Crossroads In Greenburgh Struggling For Tenants

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Construction is under way for Party City in Greenburgh's Crossroads Shopping Center on Tarrytown Road, but eight lots still remain vacant in the center. Photo Credit: Samantha Kramer

GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Construction for a Party City in Crossroads Shopping Center on Tarrytown Road has already begun, but property owners for the Greenburgh stores say they are still experiencing leasing challenges to fill the remaining eight vacancies in the center.

After the center's A&P Supermarket filed for bankruptcy and closed in April 2011, residents said they were in need of a quick supermarket replacement.

Heyman Properties released a statement Friday that it contacted every grocery chain that has stores in the region trying to fill the void, according to a statement from Heyman Properties Executive Vice President Kathy Rorick. She said Heyman currently has one potential tenant, but will only enter an agreement if the old supermarket's space is expanded.  

"We currently have a lease out to a supermarket tenant who can only take the store if we can obtain approvals to expand the former A&P space by 8,357  square feet," Rorick wrote in the statement. "Once the lease is signed we will be filing for a site plan modification and approval to construct expansion areas."

The town was in talks with a supermarket to take the place of the A&P last year, Town Supervisor Paul Feiner told The Daily Voice in January, but negotiations ended after the potential tenant wanted to expand the lot by 20,000 feet.

In addition, Rorick said, the rest of the prospective tenants who are interested in the remaining vacancies, such as the former Jembro and T-Mobile spaces, won't commit to anything until they see what tenant leases the A&P space.

Heyman Properties is trying to find tenants for eight of the center's 38 spaces that are still empty, according to Heyman Properties' website.

Party City is currently undergoing construction and will replace the Barnes & Noble bookstore that closed in May after the store could not agree to a lease extension with the property owner, a company spokesperson told The Daily Voice in January. Party City has targeted December for its grand opening, according to Rorick's statement.

Greenburgh Community Development and Conservation Commissioner Thomas Madden could not be reached for comment as to whether the board has received any notification about the former A&P building's expansion.

Rorick told The Daily Voice that she's optimistic about moving ahead with the leases.

"A year from now it's going to look quite different," she said about Crossroads.

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WPEyesNEars:

You can read more with a different perspective at ABetterGreenburgh.blogspot.com.

halmarc45:

part two:

If you do it for this location, what prevents a similar request from every other property owner who might want to seek greater density (FAR -- floor area ratio) from their parcels. For commercial tenants, this could mean more income; for homeowners this might mean an extra bedroom or a larger outdoor deck.

Attention all ganders:
Or do you lower the parking requirements to create larger building plots?
Something that could benefit, say, a sports facility coming to a location near you.

And despite the ongoing but still absent Comprehensive Plan farrago, the notion behind such (a $400,000+ waste of taxpayer dollars) was to create a lasting roadmap for Greenburgh land use -- a selling point which the Town consistently rapes at will.

Should the Town willingly grant permission to the property owner to expand the retail space and thus continue to weakened zoning? Is the absence of a supermarket an example of a dire emergency or an example of inconvenience?
There is an A&P a half mile away and other food vendors within a mile (Central Avenue and Tarrytown Road).

Whereas I agree that a supermarket would be an asset to the surrounding community, it would also be an asset to the shopping center owner. I suggest that the original tenant (a bankrupt A&P -- the owner of surviving A&Ps, Pathmarks, Waldbaums) voluntarily chose to close this location because it wasn't profitable -- even at a rent which was lower than what would be offered to a new tenant today, They did, however, choose to keep their SMALLER A&P open on Knollwood even while closing the LARGER unit on Tarrytown Road.
Note too that interested supermarket operators had the option (in the bankruptcy sale) to purchase the below market lease from the Receiver and negotiate a new lease with the landlord by gaining such a foothold. No one availed themselves which is why the landlord has the space back.

There's always a possibility that the landlord is turning away offers just to pressure the Town into granting a variance.

Like any good real estate story, it is hard to tell who are the victims and who are the victors.

Hal Samis

halmarc45:

Enough of this "bickering" over real estate matters!
With so many vacancies, so many "experts", there are other possibilities to be explored.I don't doubt that supermarket operators have been contacted. Nor do I doubt that today's supermarket chains require larger footprints.

However there are possibilities that exist without seeking a zoning variance.

Generally there are density requirements. So much land, so much building size.

Landlords seeking anchor tenants usually are able to negotiate with abutting leased stores to give up their lease so that the vacant space can be expanded.
Leases for small stores are generally not forever. The tenant knows, that if it wants lease renewal at expiration, not to make an enemy of the landlord. Tenants also know that landlords will be willing to pay to either get the neighboring tenant to leave or, relocate within the strip (into one of the vacancies) or remain and expiration and then say bye bye. Landlords seeking this "favor" will pay the costs of relocation, business interruption, etc.

Broadly (Party City being an exception and wasn't there a similar tenant here a few years back) speaking, small tenants pay higher store rents because the landlord, in putting together a shopping center, seeks an anchor tenant (paying lower rents) which will draw customers to the center and thus make it desirable to the smaller stores which will feed off the anchor's traffic. This is why strip centers are anchored by supermarkets and larger centers are anchored by department stores.

However, sometimes the anchor brings too much competition for its neighbors.
For example, the larger supermarkets of today often include pharmacies which compete with the mom and pop variety. Such may be the case here.

But good news! There is another possibility -- one which may not be readily availed upon by landlords. And that would be to eliminate store count from spaces not abutting the anchor. Physically removing the vacant space would reduce the center's density. Yes, surgically (demolish) removing these unrented spaces and transferring their bulk to the vacant anchor space would require the Town to approve a new site plan yet not require consent to increase the total building size. Naturally this would not be desired by the owner who is always seeking more space to rent and thereby increase the profitability of the center.

More good news! If you can't increase the density of the plot, the owner is free to try and buy adjacent parcels of land and thus increase the retail footprint. Costly perhaps. Current improvements (structures) are not permanent and can be removed and replaced by new owners -- zoning permitting.

But what is the problem with increasing the density accorded the present parcel?

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