Chappaqua Crossing submits preliminary plan for retail development
Retail makes partial use of existing buildings, plus new construction
Perspective from the southeast; photos in “Read more…”
1:30 p.m. Tuesday, October 16, 2012
by Christine Yeres
The Planning Board members will at last have something to see when they discuss Chappaqua Crossing in an evening work session broadcast live tonight at 7:00 p.m. Today Summit Greenfield submitted a “Preliminary Development Plan” for the addition of a “retail component” on the property. The plan consists of two renderings—one a view from the Saw Mill, the other of the interior of the southernmost part of the campus.
The view from across the Saw Mill shows a new construction to the south designed to match the iconic Georgian center cupola building in both design and height (not including the cupola), to replace the box-like existing buildings that were added after the main cupola building. The word “GROCERY” is etched across the center of the added wing.
An accompanying press release describes a grocery of between 36,000 and 66,000 square feet to make a total of 120,000 square feet of retail space. The new construction “would replace an equal amount of existing office space on the site.” No floor plans are supplied with the renderings, so it remains unclear what existing office space would be sacrificed. Since the overall footprint appears to have been increased, it may be floors that are eliminated.
The view from the southeast shows the inside of the campus, where that new wing of grocery serves as one side of a loosely organized tree-studded rectangle of parking bordered by several clusters of two- and three-story buildings facing Roaring Brook Road across the parking lot. A roadway cuts into the retail shopping parking lot from Roaring Brook Road, where the entryway has been realigned with the Greeley entrance. All three entrances to the property would remain ungated—the two Roaring Brook Road entrances and the single Bedford Road entrance—and trucks deliveries would be limited to the Bedford Road entryway.
That center formal entryway from Bedford Road that points directly to the center door marked by the cupola is the dividing line: On entering the campus there, to the left would be the retail shopping buildings; to the right is the area reserved for the planned residential development of fee simple townhouses and condominium apartments including 20 affordable units, totaling 111 residential units. The long northern wing of the former Reader’s Digest, a series of boxy office buildings—140,000 square feet of which is currently rented out to tenants—seems to have remained unchanged.
Chappaqua Crossing proposes to spend $2 million to improve roadways, including turning lanes for both north and southbound traffic on Bedford Road at Roaring Brook Road, and for east and westbound traffic at the high school entryway.
“A retail component on the property as envisioned by the Town Board,” reads the statement, “would inject new energy to the property and would stimulate interest in the available office space on the site. Summit/Greenfield views the Town Board’s rezoning plan as an intelligent approach to the property that will benefit Chappaqua residents by providing a much-needed full-service grocery store and substantially boosting the tax base through greater use of one of the few large commercially zoned properties in the town.”
Below is reprinted in its entirety today’s press release from Chappaqua Crossing, from Geoff Thompson of Thompson & Bender.
PRELIMINARY DEVELOPMENT PLAN IS SUBMITTED
TO TOWN OF NEW CASTLE FOR RETAIL COMPONENT
TO BE BUILT AT CHAPPAQUA CROSSING
Responding to Town Board’s Proposed Retail Zoning,
Plan Includes Full-Service Grocery and Support Retail Stores
CHAPPAQUA, NY (October 16, 2012)—Responding to a New Castle Town Board proposal to create retail zoning that would allow for construction of a full-service grocery store and ancillary retail stores on a portion of the Chappaqua Crossing campus, the owners of the property has submitted to the Town a petition and plan for retail use on the site.
The Preliminary Development Concept Plan was submitted to the Town on Monday by Summit/Greenfield, who seven years ago acquired the 120-acre property that formerly was the headquarters for the Reader’s Digest Association.
The plan includes 120,000 square feet of retail space including the full-service grocery and support retail stores. The retail space would replace an equal amount of existing office space on the site. The grocery would be between 36,000 and 66,000 square feet. The plan specifically excludes “big box” stores and fast food restaurants, neither of which would be permitted in the zone.
Chappaqua lost its grocery store with the closing of a D’Agostino’s more than a year ago. The Town Board has proposed expanding the permitted use in the BR-O zoning district necessary to allow for a full-service grocery store and support stores to be built at Chappaqua Crossing. Summit/Greenfield said strong interest is being expressed for the site from preeminent grocery companies.
The retail component would tie together and stabilize the entire campus and will provide the Town with much-needed diverse housing alternatives, office space and retail including a grocery store, while generating millions of dollars in tax revenues for the Town and the Chappaqua Central School District. The planned development of this site will serve as a model for how a large, single tenant corporate office campus can be adaptively re-used.
The retail area would be located at the southern end of the property. Barton Partners Architects has designed the proposed changes to the existing buildings to blend with the Neo-Georgian brick of the original Reader’s Digest building. The ancillary retail space will have a complementary architectural style.
The retail center would have 600 parking spaces. Existing parking for the office building that would be used for the retail development will be replaced elsewhere on the site to maintain the required 1,680 spaces for the offices. The balance of the office building would continue in that use. Currently Northern Westchester Hospital, Mount Kisco Medical Group, Fiber Media and WeeZee Sensory Gym are tenants.
All truck deliveries to the grocery store would be made to an enclosed, loading dock beneath the grocery store. Deliveries to the smaller stores would be to an area along the rear of the buildings. The office building would continue to be served by its existing loading dock. Truck access to the entire site would be restricted to the Bedford Road (Route 117) entrance.
Chappaqua Crossing would continue to be served by entrances at Bedford Road (Route117) and two on Roaring Brook Road. Under the plan for the retail, there would no longer be any gated access to the site with all three entrances providing access to the entire property. The southerly entrance on Roaring Brook Road would be shifted to line-up opposite the entrance to Horace Greeley High School.
Under the plan, Summit/Greenfield would make approximately $2 million in traffic infrastructure improvements to Roaring Brook and Bedford roads. These improvements would include installation of turning lanes for both north and southbound traffic on Bedford Road at Roaring Brook Road and for both east and westbound traffic on Roaring Brook Road at the relocated south driveway. An internal loop road would be maintained to provide easy circulation within the Chappaqua Crossing property.
In addition to the office and retail use, under the plan Chappaqua Crossing would also have 111 units of fee simple and condominium housing including 20 affordable units, as approved by the Town Board in April 2011.
Chappaqua Crossing is the largest single tax paying property in the Town of New Castle and in the Chappaqua Central School District. A retail component on the property as envisioned by the Town Board would inject new energy to the property and would stimulate interest in the available office space on the site. Summit/Greenfield views the Town Board’s rezoning plan as an intelligent approach to the property that will benefit Chappaqua residents by providing a much-needed full-service grocery store and substantially boosting the tax base through greater use of one of the few large commercially zoned properties in the town.
Perspective from the southeast
Perspective from the Saw Mill River Highway