Town Board will open public hearing on zoning change for a grocery store at Chappaqua Crossing
September 7, 2012
by Christine Yeres
On Monday, September 24, the New Castle Town Board will open a public hearing on whether to change the zoning at Chappaqua Crossing to allow for an anchor grocery store of 50,000 to 60,000 square feet as well as ancillary retail businesses of at least 5,000 square feet each.
Town Board Supervisor Susan Carpenter made clear that the proposal originated not with Chappaqua Crossing, but with the Town Board, whose members are eager to restore a grocery store to the town and to realize increased commercial tax revenues from the property.
Carpenter has stated that the Town Board hopes to flesh out the concept in greater detail before the September 24 public hearing date.
Related: Town Board sets date for public hearing on grocery plus limited retail at Chappaqua Crossing, NCNOW.org, 7/27/12
When D’Agostino Grocery left town, Town Hall missed the opportunity to go out into the Real Estate market place and attract a new grocery store operator by promising to provide desk top approvals. Such approvals would have been received by the landlord in under two weeks, rather then waiting the usual several months or perhaps a year it takes to get town approvals. The Town of New Castle has a terrible reputation for granting approvals in a timely matter and this needs to be addressed! This is why we are now thinking about building a commercial tax base, where a commercial tax base does not belong. Can you imagine Town Officials calling up possible suitors for the former D’Agostino location and promising a hassel free transition into the space that should have been a grocery store – too late now ! Also, as a community did we really need to send an applicant before the Planning Board that wanted to dish out frozen yogurt and ice cream? Thirty years ago this stuff was handled soley through the Building Department; let’s give the Building Department back their authority and stop the creation of additional red tape.
Editor’s Note: I don’t believe the owner of the property came first to the town when he decided to sign a lease with Walgreens.
I’m rooting for a Trader Joes!!!
I am rooting for a Woodlands market. http://www.woodlandsmarket.com/
This is a great example of commercial property working with the local community. This could change how Chappaqua Crossing is perceived. Rather than a drain on the community, it is a plus.
From the Woodlands market site:
<em>“Welcome to Woodlands Market.
The Santa family opened the store nearly a quarter century ago with simple goals in mind : we wanted to be more than a grocery store … we wanted to be an integral part of the fabric of the Ross Valley…. The store has never closed for a single day since it opened in 1986.
One important aspect of how we operate is our <bold>active involvement in public education</bold>. Ever since Woodlands opened as a family-owned market, we have contributed more than $2.2 million to local nonprofit organizations.
The Kentfield and Ross School Foundations have been the primary recipients of these “investments” over the years. If you value delicious quality foods, a visually pleasing store, and the type of “old-fashioned” service you can’t get at chain stores, we encourage you to stop in to our store.”(/em>
We should have an open mind; however, the addition of a store this size should be thought out very carefully.
The D’Agostino/Walgreens site is about 24000 square feet. The Chappaqua Crossing store could be 50,000-60,000 square feet; 2 to 3 times larger.
For this to be profitable, the store could draw customers from all over Upper Westchester County and possibly even Connecticut (depending on the type of store…. Whole Foods/Trader Joes etc)). I’m all for building the commercial tax base, but this store could draw in a lot of cars.That is on top of the residential traffic if Summit Greenfield ever goes ahead with the scale-downed version the town board approved for them.Also, keep in mind that tractor trailer trucks would be making deliveries at all hours as well.
Before we start rooting for the type of grocery store, let’s make sure all of the potential problems are studied, and that at the very least, the area bounded by Rte 117 and Roaring Brook Road can handle this type of traffic.
People who think that this will bring Trader Joe’s or a similar full service quality market to Chappaqua are deeply mistaken. The proposal calls for a MINIMUM 50,000 Sq ft store, which is 2 – 3 times larger than what Trader Joe’s sets up. It will anchor additional retail stores with a minimum 5,000 sq ft. foot print – which is 5 – 10 times larger than the typical Chappaqua retail location. It requires 5 parking spaces per 1000 sq feet – which tranlates into 300 – 400 parking spaces. Combined with office parking – you will have a parking lot on the scale of the Chappaqua train station lot – with a similar traffic impact.
What this will create is a 3d business district in our town which will compete with and possibly smother the Chappaqua Business District. It will be accessible ONLY by car (Rt 117 is a bicycle pedestrian deathtrap with very limited bus service). While the non-grocery retail does offer some local sales tax revenue, those gains may well be offset by the costs associated with traffic and congestion.
In short – this doesn’t answer the need for a quality grocery store that is convenient for Chappaqua residents, and it it will bring far more sprawl and traffic than the previous all residential proposals for the site.
If the owner did not come into town hall before signing a lease with Walgreens, I would suggust to you that you reaffirm such comment. If this is true, and the town of new castle really does not want Walgreens. Then the town, using their discretion, may possibly be able, if they choose to, to deny this tenancy from proceeding. This is how town discretion is applied and works; it can be applied to allow it, or deny it! So how are you perhaps reporting to us all through your stated remarks of above that the town used their discretion? Was the lease between Walgreens and town hall subject to town approval, or was the landlord risking litigation on multiple fronts? Remember, even a yogurt shop had to get town approvals! Some rules apply to some, and not to others – what’s going on!
Editor’s Note: The yogurt shop is a different use of the space. The change from grocery to drug store was not. The town had/has no power to prevent the leasing of the property by the owner of the D’Agostino, now Walgreen, space.
Perhaps once Walgreens arrives it will put Rite Aid out of business and a grocery store could go there. We certainly don’t need 2 major pharmacies in a town this size.
A quality “grocery” type store would be great! I’d love a Whole Foods. Obviously the traffic effects would have to be seriously studied. People are so negative. A quality store(s) would greatly increase shopper traffic into Chappaqua. A great idea!
Doesn’t Greenfield Associates currently pay the town taxes on the Chappaqua Crossings Property? So a supermarket comes in – how much additional tax base/revenue will that add to the coffers above and beyond current revenues?
Should the town approve of a sizable grocery store with ample parking, please investigate the possibility of giving our town the best grocery store ever…“Wegmans”!!