L to E: To hamlet or not to hamlet? There’s no question: Chappaqua Xing will damage the hamlet


Monday, December 1, 2014
by Chuck Napoli

If anyone has any doubts about whether Chappaqua Crossing will challenge the viability of downtown Chappaqua, rest assured: it will.  It’s exactly the kind of place the first AKRF study told us “would more directly compete with the function of the hamlet centers.”

I guess that was before AKRF took the position, in its second study, that since the Chappaqua hamlet didn’t have any anchor that other stores could be drawn to, to form a critical mass of retail, there was nothing here in the hamlet worth hurting, therefore “no harm.”  And since the zoning—with its “no personal services”—won’t allow Chappaqua Crossing to compete with the “personal services” industry of the hamlet—the nail and hair salons and dry cleaners – again, “no harm.”

Oh, and thanks, AKRF, for the advice that “regardless of what happens at Chappaqua Crossing” we really ought to get the hamlet an anchor and some critical mass rather than remain a personal-services center.

But a “lifestyle center” (that’s how Summit Greenfield is marketing it now) sitting at Chappaqua Crossing is going to deprive the hamlet of its ability to develop—just as AKRF concluded in its first study.

Yes, now it’s called a “lifestyle center”



Summit Greenfield will promote Chappaqua Crossing at the Javits Center’s International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) next week as a “lifestyle center”—“an upscale, rentable 120,000 SF outdoor shopping, dining and fitness experience scheduled to open Q4 of 2015,” “a “master-planned project - 300,000 SF of office (existing) & up to 200 housing units.”  See the complete brochure by clicking HERE.

A shopping center by any other name . . .

The definition of a shopping center is standard: “a group of commercial establishments planned, developed, and managed as a unit related to the trade area it serves.” (Urban Land Institute).  So far, we’ve heard Chappaqua Crossing called:

• A Strip Center
• A Power Center
• A Main Street Center
• A Town Center
• A Traditional Neighborhood Design
• A hybrid Neighborhood Center
• A Community Shopping Center

And now a “Lifestyle Center”

A lifestyle center is a shopping center or mixed-used commercial development that combines the traditional retail functions of a shopping mall with leisure amenities oriented towards upscale consumers.

In its report

Ten Principles for Rethinking the Mall

, the Urban Land Institute suggests that to be successful, Lifestyle Centers “seek to integrate, to the extent possible, other community anchors such as cultural facilities, civic buildings, municipal parks, office concentrations. Integration can increase the market draw, expand the trade area, and create a more compelling destination for the mall site as well as for the larger district. But it’s important to ensure that onsite and off-site uses create synergy—are complementary—and don’t cannibalize each other… [emphasis is mine].”

Remember that AKRF’s first competitive analysis, in July 2013, compared the plans termed “Shopping Center” and “Town Center” and decided that it was the “town center” (also-known-as “lifestyle center”) that Summit Greenfield was proposing that does the cannibalizing.  From AKRF’s first study:

Shopping Center versus Town Center [a/k/a “Lifestyle Center] Layout. dIn terms of retail layout, both layouts would introduce a grocery store use and several larger-format retail stores, the uses within those stores would be similar, and as described above there would be some retail overlap with either layout. However, from a competitive standpoint the “town center” layout would have greater overlap in the manner in which it functions in the community. The town center layout would compete for residents’ leisure time, as it would provide open space and other amenities that would draw users to the space and promote lingering. While this “place making” has its advantages from urban design and neighborhood character perspectives, it would more directly compete with the function of the hamlet centers, rather than providing a complement to Chappaqua’s walkable downtown and neighborhood-scale retailing through its larger space and more auto-oriented shopping. Consumers use both “types” of retail experiences but presently the Town is limited to only its hamlets.



That limitation, by the way, was purposeful. It’s still in the Master Plan, which explicitly directed that retail activity be limited to the two existing hamlet centers.  It’s also still the preference of Westchester County: more development where development is already, in our downtowns—especially in downtowns with a train station.

But, incredibly, the Town Board is now considering whether to approve a third hamlet—a fake town center or “lifestyle center”—that will directly compete with our hamlets. 

As Andrew Blum wrote in “The Mall Goes Undercover—It now looks like a city street,” Slate.com, April 6, 2005,

“…lifestyle centers do all the things that urban planners have promoted for years as ways of counteracting sprawl: squeeze more into less space, combine a mix of activities, and employ a fine-grained street grid to create a public realm—a ‘sidewalk ballet,’ in Jane Jacobs’ alluring phrase. The irony is almost too perfect: Malls are now being designed to resemble the downtown commercial districts they replaced”....


—or, as in New Castle, will replace . . .


Comments(27):
We encourage civil, civic discourse. All comments are reviewed before publication to assure that this standard is met.

It’s so simple it’s sick,move town offices to readers digest and raze town hall and build the whole foods and voila we a rejuviated down town.Why is it so difficult?Build low income housing as well.

By Former residentv on 12/02/2014 at 8:20 pm

Oh no. That graphic reminds me of Woodbury Commons.

By mom and pop on 12/02/2014 at 8:36 pm

If I am not mistaken the AKRF studies were commissioned and paid for by the Town of New Castle and not Summit Greenfield. I might understand challenging its findings if it had been paid for by the developer but it was not. It was paid for by us. The experts , the consultants at AKRF concluded that retail at CC would be complementary to downtown. Both studies pointed out the compromised state and lack of vitality of downtown. The study paid for by SG also concluded retail at CC would be beneficial to downtown. But I guess Mr Napoli must know more than the experts. Or should I say developer Napoli.
From many residents perspectives, downtown Chap is not a shopping destination. Retail at CC will not be the downfall of downtown - it could not get any worse.
I suggest we approve retail at CC and then address improving downtown. Mr Napoli has forever held the position that it is one or the other. It can and it should be both!

By Resident on 12/02/2014 at 10:05 pm

The addition of this strip mall = a substantial decrease in the home and property values of the surrounding area… is there anyone who really doesn’t understand this?

By bernadette.. on 12/03/2014 at 7:49 am

Fortunately 4 of our 5 town board members recognize that having retail at CC AND having a vibrant downtown go hand in hand. Our downtown is currently in disrepair with a horrible mix of merchants. It has been in steady decline without CC. To blame the demise on downtown on a project not even broken ground is ridiculous.
We can improve downtown and have WholeFoods at CC.

By Rayj on 12/03/2014 at 8:09 am

Napoli -our downtown is currently the home of Wallgreens and RiteAid. Our downtown hamlet is home of Starbucks , Dunkin Doughnuts, Citibabk, WellsFargo, Chase, 5 or 6 real estate brokers and at least a half dozen nail salons and day spas. We have 3 pizza places. Smack in the middle of our downtown hamlet is a middle school and one opt the largest metro north parking lots in their system.
A multi- use development at CC with a high end grocer , a gym, and ancillary retail will not be the demise of downtown. That has been slowly happening on its own. Don’t blame CC. The ” third hamlet” theory is baloney.
Thankfully Supervisor Greenstein continues to recognize and makes clear that improvements to downtown are part of the town boards future plans. Development at CC is not a substitute for downtown improvements. You are incorrect Chuck. And if your plan for revitalization of downtown ( aka Napoliville) were as good as you think it is you would already have some traction. But you don’t because landowners will not “give” you their property and the school board will never relinquish school property so you can build a garage and plastic playing field. Not next to Bell School.

By Roger on 12/03/2014 at 12:19 pm

The Planning Board is responsible for working with the town planner. Do we like the idea of CC, do we like the idea of updating downtown Chappaqua, do we like the AFH project being approved, do we like the West End Mosque being approved. As a community has New Castle been correctly represented by the various departments and town boards? Does your initial instinct tell you yes or no. Walk around New Castle and tell me if town hall can be seen as promoting both prosperity and vibrancy. It’s time to address the failing design and layout of down town Chappaqua. It’s time to address parking problems, traffic circulation, and the look and feel of Chappaqua. If we had the ability to demolish all of down town Chappaqua, how would we lay it out and rebuild it? Where would we relocate buildings? Where would we remove buildings? What roads would we create or remove? What parking lots would we remove, relocate, or expand? Where would we place new wires, cables, water lines, sewer lines? All across America this is being done, but we can’t seem to cut a single tree down. Why? Who’s fault is it? Are we developer friendly, do we seek to attract investment? Who is saying so and based on what new and additional information?

By Simple question on 12/03/2014 at 1:05 pm

“a fake downtown center…that will directly compete” with my planned development in the Chappaqua hamlet.

There. I fixed it for you.

By West Ender on 12/04/2014 at 8:46 am

The link in the article does not go to the SG brochure for potential retail tenants. It goes to another article on New Castle Now. I would like to see the brochure and read how Summit Greenfield is describing it to their potential tenants.

Editor’s Note:  It works for me, but here is the link: http://www.newcastlenow.org/images/uploads/ChappaquaCrossingBrochure.pdf

By Please fix the link to the Summit Greenfield Broch on 12/05/2014 at 1:05 pm

Chuck - another letter? You could have made it shorter and simply said what it is you really mean-
“Don’t build their development build mine”.
Except theirs includes Whole Foods and 110 acres of underutilized multi-zoned property. Your plan relies on turning downtown upside down and bringing chain stores, 400 car parking garage, a raised turf field in the center of town all on top of an already exposed middle school and overcrowded train station.
I commend the town board (4 out of 5 of them anyway)on diligently working through this to bring a well designed state of the art complex to CC. It will not be seen from 117 , only the parkway. Greeley is set back and isolated on a separate campus.

Instead of trashing the plans for CC and repeating the “retail at CC will destroy downtown” fabrication why don’t you focus on your own plan for downtown. Please shed additional light on NAPOLIVILLE. how is it progressing Chuck?

you are certainly entitled to your opinion but let’s not confuse your opinion with facts, data , and studies by professionals who understand this far better than you. I am referring to the multiple studies already done and paid for by BOTH the Town of New Castle and by the developer. ALL conclude that retail at CC can and will coexist with downtown Chapp and actually benefit the downtown hamlet. A Whole Foods , gym and other amenities are not mutually exclusive to having a vibrant downtown. In fact one como,I wants the other. Your assertion that there is ” no question Chapp Xing will damage the hamlet” has no basis in fact. Simply put, you and your silly plan for downtown are threatened by progress at CC. You have taken issue with every aspect of this development. You objected to the strip mall design which has been chnged. Now you have a problem with a lifestyle center. You have held CC to a standard you do not adhere to yourself. You want chain stores downtown. You plan a 400 car garage right next to my kids middle school. And your plan brings trucks and makes rt 120 king st a truck route.
Your analysis and critisicm of CC is not at all objective. Whenever you write one of these letters you should always include a disclaimer that you are a developer with a competing plan.

By Oh Pleeeze on 12/05/2014 at 3:11 pm

mr Naploi - for years you have been writing these letters trying to come off as some concerned citizen with expertise because you are an architect. But you have also spent a great deal of time and money designing and planning your own development for downtown Chapp. It would be nice to preface all your letters and let readers know that you have your own agenda here. And if not you then the editor should include a disclaimer.
I recall you wrote a letter criticizing the approval process for CC because the master plan had noted been updated. But when you took your plan, your drawings, your PowerPoint presentations to our various town / planning boards you never held yourself to the same standard that the master plan must first be approved. So SG must wait but not Napoli.
You wrote a letter criticizing the early ” strip mall” design. Now, after hearing complaints and suggestions from residents and town officials, SG changed the plans and eliminated the strip mall. Now it’s a town square design chatecterized as a lifestyle center. Now you take issue with this design.
You wrote a letter critical of the ” truck route” that Rt 117 would become ( your assertion with no proof) I’d retail comes to CC. But your downtown plan with multiple vendors under one roof ( your European style market) with larger chain stores will require multiple truck deliveries for downtown. Using your logic That would turn Rt 120 into a truck route too.
Clearly you have an agenda and don’t hold yourself to the same standards that you require at CC. Rob Greenstein has made it clear that downtown improvements and revitalization is a priority. You will get your chance. But retail at CC - thankfully appears to be coming to a reality.

By RDd on 12/05/2014 at 4:44 pm

My understanding from various residents that visit “our town”, Mt. Pleasant that is, say that New Castle residents don’t want a supermarket because it will bring more traffic, pollution, etc.  Okay, but you’re bringing it to “our town” and not only do you bring more traffic, but overcrowding our stores, not to mention your rudeness toward us.  Many New Castle residents have been quite honest to admit that with the affordable housing being built they’d rather not have a supermarket.  Sounds like you’re all just going to keep looking for excuses to not build these units either.  Shame! Shame!

By Please give us a break! on 12/06/2014 at 12:18 am

I’m a life long resident. Chuck has been on this for years, and would
prefer to build some massive, dark, wet, dingy elevated parking lot in down town ( talk about changing the hamlet forever) and ideally would prefer to name Chappaqua, Napoliville.

All but a very small % of the town wants RD to be as proposed because our town doesn’t have proper shopping for the staples. It’s really ridiculous that such a small minority of NIMBY has stopped it for this long. I live very, very near RD and want this…it’s not going to impact traffic, it’s not going to kill downtown, it’s not going to harm our property values and it’s not going the change the hamlet.

Get over it.

If people are so concerned about the changing character of town, then they should vote to stop allowing large, old parcels from be subdivided, the main cause of increased housing, traffic and loads on the school system….

By Another rediculous letter on 12/06/2014 at 9:36 am

Since the day Greenstein got into office, Summit Greenfield has been carrying him around in their pocket.  If you think it matters that the town and not SG commissioned the report, you are missing the point, it’s the same. 

Is there anyone who will step up and run against this self-serving joke of a supervisor next November?

By Greenstein: Bought and Paid For on 12/06/2014 at 10:49 am

These posters who attack the writer cannot read, or refuse to read because that would challenge their hellbent mission to turn that beautiful campus in to a shopping mall.
The sitting T.B. with the exception of Lisa Katz seem to do the same.
We know that Greenie and Brodsky are muscling this thru and that Jason and Elise are offering no resistance.  Their ignorance as was evidenced by their questions as well as their comments was on full display at the last board meeting.  Jason, are you serious, a jump (humor intended) from 3% to 4 1/5% is your financial reasoning.  That is laughable.  You and Elise have no understanding of the financials of this development.  Collecting back taxes is NOT FINANCIAL PLANNING.
Mr. Napoli has written an informative piece.  It is information not before said or understood.  It has nothing to do with his ideas for the downtown.  A development plan that I do not support, but I do know good information when I see it.
I would also ask Greenie to refrain from dismissing Mr. Napoli as he does each and every time that Chuck comes before the board to contribute his thoughts with “we know what you want Chuck,  you want your development.”  The supervisor has many ways to be dismissive and this is but one.

By James Barron on 12/06/2014 at 12:03 pm

Greenstein : bought etc,

You are so right.  But where is the New Castle Democratic Party.  Why are they silent on all that is going on in town ?????  They too are an embarrassment.

And when will Team New Castle make good on their promise to get rid of Parties at the local level?????

By ?????? on 12/06/2014 at 12:24 pm

Barron - you are wrong on all points. I am no cheerleader for retail at CC and I’m not on a hellbent mission to see it built. But I can detect a fraud and a letter written by someone with his own personal agenda with his own for profit shopping complex. The message can not be separated from the messenger. I do not see this as you do. I do not see Napoli writing an informative piece.
Napoli dismisses 2 studies by AKRF (paid by NewCastle). Both studies agreed with the study paid for by the developer. Experts used historical and projected data . Napoli offers no data and nothing but a few sentences he copied-pasted from a Google search. He focuses on semantics and on what the developer labels the project. He knit picks over ” lifestyle center” vs mall vs strip center. Who cares what it’s called as long as it works and is appropriate. He provides no evidence to refute the findings of experts that retail at CC will not destroy downtown. He is entitled to his opinion but not his own facts.  He lost all credibility when he presented his downtown plan to the board and never acknowledged he was building chain stores for downtown. It took him 2years to call them regional/ national “large format stores”. Anybody paying attention knew that Chuck was planning chain stores for downtown.
Greenstein is correct calling Napoli out at the public hearing. Napoli has an agenda and has a long documented history of criticizing EVERY aspect of CC -he is biased and not objective. His hypocracy has already been pointed out in regards to his double standard regarding the master plan , zoning changes, truck routes etc.
The finances of this project are not the priority. $3million annual revenues is important but not as important as utilizing CC and bringing a much needed Whole Foods,recreational facilities and amenities.
I see Greenstein/Brodsky doing a great job. Why should Jason/Elise offer resistance? They are working towards bringing an upscale project to our community.

By U r flat out wrong on 12/06/2014 at 2:30 pm

More bait and switch if you look at the brochure.  While the artist’s rendering depicts Whole Foods in a town setting with neighboring stores “across the street,” the schematics show the reality of a big box in a parking lot, with its back and loading dock backing onto Roaring Brook.  Lovely.

By Look at the plans, not the pictures on 12/06/2014 at 2:36 pm

Barron - you are wrong on all points. I am no cheerleader for retail at CC and I’m not on a hellbent mission to see it built. But I can detect a fraud and a letter written by someone with his own personal agenda with his own for profit shopping complex. The message can not be separated from the messenger. I do not see this as you do. I do not see Napoli writing an informative piece.
Napoli dismisses 2 studies by AKRF (paid by NewCastle). Both studies agreed with the study paid for by the developer. Experts used historical and projected data . Napoli offers no data and nothing but a few sentences he copied-pasted from a Google search. He focuses on semantics and on what the developer labels the project. He knit picks over ” lifestyle center” vs mall vs strip center. Who cares what it’s called as long as it works and is appropriate. He provides no evidence to refute the findings of experts that retail at CC will not destroy downtown. He is entitled to his opinion but not his own facts.  He lost all credibility when he presented his downtown plan to the board and never acknowledged he was building chain stores for downtown. It took him 2years to call them regional/ national “large format stores”. Anybody paying attention knew that Chuck was planning chain stores for downtown.
Greenstein is correct calling Napoli out at the public hearing. Napoli has an agenda and has a long documented history of criticizing EVERY aspect of CC -he is biased and not objective. His hypocracy has already been pointed out in regards to his double standard regarding the master plan , zoning changes, truck routes etc.
The finances of this project are not the priority. $3million annual revenues is important but not as important as utilizing CC and bringing a much needed Whole Foods,recreational facilities and amenities.
I see Greenstein/Brodsky doing a great job. Why should Jason/Elise offer resistance? They are working towards bringing an upscale project to our community.


mr Barron - this is an exact quote from Napoli in this letter -
“But a “lifestyle center” (that’s how Summit Greenfield is marketing it now) sitting at Chappaqua Crossing is going to deprive the ( downtown) hamlet of its ability to develop….” 
Mr Napoli , a developer himself, has his own development plan for downtown. Clearly he is threatened by retail at CC because in his words will ” deprive the hamlet of its ability to develop”. What he really means is that it will deprive HIM of making money on his downtown development which plans a 400 car garage under a raised turf ball field, 25000 sq ft of retail chain stores and a 5 story theater. His plan has been dead on arrival for years but he just doesn’t get it.
______________

Editor’s Note:  Your description of Chuck Napoli’s plan in grossly inaccurate, Mr. Resident.  “25,000 SF of retail chain stores,” “a 5-story theatre.”  You haven’t been paying attention.  And Napoli hasn’t made an application yet.  It’s you who seem to feel “threatened” by Napoli’s ideas. 

And Summit Greenfield, too, wishes to “make money” on its development proposal. When evaluating the plans of each, this is irrelevant.
______________

He ignores the fact that downtown has been in decline for years with a horrible mix of stores and high prices. That is not due to anything at CC. What viability and what vitality is he referring to? We can develop CC and improve downtown. One does not preclude the other. That has been demonstrated in other areas and confirmed by professional consultants. Last I checked Napoli is neither an expert or consultant in regards to commercial/retail developments.
______________

Editor’s Note:  The Planning Board has had the very same concerns Napoli has expressed about a big new retail development hindering the potential, future viability of the hamlet.  “Develop CC and improve the downtown”? No one knows whether this is possible.  No one.  As far as Napoli being an “expert” or a “consultant,” having watched this process closely, I’m not convinced of the quality of those on whom the Town Board has relied. 
______________

This is a thinly veiled self serving letter by a developer desperate to derail CC because he wants his plan approved. Which it most certainly will not. Downtown needs a facelift and improvements but it won’t be NAPOLIVILLE.

______________

Editor’s Note: Your animus toward Chuck Napoli is palpable.  He is not “desperate to derail CC,” but keenly interested in creating the downtown residents have said they want—in the existing downtown. Again, it’s you who sound “desperate” to discredit him.
______________

I’m disappointed the editor continues to allow this sort of propaganda without providing full disclosure.
______________

Editor’s Note:  And I’m disappointed at your characterization of it as “propaganda.”  Chuck Napoli has spent a lifetime studying our downtown.  His ideas are worth hearing. If they disturb you so much, don’t read his pieces.
______________

 

By Resident on 12/06/2014 at 3:30 pm

Chuck Napoli was asked to submit a development application that would provide town hall with the authority to start a review. I would like to remind Team Green that over the past 20 years $500,000 has been spent by town hall on consultants to think about New Castles developmental future. Town Hall should flip the roles of ‘process’ and spend money on planning, engineering, layout and design that creates ready to go blue prints to be sold. In addition to ‘reverse consulting’ with outside developers on areas of ROI and attracting pools of possible leaseholds or investors. The town should not just sit back by asking Mr. Napoli to submit “your application.” Town Hall should put their own application in and submit it to the world. Imagine a town hall that can establish and show potential baseline plans of development and I will show you a town that is very serious about protecting and safeguarding its future budgets and the interest of its residents. How come town hall does not steal / RUN with Chuck’s plan and actually start coming up with shovel ready approvals that the town can market to any builder in the world? Why is this just a stale 25 yr old concept that to date only has Napoli’s fingerprints all over it? How come in eleven years as a community we have only been waiting to see what can happen with CC or what eventually gets approved? In eleven years we couldn’t tell Charney ‘look at what we have for you, approvals and blue prints to develop a world class Medical College Campus, or a Cloud Campus of servers having NSA as its major anchor Tenant’. Mr. Greenstein, Brodsky, Katz, what is your margin of operational difference from all those that have served the town before you? One year in town hall and you seem to be blending into the same old 25 yr old landscape as to how things work. What happen with being filled with vitamin C and vinegar. Please don’t start another panel, group, or advisory committe; this is why CHINA is beating us up.

By Vinegar drink on 12/06/2014 at 5:09 pm

Madame Editor- I believe I have struck your NIMBY nerve. Mr Napoli is quite capable of defending himself. He has written multiple letters and he used to respond in comments.
I have no animus towards Chuck. I just call BS when I read BS. Like you, he is opposed to retail at CC. You because you are a NIMBY and he because it is a threat to his downtown plan. You give him unfettered access and a pulpit and never disclose his agenda. In this letter he plainly states that retail at CC will deprive downtown its ability to develop. What he means is HIS ability to develop. Of course SG is in it for the profit - we all know that. But Chuck continues to write these letters as if he is just a concerned citizen when it’s more than that. If he thinks his plan for downtown will do more for our community than retail at CC and retail at CC will deprive him then let him make that case. But that’s not what he does and you enable him.
I most certainly have been paying attention and my description of his plan is not grossly inaccurate. His plans include a 400 car garage, a raised turf field above, 20-25k sq ft of new retail to include chain stores and a 5 story theater. All requiring variances and zoning changes. What did I get wrong? You are not convinced of the quality of those the town board has relied. There is your NIMBY again. 3 studies have been done. Had AKRF concluded that downtown would be harmed you would be singing from the rafters that they are experts. But they support retail at CC so you don’t accept their conclusions. I’m glad the board has.
I’m not sure I understand your point that Chuck has studied downtown for years. It’s deteriorated the 20 years I’ve lived here and I don’t see how Napoli studying such decline makes any difference.

By Resident continued on 12/06/2014 at 6:45 pm

Dear Editor Yeres- I fully agree with Resident and others that challenge Mr Napoli on his motive and agenda. He speaks often at board meetings and is a regular contributor to your publication. He regularly omits the important fact that he is a developer with a plan for downtown in process. I have seen his plans and they are inappropriate and impractical. In this letter he expresses concern that retail at CC will ” deprive” downtowns ability to develop. He means deprive HIM of HIS plan to develop.
In Residents comment above you liberally interject your Editor’s Note to offer rebuttal and your opinion. Why don’t you provide your Editors Note and provide a disclaimer identifyng Napoli for what he is? Editors use notes for purpose of correction and clarification. Your Editors Notes should read Nimby Notes because you offer opinions and support for the anti CC lobby. Besides,why are u responding for and defending chuck? Let him speak for himself.
Like Napoli you dismiss the several studies by experts that agree CC and downtown will compliment one another. Instead you throw the town board under the bus when you question their judgement because you don’t like “those they relied on”. That’s not an appropriate use of an editors note.

By RM on 12/07/2014 at 8:32 am

If downtown is so terrible, why did we all move here?  Of course it needs some tinkering, we would all like some improvements. Major real estate development will change the character of the town. You know what you have, do you really want to take a chance on what you are going to get? See how CC plays out before you take on downtown redevelopment.

By Concerned on 12/07/2014 at 8:34 am

Editor- why not let Mr Napoli defend himself and answer his critics? He is a big boy. No need for you to answer for him.

By PK on 12/07/2014 at 1:28 pm

I can’t imagine why Chuck Napoli or any other developer would want to invest money into a development proposal for downtown Chappaqua without first knowing what is going to happen with retail at Chappaqua Crossing.  As it is, I believe all of the downtown stores and landlords are extremely concerned about a decision which feels, and is, completely out of their control.  Once the decisions are made, everything will “shake out” over time.  However, I don’t think any of the players think SG’s plan will be GOOD for downtown Chappaqua.  The best they could hope for is neutral, one would think.

By just sayin' on 12/08/2014 at 8:47 am

I happen to not think that building retail at Reader’s Digest will preclude the downtown from being revitalized, but who really knows?  What I am having a hard time reconciling is the fact that without CC, for the 22 years I have lived in this town, nothing has been done to revitalize downtown.  If it is not working without CC, why blame CC if it does not work going forward?

By Long time resident on 12/08/2014 at 10:16 am

Here is the problem with downtown Chappaqua. The ability for both landlords and those that occupy the commercial buildings in downtown Chappaqua are finding it impossible to keep up with the cost of property taxes, property insurance, and common area maintenance, that are all passed onto the occupant / merchant / business owner, of the space that they lease or own. Therefore, we as a community need to give the landlords / property owners /  merchants / business owners,  of downtown Chappaqua the ability to “dilute” their commercial property expenses by allowing them to add additional floors to their buildings, or simply “use” their space in a manner that only they really know how it should be utilized in order to keep the downtown area of Chappaqua vibrant and at a level that we have all come to demand as a community while these owners continue to originate the ability to pay all property expenses on a daily basis. We can all ask town hall to distribute any additional taxes onto the residential sector, but why would we accept this or unknowingly move in that direction? When we think about downtown Chappaqua and its future, we should not tie such thoughts to Mr. Napoli, but instead should all know the name of our Planner. Who is our Planner, what is his name, and what visions does he have? It is sad to think that those who find this interesting can point to Mr. Napoli, but they wouldn’t know who to point to at town hall. So who is responsible for downtown Chappaqua and its future survival, and do they know the signs of trouble when they see it? If they do see it, when do they choose to be proactive in offering uncoordinated help based on what they see. Are they not suppose to conduct the activities of their Office / Department in such a manner? And if not, should this be a structural change as to how town hall goes about the business of the community? What do you think Adam, Katz, Greenstein? We need to allow Chain Restaurants into New Castle!

By Uncoordinated help on 12/11/2014 at 1:23 pm


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