Neal Rentz | Nov 26, 2015 |
A Mount Kisco storefront that has been empty for more than four years since Borders bookstore vacated will finally be occupied next year.
The village planning board voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve a special use permit to allow Modell’s Sporting Goods to take over most of the space.
The roughly 22,600-square-foot space at 154-162 E. Main St. has been vacant since September 2011 when the bookstore chain went out of business after filing for bankruptcy. The property is co-owned by Modell’s and the New Jersey-based Lerner Properties.
Douglas Epstein, general counsel and vice president of real estate for Modell’s, said the company is looking to open the store in the spring. Epstein said a second tenant has not been found.
The plan is for Modell’s to occupy 12,793 square feet on both levels of the two-story building. Of that space, 1,419 square feet would be common space on both floors shared by Modell’s and a second tenant. Most of the remaining space would be occupied by the other tenant.
Before the vote, several conditions were discussed with representatives of the sporting goods chain. Planning board members agreed to a request from Taylor Palmer, an attorney representing Modell’s, to allow periodic guest appearances to last up to two hours instead of one hour to allow enough time for an autograph session or other purposes.
Village Attorney Whitney Singleton said the permitted use for the future second tenant of the building would be retail. If the second tenant sought another type of use, a special permit must be obtained from the planning board, he said.
The proposal had generated some stern debate among several downtown merchants who argued that Modell’s would help make Mount Kisco a destination for shoppers. The planning board, with the exception of member John Bainlardi, had objected to the initial plan, contending that Modell’s would be a big-box store that would be out of character with the rest of downtown. However, the board supported a revised plan.
“Be very successful,” Planning Board Chairman Joseph Cosentino said.
Filed Under: The Examiner