate.
We have developed many first class storage facilities and we would be thrilled to work with members of the community on a design that reflects the charm of the community. We envision utilizing brick and stucco with a great landscaping plan.
Currently, the zoning for Central Avenue does not allow for self-storage. We are working on a couple of sites on Central Avenue and before we get too far into the process, we would like to hear from the community and address any comments or questions they may have.
Steve Novenstein


nwrkgirl said...

Following are several questions that need to be answered before a decision can be made as to whether the zoning laws shouldl be changed to allow the storage facility.

1. Will the storage facility be located on Central Avenue in the Edgemont School district?

If so, who will benefit from the increased taxes, Edgemont only, the unincorporated villages or to the Township of Greenburgh?

2. How large is this facility and where on Central Ave will it be located?

3. Will the change in the zoning laws apply to this storage facility only or will it allow other large commercial facilities to open on Central Ave. What impact can this have on the traffic etc.

4. Before final approval will an impact study, traffic etc be made?

Anonymous said...

Dear Paul. My comment on the storage facility idea on Central Avenue is that the negatives may outweigh the benefits. Storage sites may tend to attract unsavory elements and are often targets for crime scenes. As to the zoning, these multi-level structures could start a trend that would change the look of Central Avenue for the worse. It could also potentially lead to more congestion and traffic, especially with larger trucks and U-Haul vans. Overall, I am not in favor of strengthening the tax base by this means.
Yours truly, A Concerned Citizen.

hal samis said...

Storage, good to be discussing the virtual kind at last, is an appreciated commodity even in areas where people own homes, presumably some with basements, attics and garages. However, not everyone has this potential use available, even most home owners. Perhaps the demand for such an opportunity is so great and why this is the only kind of storage where the price does not go down every six months.

It doesn't matter where located on Central Avenue, Hartsdale or Edgemont because, in either location, a storage facility is a low traffic generator. It seldom provides space to store school age children so the baggage it collects is not the type that represents a cost or burden to school districts. In effect, it is the gravy train coming to Greenburgh because it will address the issue of increasing ratables that we have heard so much of last year.

That said, more's the pity because I can just imagine how certain community leaders are going to react to this proposal: how dare you! Why didn't the Supervisor tell the community even before he heard?

It is true that such "improvements" are generally located in industrial sections of communities but newer storage facilities have taken a greater interest in not sticking out like a sore thumb when they attempt to locate elsewhere. Indeed, female renters would likely prefer such a facility out in the open in a populated area for reasons of safety when they go there after dark (5:00 in winter).

Where I am going, and I am not opening up my hand to show all the cards yet, is how about "civic leaders" taking in a beat or two before rallying the troops to reject the concept out of hand.

If you are at all concerned about rising taxes, this use represents a way to address this problem without increasing school taxes. You say that is what you want, you say that vacant stores distress you; you fear that Ridge Hill will have a negative effect on Central Avenue commercial property...such a use is not the second coming but it does bring with a lot of elements that might be called manna from heaven in these troubling times of economic burdens. Yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Let's hear the proposal's details and give it and Greenburgh taxpayers a break; let's not try to kill it the coward's way by dragging it through the tedious process for three years.

A supermarket on Tarrytown Road, a storage facility on Central Avenue: two ideas that likely will succeed in their respective locations. Let's not start their place at bat with two strikes already on the board(s).

Sorry, but we can't afford to wait for the comprehensive plan.

Sounds like good news said...

The idea of a storage facility answers many points -- low traffic, no new residents and therefore no additional children in school, additional taxes for the town and whatever school district the facility is located in, and probably more.

The first two postings represent the kind of knee-jerk objections that have become commonplace in Greenburgh. Listen before you criticize. If you want additional ratables, new taxes, no pressure on the schools, no increase in town services, then you are not going to get it from empty fields. There has to be some construction. If anyone can come up with a better plan, speak up. otherwise, keep your silence and listen.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that the positives outweigh the negatives. Let's see the plan. I like the idea of such a facility. I might even use it if the price is right.

only if said...

by all means yes so we can dismantle the hideous wall feiner and juettner erected in front of presser park (now earmarked with so called beautification efforts by nita lowey) and deep six it somewhere in a storage locker.

Anonymous said...

As long as they alter their usual design (i.e. no flashing signs), it's a win-win for all.

Why not? said...

I would certainly support a zoning variance, with architectural oversight to make sure facility looks nice (limited height, reasonable set back from street, discrete signage, etc.).

As for a zoning change (rather than variance), I would definitely consider it: Is there any meaningful justification for excluding self storage (the 'attracting undesirables' suggestion is pretty ridiculous)? I doubt there really is any data to show storage units are crime magnets -- but surely someone in this wide world has studied this: let's give it a hearing and let folks present what they have. If zoning is changed to allow storage, surely there is a way to word it so that nothing else "creeps" in, by law or by custom.

Central Ave is, after all, a commercial area, with 4+ traffic lanes, seamlessly connected to commercial zones in Yonkers and White Plains. We're not talking about some small village road...

I don't see a downside to decent looking development, that produces tax revenue with a minimal demand on existing infrastructure: compared to a retail location, storage requires less parking and produces less in/out/turning traffic to further congest Central Ave. Furthermore, unlike residential development, storage generates tax revenue without burdening the schools.

Anonymous said...

Dear Paul:

I think a storage facility will have an adverse affect on the community in that these places are often used by criminals...We have seen a huge increase in crime over the past two years and I fear that this will open the door for more robberies and leave us more vulnerable.

Anonymous said...

as long as they will look nice, go for it -

Anonymous said...

I don't want to pass judgement until the final proposal is available for the public to review. I agree that something needs to be done with the open spaces on Central Avenue, and in a way that will not increase traffic. Anything over 2 or 3 stories would make it an eyesore, and I would vote against this. Already mentioned, this kind of facility, which typically has 24-hour access, can attract more crime during late hours. The one on Rt. 9A in Elmsford has a black metal gate surrounding its facility. Will a fence be erected around the one on Central Avenue ? Let's not turn Central Avenue into another Rt. 9A.
More details are needed. Pretty pictures on their web site are there for a purpose.

Anonymous said...

6:35 am Moron!

Get off your idiotic, moronic view on the 9/11 wall. I hope that we find out who and what type of cretan you are and put one on your lawn!

Anonymous said...

The worse that I wish to the wall hater is that one day someone in his family has to suffer the way others have in loosing a love one to such a vicious attack.
Pray that your name or someone close to you does not meet the same end .
I lost a few friends in that attack and when I read your comment on the blog I feel that you are lacking something very important in life and that is love. Love for your fellow man
You are not one to be considered a true American.
This country is not for bigots like you.In closing you should be ashamed of yourself and I do hope if you have children that you are not teaching them the hate that you have for your fellow man.

Anonymous said...

On the storage facility.
I do think that this will be a bad Idea.It will bring in people from other walks of life.
Many of us have enough storage space in our homes.
How much revenue will this bring in.
What we need is more housing , for seniors .
Whomever came up with idea ,thanks but we do not need a warehouse along central ave.
We all see what is happening to Central Ave,
It is dying.
The civic associations have ruled as to what is to be built and what can't.
We need something that will bring revenue fo Greenburgh not only Edgemont.
The town officials have been dictated to for a long time,that is why there are so many empty stores.
Try to bring Central ave, back to the way it was,a good flourishing business area.
In the Scarsdale Inquirer it states that the edgemont assoc. approves the expansion of the Candlelight BECAUSE,they donate food for all their functions.
This only states one thing MONEY TALKS AND BS walks.,
All of us know that a storage facility on this avenue ,will bring in more problems than the area could handle.
Bring in some good developing plans to house those who are looking to move to Westchester but cannot afford to buy a home.

wall in greenburgh - a big mistake said...

dear wall hater haters:

please go to valhalla and see the rising. thats a real 9-11 memorial. very moving.

what feiner and juettner gave us is devoid of any emotion or artistic value. it destroyed a beautiful view of open space on central avenue - the last one between white plains and yonkers.

it should be mothballed. we have a fitting memorial in valhalla.

the slab in greenburgh is like the emperor with no clothes.

mr feiner - tear it down!

Anonymous said...

I think the Storage ideas is a terrific idea. Low traffic, lower tax burden and a beautiful building. I say let's go forward and see what they have to offer!

Wall hater is bogus. said...

Dear wall hater,

The wall, despite all criticisms, is here to stay as the surrounding areas were just upgraded (you say "earmarked for beautification") to make it a more fitting, palletable structure.

I'm amused that you seem to have not notice this. It makes me wonder what your real motivation is to continually bash it here. Clearly you don't know what you're talking about and have not seen the wall in several months.

Anonymous said...

Dear Wall Hanger or Paper Hanger-

You are a craven idiot. Anon 10:53 hit the nail on the head. You are sick. There is a WWII munument on the Mall in DC. Go down there and picket. If you want to rail against profligate silliness that is the place.

But get off your soapbox- it is here to stay-understand!

wall of ugly said...

i have yet to read that anyone likes the wall. the wall stinks.

some thought the berlin wall would never fall - well guess what, it did.

juettner, feiner and that wall will all come down. the sooner the better.

Anonymous said...

To Wall Hater:

It's here to stay. Get over it & get a life.

Anonymous said...

We need commercial development along Central ave,
The civic associations say no to everything that would be benificial to the tax payer.
Stop listening to them and help us with our high taxes.

Anonymous said...

Once we start allowing a wharehouse, where does it end? We will be uglifying Central Avenue. Soon there will be industrial useage. Is this only way to get a nice neighborhood to live in a gated community?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if there is a fund to support Edgmont becoming a Village? Where to send checks to ?

And Don Sigal, we like to here what you think.

Anonymous said...

I love living in Greenburgh. It's so cool reading these comments. It's so cool living in a community where everyone has an opinion! I find it hilarious that a no big deal storage facility is getting so much commentary!

Next will be a xrated store said...

Reality Check. The one in Elmsford is enough. See how much unused storage is there do we need DEAD space.

Anonymous said...


How would you know what a female wants?

This female for one does not want a wharehouse in a residential area. By lumping grocery stores with wharehouses you attempt to confuse the issue. A grocery store is within the zoning code for either Central Ave or 119. There is no reason why one should not locate on CA or 119. A wharehouse is not within the code, for good reason, of central avenue.

hal samis said...

Gee a female who demonstrates, not a typing impairment but a missing spellcheck gene.

Not wharehouse but warehouse.

And if this female can read too she would realize that the introduction to the topic allows that the proposal is not currently permitted under present zoning. Hence, a variance would be needed which is what storage guy may seek.

However Central Avenue is by no means characterized as a residential street. In fact it is zoned mixed use which permits residential, office, retail etc.
However some uses are not presently permitted which does not mean that storage guy will not request a variance or exclusion.

And what's so attractive in a "residential" neighborhood about existing gas stations, fast food restaurants, car dealerships, acres of black-topped parking etc. that the addition of a self-storage facility would spoil this scenic vista?

However, what a typical self-storage facility entails is not to be confused with a warehouse. The size of the spaces rented suggests that they would be used by individuals or small companies and the spectre of an 18 wheeler semi unloading large items or quantities is more appropriate for a warehouse, not a self-storage building.

Come back when you've some more sage observations to share.

Anonymous said...

Central Ave includes residential and retail. Expect that if a warehouse (oh, storage facility) goes in, the coops and owners of retail will be filing certioria claims to reflect the decrease in value of their property.

Anonymous said...

I checked the storage guy's web site and they have some very nice urban designs buildings - probably not appropriate for our town. But I did see a building in Shelton Conn, brick, stone and nice signage - very appealing. If they built something like that I would say lower taxes and bring on the storage guy.

Anonymous said...

People who bought apertments and retail property on Central Avenue did so with the expectation that it was not a warehouse district.

In the end, I find it difficult to beleive that land costs on Central Avenue would support a storage facility. But leave it to Feiner to try to drum up support for downgrading Central Avenue.

hal samis said...

Dear 7:34,

When you woke up this morning, were you really worrying about whether the owners of the property or the storage guy would be able to justify their investment?

Yet, despite "your" qualms about locating a self-storage facility on scenic Central Avenue, even worrying that it wouldn't appear to be justified economically, you betray your own conclusion when you show concern that the area could be a warehouse district.

However it is always interesting to see how people who oppose development argue as though they were the owners and what would make sense.

In a free market, only those who are willing to assume the risks are those who participate in the upside or suffer the downside. Bystanders are welcome to observe from the sidelines.

But since you've missed the earlier classes on real estate development (Professor Harold Hill), low rise retail structures, single tenant buildings, or any low investment improvement with possession returned to the owner at the end of the lease term, are collectively called "tax-payers". The road to the highest development return which could be far-off in the future is littered by rental structures which can be torn down and replaced by higher yielding structures when the timing is right. In the meanwhile, the rental income pays the "overhead", the taxes on the land. Vacant buildings and raw land produce no income so it often makes sense to find a tenant willing to generate cash flow during what may be a lengthy holding period.

But how about this new religion that preaches Central Avenue is a beautiful place to live but you wouldn't want to visit there -- or store your lesser prized possessions. Those people who were untroubled by living in the midst of noisy traffic, large parking lots, illuminated signs, car lots, gas stations, a post office (as though that structure weren't a warehouse), firehouses, stores, stores, stores, office buildings, roadside restaurants...all the rustic trappings that would bring contentment to those who spin "my home sweet home". And then came the fateful day when the shot heard round the world appeared on this blog: a self-storage facilty wants to locate on Central Avenue.
With housing prices already heading south, can you imagine what would this new assault on this pristine verdant corridor would harken? Cry RAPE.

Clearly the best use and the one least likely to bring fear into the hearts of men and women (decent, god-fearing citizens who don't want the crime marked by the presence of a "wharehouse" or a pool table in your community) is to drive by signs proclaiming "for rent" buildings.

Not to mention that very minor benefit to the handful of residents who have no concern about the rising cost of living in Greenburgh: to all others note that the storage facility would pay taxes to the Town, school taxes to the school district while bringing no students...but isn't it really more fun to sing the blues about declining ratables than to attempt to stem the tide.

In the news for the past half year are headlines which argue that the economy is tanking: that the turmoil in the sub-prime market is not an isolated event and that the aftermath is starting the spread from industry to industry, signs leading to a recession.

Locally, the immediate effect upon residents situated around Central Avenue may not be as threatening --yet. Such collateral damage may be limited so far, hopefully, just to declining personal brokerage monthly statements.

But how much longer will it be before some anonymous blogger decides to blame Feiner for this too?

Anonymous said...

Samis speaks truth, if sarcastically.

The congenital nay-sayers always find a way. In this case it is calling a self-storage facility a "warehouse" -- or "wharehouse" for those who mean to imply "whorehouse."

Central Avenue is not an attractive place. It wouldn't be even if all the stores were rented. Large business districts rarely are attractive.

If the storage company really finds this to be a good location, we should cheer. Sure we need to be sure that it is OK, that it doesn't flash neon signs, that it isn't too high, that there is a sufficient setback, and things like that. But in this climate, when we are desperately looking for more ratables and more taxes without increasing services and infrastructure, can anyone think of anything nearly as good? I can't.

Those elite people who want ratables, more school and town taxes, and less blight, yet still say no to everything that will accomplish that, have to be sidelined. Not all of us can affford such a holier-than-thou attitude.

Anonymous said...

" ... these places are often used by criminals ..."

Hahahaha! You've got to be kidding! I think you watch too much Law & Order! MAYbe at some no-name ones in Brooklyn, but Storage Deluxe is a hugely reputable business.

Anonymous said...

" ... these places are often used by criminals ..."
Yeah, I'm a criminal and now that you know where I stash all my ill gotten booty, I will have to find a new place to hide my stash.
Come on people, what century are you living in? Get off your high horses and come back to reality. This is a storage facility - not a fencing operation.

Anonymous said...

I think the Edgemont Committee to Evaluate Village statue should reconvene. With the increase in town taxes (for unincorproated, not village residents) and lack of protection re zoning, the time is now.

Anonymous said...

Yes, please. I'm all for it. May I suggest the European Health Spa property? I think Atlas is long done with carrying nothing on his shoulders and we should cut the guy some slack. No?

Anonymous said...

great idea. just make sure it is a nice looking building.

Anonymous said...

Have you checked with Madeleon O'Shea.

Anonymous said...

The last time anyone saw Rod (that's funny) O'Shea, he was seen by many of his neighbors stealing campaign signs along Old Army Road. I think he is registered as a monarchist.

I love Central Ave said...

Central Ave is one of the real benefits of living in Edgemont: where else in the suburbs can you drive for 5 minutes and find good Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Italian, Armenian/Middle Eastern etc grocery stores within the same mile stretch (and find a place to park in front)?
Cosmetically, face it, Central Ave hardly looks like a village. It's already a mish-mash of ugly little strip mall type plazas, ugly office buildings and an overabundance of furniture stores. Is a good looking storage site going to pull it down? Hardly! Vive la difference!
The folks who have repeated fears of 'the wrong people' coming in are dreaming or unbelievably prejudiced. Guys, the REAL 'wrong' people are driving by already. They are shopping for food at the same stores you frequent and mailing their mail at the same post office. And guess what, if they want to rob your house, they already know where it is.
However people who use storage units are NOT lower life forms. They include apartment dwellers who have hobbies, law firms with file storage requirements, home owners looking to declutter, etc.
And anyway, you don't approve the next furniture store because Edgemont homeowners are going to buy more sofas. Those stores would shrivel if their clientele were limited to locals. They expect (and we should welcome) the drive-through clients, who will then stop and buy that cup of coffee or those flowers or that futon or that pool table or that diamond ring in the next plaza...
If storage guy thinks, based on his research, that Central Ave is a good location, let him thrive!

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