Summit Greenfield submits “Supermarket and Retail Market Analysis” of Chappaqua Crossing

Monday, March 4, 2013
by Christine Yeres

Back in December the Town Board, as part of its SEQR review of the proposal for 120,000 square feet of grocery-and-retail at Chappaqua Crossing, asked Summit Greenfield to supply analysis showing “the rationale and local and regional demand” for such additional retail use,” “impacts to neighborhood community character,” and “potential impact . . . on the Chappaqua and Millwood hamlet business districts.” 

Summit Greenfield responded last week with a revised Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) containing a market analysis by HR&A Advisors, Inc.  Conclusions: The Chappaqua Crossing site would support far more grocery and retail development than is proposed, and, by capturing residents’ spending now “being leaked to areas outside of the hamlets,” the grocery-and-retail at Chappaqua Crossing “will have minimal effect on existing retailers in the two hamlets.” Moreover, according to HR&A, “by keeping the customer closer to home existing hamlet retailers have the potential to capture some of this spending as well.”

HR&A’s “Supermarket and Retail Market Analysis” states that “there is broad capturable support for 308,000 to 407,000 square feet of total retail space including 88,000 to 113,000 square feet of grocery retail (food and beverage stores) within the defined Trade Areas around the Site.” The trade areas are two imperfect circles drawn around Chappaqua Crossing’s bulls eye, and defined by 10-minute and 15-minute driving times from the site.

Further, the report states, “The development of a supermarket and ancillary retail at Chappaqua Crossing presents an opportunity to capture a significant portion of Chappaqua and Millwood resident spending that is currently being leaked to areas outside of the hamlets, while at the same time having minimal effect on existing retailers in these locations.” A comparison of the retail uses planned at Chappaqua Crossing, the report states, “with those that currently exist in the hamlets indicates that while there may be some overlap, it does not appear that the Project would have significant adverse impacts on the commercial nature of the hamlets.”  According to the HR&A report, a grocery at Chappaqua Crossing will draw consumers that the Chappaqua and Millwood hamlets may capture as well.

Data on resident income and spending, area grocery and retail competition, retail composition of hamlets

The full HR&A report [minus two area maps, as noted] follows.  Included are data on demographics, income (10514 residents, “have the 37th highest income level of all zip codes in the US”), spending potential (residents spent “approximately $20.1 million in supermarket and $92 million in non-grocery retail goods outside of the hamlets”), “unmet spending potential,” existing grocery competitor sets, the quality of those competitors, target areas and drive times.

Tax revenues

While the HR&A report does not include an analysis of revenues to the town, elsewhere in the SEIS documents, Summit Greenfield states that the grocery-with-retail proposal will contribute more than “$650,000 in taxes over the Approved Project.”  That is, $650,000 more than the $2.3 million that the approved plan for 111 residential units and the leasing of all 662,000 square feet of office space promises to yield. 

[For background on the Town Board’s reasoning in suggesting a grocery-and-retail use for Chappaqua Crossing and on the expected tax revenue from the project, see “A primer on the proposal for a grocery and retail at Chappaqua Crossing,”, 11/26/13.]

Impacts to neighborhood and town

The HR&A report is Summit Greenfield’s market analysis; the question of “impacts to neighborhood character” is addressed in another section of the SEIS, where it reads, “The Applicant believes that the proposed design of the SEIS-Proposed Project would avoid significant adverse impacts to community character of the surrounding area and the Town of New Castle,” and states that “Impacts associated with traffic would be mitigated through the construction of improvements at two intersections in the vicinity of the Project Site, which the Applicant would construct or fund.”  These include 1) the creation of additional turning lanes on Route 117 and Roaring Brook Road—right turning lane for southbound traffic and a left turning lane for northbound traffic; and 2) the relocation of the Roaring Brook Road entryway to Chappaqua Crossing to line up across from the high school entrance with dedicated right and left turning lanes at that intersection, controlled by a traffic light.

See “Traffic Study for Chappaqua Crossing with grocery and other retail,”, 11/25/12.

Where we are in the SEQR process

As lead agency on Summit Greenfield’s application, the Town Board will review this latest SEIS for “completeness” before advancing to public hearings on the proposed project.

Supermarket and Retail Market Analysis of Chappaqua Crossing

Prepared by:
HR&A Advisors, Inc.
99 Hudson Street, Third Floor New York, NY 10013
Prepared For:
Summit/Greenfield Development
February 25, 2013

Table of Contents

I. Introduction__________________________________________________ 03
II. Methodology_________________________________________________03
III. Demographic Overview________________________________________05
IV. Retail Supply________________________________________________07
V. Retail Demand_______________________________________________17
VI. Development Implications______________________________________18



HR&A was retained by Summit/Greenfield Development (“S/G”) to analyze demand for a supermarket and ancillary retail development at Chappaqua Crossing (the “Project”), located in Chappaqua, New York.

Project Location: The Project site (the “Site”) is located on 114 acres in the northeastern portion of the Town of New Castle which is in the northern portion of Westchester County, New York, approximately 30 miles due north of Midtown Manhattan. The site is located at the Intersection of Roaring Brook Road and Bedford Road, immediately east of the Saw Mill River Parkway. It is approximately two miles north of the hamlet of Chappaqua and three miles east of the hamlet of Millwood, both of which are located in the Town of New Castle.

Site History: The Project site is the former corporate campus of the Reader’s Digest Association, Inc. The Site was initially developed in 1939 by Reader’s Digest and includes over 700,000 square feet of office and support space. At its peak period Reader’s Digest employed approximately 7,000 people on site working multiple daily shifts. S/G purchased the Site in 2004 and retained Reader’s Digest as a partial tenant until 2009 when that company vacated the Site concurrent to its filing for Chapter XI bankruptcy. In April 2011, the Town Board approved 662,000 square feet of commercial office space in the B-RO-20 District and 111 multi-family residential units in an MFPD District on the Project site.

SEIS-Proposed Project: Under the SEIS-Proposed Project, Summit/Greenfield proposes to add 120,000 square feet of retail use and remove 120,000 square feet of office use, therefore retaining 662,000 square feet of commercial space on the Project site. The retail component of the SEIS-Proposed Project would be anchored by a full-service grocery store of 36,000-66,000 square feet with the balance of 54,000 -84,000 square feet leased to complementary retail tenants. The SEIS-Proposed Project also includes 111 multi-family residential units as previously approved by the Town Board in 2011.


For this market analysis, HR&A utilized a set of standard real estate industry accepted procedures and methodologies to calculate area retail supply and demand for a supermarket and other retail uses and to assess the Project’s likely impact on existing retail in Chappaqua and Millwood. (For the purposes of this report the words “supermarket” and “grocery” are used interchangeably and the word “retail” includes restaurants in addition to traditional shops.)

Specifically, HR&A utilized the following methods:

Trade Areas: Standard retail market analysis begins with defining Trade Areas: geographic areas from which a business or center of retail draws most of its customers. Trade Areas can be defined by set geographic areas (zip codes, municipalities, counties, etc.), drive-time areas, rings, or custom polygons that are influenced by natural or man-made borders and geographic features. Because of northern Westchester County’s strong north-south arterial connections and lack of lateral roadways combined with the abundance of area-defining bodies of water, drive-time Trade Area analysis provides the most accurate picture of regional retail activity. To this end, HR&A defined the Primary Trade Area as the 10-Minute Drive-Time from the project site and the Secondary Trade Area as the area outside the 10-minute area but inside a 15-Minute Drive-Time.

HR&A also evaluated the current supply and market demand for retail offerings in the hamlets of Chappaqua and Millwood. HR&A defined the Trade Areas for these two hamlets as the circular geography created by a one-mile radius from the center of each hamlet. Because of the small size of both the hamlets themselves and their retail offerings, a one-mile radius is an adequate Trade Area to fully capture the supply within the hamlets and to generate an estimate of area demand that would regularly support the local retail.

Existing Retail Sales (Supply): HR&A utilized proprietary retail sales figures from ERSI’s Business Analyst Online (ESRI) to identify existing retail sales for all of the defined Trade Areas. ESRI, a third-party data provider, provides sales data for defined geographies based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) retail industry categories.

Retail Demand: HR&A utilized ESRI data to identify the total demand for retail goods in the defined Trade Areas. ESRI’s demand estimates are based on the US Census’ Consumer Expenditure Survey, which identifies annual household expenditures on goods and services for a set of NAICS retail industry categories and ESRI’s proprietary Tapestry Segmentation system which adjusts demand calculations based on the demographic profiles of area residents.

Capture Rates: Capture rates are the percentage of total potential spending in any retail category that could reasonably be expected to occur at a given location based on competitive venues, proximity to customer base, drive-time, and quality of venue. HR&A estimated capturable sales and supportable square feet of retail space by applying a range of conservative capture rates to the gap between existing supply and estimated demand from residents within the defined Trade Areas to determine capturable sales.

As part of this process, HR&A analyzed the retail offerings in the Trade Areas to identify retail uses that are under-represented or missing from the market. Higher capture rates were assigned to those categories that are underserved, assuming that if those goods and services were available in the Project they would receive greater market support.

Sales Per Square Foot: HR&A translated capturable sales into supportable square footage estimates based on industry averages of sales per square foot for a set of use categories. Estimates for average sales per square foot by retail category were provided by Retail MAXIM and Dollars and Cents of Shopping Centers which is published by the International Council of Shopping Centers.

Demographic Overview

It is expected that customers for the supermarket and ancillary retail in the Project will come from the Town of New Castle (including the hamlets of Chappaqua and Millwood), the remainder of the Primary Trade Area and the Secondary Trade Area. To this end, HR&A examined the demographic characteristics of household in these geographies.

The Site is located in one of the most affluent areas in the country. In fact, Forbes Magazine ranked Westchester County as the 47th wealthiest county in the US based on median household income. Similarly, a Business Week report on income tax returns found the residents of the Chappaqua zip code, 10514, to have the 37th highest income level of all zip codes in the US. [Footnote 1]

Area income levels are a key demographic indicator that retailers evaluate as part of their site selection process. As indicated in the following table, median household incomes of residents within the Trade Areas, the Town of New Castle and Westchester County are significantly above the national median of $52,762, and the New York State median of $56,951. In fact, at $200,000 the median household income in New Castle is nearly four times the national median.

Similarly, home values are significantly higher than the national average of $186,200 and New York State average of $301,000. Homeownership rates are higher in the Trade Areas and the Town of New Castle than the national and state rates. Westchester County as a whole has a lower home ownership rate than the US but a higher rate than the State.

As part of a psychographic evaluation of potential consumers, retailers also look at area educational attainment as part of their site selection process. The Trade Areas, the Town of New Castle, and Westchester County all have remarkably high educational attainment levels. The percentage of residents over the age of 25 with at least a bachelor’s degree in all of those areas is significantly higher than the national rate of 28.2% and the State rate of 32.5%. In fact, an impressive 78% of New Castle residents over the age of 25 have earned at least a bachelor’s degree and 26% have gone on to earn a master’s degree.

[Footnote 2]

In addition to overall area demographics and income levels, retailers evaluate area residents’ spending patterns on retail goods and services as part of their site selection process. According to US Census demographic data and ESRI, households within the Primary and Secondary Trade Area spend an average of $10,300 and $9,700, respectively, on grocery products a year. Households in those same Trade Areas spend, on average, $27,000 and $26,400 on non-grocery and non-auto related retail goods. As identified in this report’s demand analysis, the retail spending of residents near the hamlets of Chappaqua and Millwood are even higher than the Trade Area averages.

Retail Supply

Grocery Supply in the Primary and Secondary Trade Areas: Based on ESRI retail sales figures and industry sales per square foot averages for groceries, HR&A estimated that there is approximately 180,000 square feet of grocery space in the Primary Trade Area and an additional 132,000 square feet in the Secondary Trade Area [Footnote 3]. HR&A estimated area space supply by dividing Trade Area sales by average category sales per square foot for the three categories NAICS identifies as part of the broader Food and Beverage Store category: 1. Food/Grocery Store, 2. Specialty Food Stores, and 3. Beer, Wine, and Liquor Stores.

Within an approximately 15-minute drive-time from the Site, HR&A, along with Divney Tung Schwalbe, identified 13 standard format Traditional Supermarkets. [Footnote 4] A&P is the most prevalent operator with six stores. ShopRite has two stores. At 36,000 square feet, the average Traditional Supermarket within the Trade Area is slightly smaller than the national average size of 45,000 square feet. In addition, there is one Supercenter, represented by Target. Within the Primary Trade Area the team identified eight neighborhood grocers and delis (which the Food Marketing Industry (FMI) classifies small-scale grocery retail in the “Other” category). Grocery consumers have to travel outside the Trade Areas to shop at a large-scale Warehouse Store such as BJ’s and Costco and Fresh Format Stores such as Whole Foods.

The following table indicates the location, size, and distance from the Site of area supermarkets and local small-scale grocery stores. It should be noted that there are a number of stores located in the broader New York City region that are missing from this market: Stop and Shop has only one store; Pathmark does not have a presence; and Fairway has yet to enter the northern Westchester market.

[Omitted: Map of Regional Grocery Competitive Set]

Retail Supply in the Primary and Secondary Trade Areas: ESRI’s estimate of existing total annual retail sales (exclusive of grocery sales) identifies $221 million and $261 million in the Primary and Secondary Trade Areas. HR&A estimated that there is an existing supply of 676,000 square feet of non-grocery retail in the Primary Trade Area and 893,000 square feet of retail in the Secondary Trade Area (net of the Primary Trade Area). A complete summary of Trade Area retail supply and demand by retail category is included in the following table.

In general, retail supply within the Trade Areas can be found in big-box anchored developments (which include smaller retail and restaurant tenants), small strip centers, and small-scale hamlet retail clusters adjacent to Metro North Train Stations. The following table identifies the larger shopping concentrations in the Primary and Secondary Trade Areas.

[Omitted: Map of Trade Area Outdoor Shopping Centers (as listed above)]

It is important to note that the Route 117 corridor which includes the retail cluster in the village of Mt. Kisco as well as the strip centers along Route 117 just north of the village in both Mt. Kisco and Bedford Hills (an area that HR&A has defined to include the area one-mile on both the east and west side of Route 117 from Route 128 in the south to the Bedford Hills MTA station in the north), has become an important shopping destination for residents of Northern Westchester County. Located approximately three to five miles north of the Site, this area has an array of local and national retailers in both a downtown pedestrian-based setting as well as in larger big-box formats along Route 117 (Bedford Road). Based on ESRI retail sales figures and industry sales per square foot averages, HR&A estimated that there is approximately 458,000 square feet of existing retail space within the defined geography. The following table identifies a summary of major retail categories by square feet of retail space as calculated by translating annual sales by category into square feet based on industry averages for sales per square foot.

[Footnote 5]

According to ESRI data, $162 million in annual sales is generated by this collection of retailers, of which residents of the same defined geography account for an estimated $133 million. Thus, HR&A estimates that $29 million in annual sales is generated by residents from adjacent areas, including those living in the Town of New Castle.

Retail Supply in the Hamlets of Chappaqua and Millwood: In comparison to the broad offerings within the Route 117 Mt. Kisco/Bedford Hills retail corridor, the amount of retail space within the Hamlets of Chappaqua and Millwood is rather limited. Based on ESRI retail sales figures and industry sales per square foot averages, HR&A estimated that there is approximately 50,000-70,000 square feet of retail space in 84 locations in the hamlet of Chappaqua and 30,000-50,000 square feet of retail space in 24 locations in the hamlet of Millwood. [Footnote 6] Of the 108 retailers filling these spaces, 15 are national or regional credit-tenants and the remainder is represented by local operators.

The retail in Chappaqua is clustered near the Metro North Station along Greeley Avenue, Allen Place and King Street. Personal services (such as banks, cleaners and hair/nail salons), boutique clothing and home goods, and restaurants/delis/cafes are dominant categories within this cluster. There is also a broad supply of business services including law firms, financial service firms and real estate brokerage offices.

Most retailers are in small, one- or two-story structures with street side entrances. The majority of parking within this area is shared, curbside parking which makes parking a challenge in peak shopping periods and on weekends.

The largest retailer in Chappaqua on a square footage basis is a 9,500 square foot Rite Aid at 50 North Greeley Avenue. There is an additional small cluster of retail at the intersection of King Street and Bedford Road. The largest store within this cluster is a former small-scale D’Agostino’s grocery store that is reportedly going to be occupied by Walgreens. That site has on-site parking, as do several of the other smaller retailers at that intersection.

The retail in Millwood is located in two clusters: one at the intersection of Saw Mill River Road and Station Place and the other roughly a quarter mile north at the intersection of Station Place and Millwood Road. There are several small-scale strip shopping centers in Millwood, with tenants such as A&S Fine Foods, Chase Bank and Dodd’s Liquor Store that have ample on-site parking. The largest retailer in Millwood is a 20,000 square foot A&P Supermarket at 230 Saw Mill River Road.

The following table is a detailed summary of retail locations and operators within the Hamlets of Chappaqua and Millwood.

Planned and Proposed Retail Development: In addition to the supply of retail offerings within the Trade Areas, there are sites that have been rumored within the local real estate community to be potential retail development projects. For example, there is a 30,000 square foot industrial parcel in Armonk that is zoned for retail and could be redeveloped. Similarly, there is a 30,000 square foot site in Pleasantville that is primed for retail development. Lastly, as previously mentioned, located near the Site in the hamlet of Chappaqua is a small shopping center at the intersection of Bedford Road and King Street. D’Agostino’s formerly occupied the shopping center’s largest space but that operator closed that store when it reconsolidated all its non-urban format stores in 2011. It has been reported in many publications that Walgreen’s will be occupying the currently vacant space.

North of the Trade Areas, there is the potential for development on a site that could support a 100,000 square foot retail project across from the Cortland Town Center.

Retail Supply Outside of the Trade Areas: Consumers that are seeking a more traditional indoor shopping mall experience, with department stores and national chains, must drive to other areas of the County. A look at the whole of Westchester County indicates that the bulk of large-scale shopping centers are located in the southern portion of the county or the far northern section in and around Yorktown. The largest shopping centers within Westchester County are identified in the table below.

Retail Demand

Based on an analysis of current retail demand, HR&A found that there is broad capturable support for 308,000 to 407,000 square feet of total retail space including 88,000 to 113,000 square feet of grocery retail (food and beverage stores) within the defined Trade Areas around the Site. HR&A also identified more localized capturable support within the hamlets of Chappaqua and Millwood for additional retail space.

Grocery Demand in the Primary and Secondary Trade Areas: HR&A estimated that there is unmet spending potential of $83.2 million of grocery retail within the Primary Trade Area and an additional $51.9 million within the Secondary Trade Area that is leaking to areas outside the Trade Areas. By applying a range of capture rates (40-50% in the Primary Trade Area and 30-40% in the Secondary Trade Area) to the total demand, HR&A estimated that retail development at the Site could support a supermarket of between 88,000 and 113,000 square feet. HR&A estimated area space demand by dividing Trade Area demand by category sales per square foot averages for the three categories NAICS identifies as part of the broader Food and Beverage Store category: 1. Food/Grocery Store, 2. Specialty Food Stores, and 3. Beer, Wine, and Liquor Stores.

The square footage range for the Project’s proposed supermarket of 36,000 to 66,000 is an ideal range to attract many qualified operators. The supermarket industry is one of “razor thin” margins. Operators need to have stores of substantial size to achieve the economies of scale necessary to support profitable operations. With the national average of supermarket sizes slightly over 45,000, the range of proposed sizes at the Project will support successful supermarket operations.

Other Retail Demand in the Primary and Secondary Trade Areas: Exclusive of grocery demand, HR&A estimated that there is unmet retail spending potential of $248 million on non-grocery retail within the Primary Trade Area and an additional $50 million within the Secondary Trade Area that is leaking to areas outside the Trade Areas. This translates to a total of approximately 750,000 square feet of retail space that is supported outside of the Trade Areas by the leakage of retail spending of residents who live within the Trade Areas. By applying a range of capture rates (30-40% in the Primary Trade Area and 20-30% in the Secondary Trade Area) to the defined unmet spending potential, HR&A estimated that retail development at the Site could support between 220,000 and 295,000 square feet of non-grocery retail space. HR&A estimated area space demand by dividing capturable demand by category sales per square foot averages for each non-grocery retail category as identified by NAICS. Sales per square foot figures are included as a column in Figure 6 of this report.

Development Implications

The development of a supermarket and ancillary retail at Chappaqua Crossing presents an opportunity to capture a significant portion of Chappaqua and Millwood resident spending that is currently being leaked to areas outside of the hamlets, while at the same time having minimal effect on existing retailers in these locations.

Comparison to Existing Retail-Capturable Spending Potential: Within the shopping center industry, supermarkets are often described as an “anchor” for retail development in that they draw a high volume of customers to a specific location. By locating adjacent to or near a supermarket, other retailers have exposure to their customers (and potential sales) while the customer has an opportunity and convenience to shop in one location or several nearby locations. Given the leakage of spending potential that is occurring, it is clear that Chappaqua and Millwood residents are not only shopping for groceries outside the hamlets, but for other retail offerings as well. As previously indicated, this represents approximately $20.1 million in supermarket spending and $92 million in non-grocery retail good spending that is not being captured by existing retailers in Chappaqua and Millwood. While the retail component of the Project has the potential to capture some of this spending, by keeping the customer closer to home existing hamlet retailers have the potential to capture some of this pending as well. In this context, it should be noted that until recently there was a D’Agostino supermarket, a short car ride from the Chappaqua hamlet retail cluster. It is reasonable to assume that a supermarket at the Project Site will replace that use and will recapture some of the customers who have since gone outside the hamlet to shop for similar goods.

Comparison to Existing Retail-Store Size: The ability of the Project to accommodate tenants that require store sizes larger than the physical spaces in Chappaqua and Millwood hamlets can house has the potential to attract retailers that now need to look at other areas if they want to capture the Chappaqua/Millwood consumer market. Tenants that require 3,000 square feet or more of retail space are generally large, national credit-tenants that have stringent internal site-selection requirements including store size, store depth, co-tenanting and parking space quantity. The current supply of space in the hamlets does not meet the site-selection criteria of most tenants looking for space larger than 3,000 square feet.

A comparison of the store sizes within the hamlets and those in the Project show that the vast majority of stores in both hamlets are small, less than 3,000 square feet. Many of them are in spaces that either are repurposed to support retail uses or are otherwise not conducive to attracting larger-scale retail tenants. The modified Proposed Retail Legislation indicates that the Project will have a limitation to the size of stores included in the plan. As per the legislation, “The minimum floor area occupied by a single use in an Office Park Retail overlay District shall be 1,500 square feet, but in no case shall there be more than four retail tenants each having a floor area under 5,000 square feet.” These size restrictions allow the Project to host an array of retailers that would otherwise look outside of Chappaqua and Millwood for a location.

Because of the proximity of the Project to the Hamlet of Chappaqua, HR&A believes that there will be net positive effect as the hamlet will be able to capture some of the additional capturable sales being brought into the hamlet by consumers who will shop at the Project Site.

Comparison to Existing Retail-Tenant Mix: While having a supermarket with ancillary retail at Chappaqua Crossing will provide a convenient shopping alternative for area residents, given the size of the retail component the number of retailers at Chappaqua Crossing will be limited. A comparison of retail uses planned for the site with those that currently exist in the hamlets indicates that while there may be some overlap, it does not appear that the Project would have significant adverse impacts on the commercial nature of the hamlets.

For example, as shown in Figure 10, of the 84 stores in Chappaqua, 12 are categorized as personal service (nails, hair, spa etc.), which are not permitted under the Project zoning. Eleven of the retail spaces are being uses as professional offices (real estate brokers, law firms, financial insurance agents), which are not part of the retail vision for the Project. While there may be several restaurants in the Project, the 16- restaurant/cafe cluster in the hamlet shopping district has become a destination for dining that attracts residents from the area as well as from outside the area. Given this, it is expected that the overall vitality of hamlet should not experience a significant impact from the addition of a few restaurant offerings at the Project site.

In addition, there are close to three dozen specialty retail shops in the Chappaqua hamlet which offer a range of goods—from personalized stationery to gifts, to clothing, to hardware- set within a walkable, architecturally diverse area. While it can be expected that certain stores could be impacted by the limited number of retail stores at the Project, there is the potential that with more customers staying closer to home to buy groceries, stores in the hamlet may be able to capture the spending of customers who are now going outside the area for shopping.

Although smaller in nature, the retail area of Millwood has a mix of tenants that includes personal services (6), restaurants (5), 8 diverse retail stores, a small supermarket and a bank, among others. It is anticipated that while the retail component of the Project may impact some of these businesses, as is the case with Chappaqua, they also have the potential to capture sales that are currently being leaked elsewhere and that the catalyst for this will be the retail component of the Project.


2- Source: US Census and ESRI BAO
3- Total existing grocery retail sales square footage estimates may vary based on actual sales performance of existing retailers.
4- Store category definitions provided by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI).
5- Total existing retail sales square footage estimates may vary based on actual sales performance of existing retailers.
6- Total existing retail sales square footage estimates may vary based on actual sales performance of existing retailers.
7- Source: CoStar Online real estate services
8- Food Marketing Institute

Related:  Town Bd sends Summit Greenfield 36 pages detailing need for more info on grocery-retail proposal,, 12/21/12.

A primer on the proposal for a grocery and retail at Chappaqua Crossing,”, 11/26/13

Traffic Study for Chappaqua Crossing with grocery and other retail,”, 11/25/12.


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

Disclosure:  The author (Christine Yeres) of this piece lives off of Roaring Brook Road, across the street from Reader’s Digest. 

And I’m suspending comments.  Too many bench-able offenses.

Feel free to send letters to the editor or comments directly to “[email protected]” and specify if they are for publication as a comment or not to be passed on.

By Christine Yeres on 03/04/2013 at 6:32 am

Notice that you’ve ALL been benched.

By nasty man on 03/05/2013 at 12:52 pm

Has Summit Greenfield incorporated into their report, interviews with existing merchants of downtown Chappaqua, and Millwood? Have they asked each merchant if they feel threatened by such plans, or would it add to the existing energy of the area? Individuals are very outspoken about this matter, but who has had discussions with individuals that will have their ability somehow affected by these proposals to pay their own bills and lifestyle expenses? Who at Town Hall has walked from store to store, or from business to business, or from practice to practice, and asked…….How will you be affected……How would you like this situation to be handled……Do you think that perhaps your business, your store, your practice, should have first shot at moving up to the new complex before outsiders move in. Has anyone spoken to the Landlords of the area and asked them how they feel about CC? So my question to all is, what really is in this report? Now, lets all recognize that something has to fully occupy the CC property. I say make it a world renowned campus for finding a cure to CANCER.

By Report this! on 03/06/2013 at 4:08 pm

Enough studying.  It is so obvious we need a good supermarket, and additional stores in the 5000 square foot range will attract different kinds of merchants than the downtown area.  Perhaps some of the brand name stores we find in White Plains and Greenwich will find a campus setting like the Crossing attractive and unique.  It is time we as a community move forward with smart development which this project now has—a nice combination of residential and retail and a targeted focus on satisfying a need to provide quality food shopping.  Three cheers!

By Hungry resident on 03/06/2013 at 7:43 pm

What is enough, what is not enough, what is too much, how much is too much, and when do we know that too much is enough, or more then enough. If we want to delay CC, you see how too much red tape, can be just enough to stop the project, without saying that the project is stopped. My question is, if the owner of CC says that he has had enough of trying to do anything with CC. What do we do as a community that needs the tax revenue that comes off this property, if no one is around to pay town hall? I think that when the town handles the CC matter they have to ask themselves, how can we avoid placing additional red tape on this matter, when enough red tape has tangled up this applicant since 2004. In a years time, we can’t provide guidance to this applicant of what the maximum build out can be. The process is the process, but at what point does the process appear to feel like corruption, and not progress?

By Enough is enough! on 03/07/2013 at 10:05 am

Clearly no one plan/vision will appease all. The challenge is what is best for the community at large.  No one person should carry an opinion heavier than others, regardless of how pungently persuasive they assert themself.  Our existing merchants are no doubt a valuable component of our community, nonetheless they too are only a component.  What to do with CC has been an arduous journey – degrading one another to the extent a community message board needs to be suspended clearly is not in our community’s best interest, let’s try to be respectful to another’s differing opinion and see where that gets us . . .

By 18 year rt.120 resident on 03/07/2013 at 11:14 am

contact me in email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

By ruining it for the rest of us on 03/07/2013 at 12:37 pm

I’m done addressing anonymous posters on this subject.

By Rob Greenstein on 03/08/2013 at 6:09 am

To Hungry
How many supermarkets do you need within 5 miles of your town?
You already have an A&P in Millwood, an A&P in Mt. Kisco, a ShopRite in Thornwood, a ShopRite in Bedford Hille, a Key Foods in Pleasantville, Target in Mt. Kisco, The Village Market in Chappaqua…The obvious place for a supermarket is where D’Agostino’s was…I find it incredible that residents actually think we do not have enough supermarkets…

By Not Hungry on 03/08/2013 at 6:35 am

RE: Anonymous posters – In todays world of digital media, internet, and the array of methods which disseminate news and information anonymous posting is the norm- not the exception. One needs only to look at the top websites (blogs) to comprehend this fact. Whether it be The Huffington Post, Daily Beast, CNN, NY Times Online or even the Chappaqua Patch people read the articles or Op-Ed pieces and comment using a variety of names, MOST of which are not real names.
A point of view, an opinion, or a comment is no less valid simply because the commenter uses a pen name, initials, or an acronym. 

All of these websites-blogs including NewCastleNow.Org are intended to inform readers and have them share ideas. In fact readers are encouraged to participate and to comment with no requirement that a real name be used.  Comments are encouraged regardless if they opposes or agree with the content. This is but one way people in our modern society communicate, debate, and converse. Some folks, like Rob Greenstein object to this practice and it is his choice to be “done addressing anonymous posters”. The problem on this blog is not anonymous posters- the problem has been the hostility, name calling, and attacks when one takes an opposing view.

For the rest of us, we should keep our comments polite, civil, and respectful. Personal attacks on those who offer an opposing view should be screened and not published. I suspect this issue will remedy itself.

By What a relief on 03/08/2013 at 1:38 pm

assuming facts and assertions are accurate, makes fiscal sense and provides a third shopping hamlet distinct from existing Chappaqua and Millwood hamlets while providing much needed tax relief.

By looks good on 03/08/2013 at 2:20 pm

I post here frequently and always anonymously. I have a business here and I feel putting my name to my posts is likely to cause backlash. I just can’t take that risk. But I make a point of being respectful in my posts and I hope what I say adds to the discussion. I understand anonymity allows for extremes that might not happen if a name was used, but there is absolutely a point in providing that option. I would not be part of the discussion if I had to use my name. I value this forum very much and I thank New Castle Now for making it available.

By Anonymous Poster Always on 03/08/2013 at 7:15 pm

Agree with What a relief. Anonymous posting allows for vigorous debate but it should be respectful. 

While an individual may decline to respond to anonymous posters, as Rob has decided to do, that in no way should be the determining factor on whether to allow anonymous posting.  There are many reasons for it such as the mom who spoke of her economic situation and did not want it made public, business owners, and so on.

Rob had taken it upon himself to debate all opponents to his support for the village plan.  He has the right to do that but not the right to silence them by insisting they give up their right to blogging anonymity. One person should not be dominating this discussion anyway.

I learn more from the articles and blogs about town issues in this newspaper than from any other source.

Thanks to NCNOW for the opportunity to learn and to discuss.

By A great forum! on 03/09/2013 at 12:00 pm

It is disgusting to find out that someone could possibly support a project that is aimed at wiping out years of history, business and tradition. The idea that Chappaqua crossing will help downtown is idiotic. It is strictly aimed at being the new hip place to go so that the ‘affluent’ people of Chappaqua can have a business district that is comparable to the likes of Greenwich, Larchmont, Bronxville and so on… Is our town that ‘bad’ that we need something else? Nobody shops in town to begin with. Everyone knows that when they want to go shopping they go to the Westchester or the City. Nobody buys their clothes in town, that’s a taboo of sorts for the people of Chappaqua. Have you been in town as of late? All the small businesses are struggling to keep their doors open. There is a lack of support for the small business owners and absolutely no foot traffic. How about the board does something that draws people into the center of town versus surrendering on a business district that families’ welfare depend on and families grew up in.

By TheLocalLocal on 03/10/2013 at 1:06 am

Re: TheLocalLocal: How come we can’t round up the best minds, the smartest minds, the most powerful Politicians, any individuals in our community that know how to get things done by having their phone calls received, and truly find a solution for Mr. Charney owner of CC. Why can’t we provide 10 years worth of FREE PROPERTY TAXES, or FREEZE the existing property taxes for the next 20 years, as a way to attract a BIO TECH CAMPUS in COMBINATION with a College that teaches what the BIO TECH CAMPUS is trying to solve. We need CC to change direction and thinking and be given Government Grants so that this site becomes known once again for employing many, many people. I think locally we respected Reader’s Digest for not really being Reader’s Digest, but for being that place that kept many local people employed. Tell me we wouldn’t mind a foriegn Government coming in buying this property up and filling it up to capacity with local employees. Imagine the revenue that area merchants would get from such a USE of the CC property. Across the Country, across the WORLD, across the County; we can’t find a major player for this property as a Town Hall.

By You’re RIGHT ! on 03/10/2013 at 12:16 pm

Re:The LocalLocal: Our small business owners may indeed not nearly as prosperous as they desire, but why is this the fault of our town hall? This is a problem that started many, many, years ago due to changing retail economic models primarily driven by internet commerce and chain retail having a cost and distribution structure favorable to the consumer in terms of cost and product offerings.  Can our town hall really solve this dilemma? Worst, should it be at the cost of the community by not having favorable local retail to visit like all other surrounding communities?

By getwiththetimes on 03/11/2013 at 8:58 am

In todays world a savy retail owner can buy and sell their product at the same rate as the big box stores. The problem is, the big boxes can make a decision to have a Loss Leader product or segment killer in their store. This loss leader style of management is what can destroy downtown Chappaqua as we know it. On this very point alone, Town Hall should start to consider allowing ALL COMMERCIAL buildings the ability to switch over to Multi-Family housing, Apartments, Townhouse. Also, ask any downtown Chappaqua landlord what his property taxes were 10 yrs ago, then ask him what he is paying now. Then ask him/her what their property taxes were in 1970 then in the yr 1980. You will see that property taxes in just the past 10 yrs is taking off like a rocket; rents really can’t pay todays rate. Folks, pay attention to downtown Chappaqua, go out and take pictures, then come back in 60 months and you will see space after space vacant. What Town Hall needs to do is promote a path of ease for certain USE’S to come into the area, and for others to be told NO. Now, perhaps, to some, turning all of downtown Chappaqua into Townhouses and Multi Family residences would be just fine. Perhaps having downtown Chappaqua become 60% Residential 40% Commercial works, and we will just love shopping up at CC. Or, perhaps we can attract a use that will once again make CC into a mega employment center fueling all parts of New Castle. This is what Town Hall can foster, and if they promote approvals to be granted in under 12 months rather then 12 years; we will have a winning Municipality to live in. CC purchased RDP in late 2003. 10 yrs is a long time to achieve nothing!

By Hold it! on 03/11/2013 at 12:23 pm

The Town Board wrote this legislation to the specifications of Summit Greenfield.  It was written in secret behind closed doors with no public discussion in order to meet Summit Greenfield’s demands and to settle the law suit.  It was written by lawyers with no vision and no studies as to what would be best for the town.

And now we have a study by Summit Greenfield to support what Supervisor Carpenter and her Board has divined for them.  Smells to high heaven.

By Edward Galant on 03/11/2013 at 12:41 pm

To all, change is coming whether we like it or not.  The question is how best to manage growth and development.  The Readers Digest property can’t be a nature sanctuary.  We turned down overwhelming housing units, and rightfully so.  Now we have a more manageable number in the low 100s for residential use and a request for a healthy mix of retail and commercial with some protected lands.  This is the definition of smart growth and it is time to embrace it and move forward.  We may well be setting the standard for future projects requiring innovative thinking to transform traditional properties which for better or worse have outlived their prior purpose.  An essential element of the project, to my mind, involves an affordable supermarket.  Of course there are place not too far away to buy food, and despite my tong in cheek moniker, we fortunately are not hungry.  But Chappaqua Crossing hopefully will attract a number of seniors and working adults who will very much appreciate not having to drive 20 plus minutes (and it can take that much time) to buy milk, bread and butter.  And they will do so by walking instead of driving which reduces their carbon footprint ever so slightly.  Downtown is in need but moving forward with Chappaqua Crossing should not be delayed as a result.  Rather, we need to ask why it is that comparable locals such as Armonk seem to do better.  Part of it is the mix of stores, but we have excellent merchants for jewelry, wine, bagels and baked goods, french dining, etc, that can’t be beat.  What would help are officers to direct traffic on Saturday, easing parking restrictions, reducing the administrative burden on merchants who need to hang signs or alter their footprints, among other items which can and should be the topic of a whole other discussion.  Respectfully, Hungry Resident

By Hungry Resident on 03/11/2013 at 7:55 pm

Re: Hungry resident: You are so very right! We need a Town Hall that can wake up every day and suggest the removal of certain mandates and laws. Do we really need a tree permit law? No we don’t! Do we really need a law that requires permits for a finished off basement? No we don’t! Do we really need a law that requires a permit to remove underground Oil tanks? No we don’t! Do we really need a law that requires us to finish off an attic? No we don’t! Do we really need a law that restricts us from having our own vegetable garden? No we don’t! Do we really have to go through all the red tape that has crep into the process of getting certain permits out of town hall throughout the years? No we don’t! Have some of us reading this felt a little uncomfortable about the content of what is being proposed here? Yeah, many people love to hold on to their Government issued rule books! We need all levels of Government to look for ways on being less intrusive into our lives; not more streamlined in handing us all the mandates that we have to obey – or else! Folks, how hard should it be for an existing merchant to alter his floor layout, if he is using a licensed Westchester County Contractor. Somebody get the bleach, it is time to get the red out!

By That’s right! on 03/12/2013 at 5:35 pm

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