The Village of Pleasantville is poised to sell the more than century-old building at the Metro-North train station that houses the Iron Horse Grill to the business partner of the restaurant’s owner.
Mayor Peter Scherer said the village has agreed to a sale price of $650,000 with Andrew Economos for the stone exterior structure at 20 Wheeler Ave. that has housed the roughly 60-seat Iron Horse Grill for the past 15 years. Economos is an investor and a partner with Iron Horse Grill owner Phil McGrath in his two other establishments in Pleasantville, The Pony Express and the Seahorse Seafood Shack on Wheeler Avenue.
Scherer said there are a few details that still need to be worked out before the two sides can close on the transaction, most notably a subdivision of the property that requires Planning Commission approval. The village is seeking to retain the pocket park on the side closest to Manville Road and allow the restaurant to use a portion of the patio area on the opposite end for outdoor seating, he said.
The pending sale will do more than infuse always needed money into the villages coffers.
“This is a win for the village and the village’s taxpayers to get it back on the tax rolls,” Scherer said.
Pleasantville has owned the building for about 50 years since Metro-North took over the commuter train operations. During that time the village has leased all or part of the structure’s interior. It also once used a portion of the space as a municipal meeting room, Scherer said.
McGrath said Economos, who he described as an investor, approached him recently to ask whether he thought village officials would be open to the idea of selling the building. Since then, the two sides were able to come to terms on a sale price.
In addition to the financial benefits for the village, Pleasantville will no longer have the responsibility of maintaining the structure, said McGrath, who is also a village resident.
“It’s great because then the village is not saddled with taking care of the building as a landlord will be,” McGrath said.
The Iron Horse Grill is halfway through its 30-year lease. Under the terms of the sale, the lease will be transferred to the new owner, McGrath said. It will not affect the operations of the restaurant.
Scherer said the property line will essentially be the footprint of the building and will be extended to include the overhang of the roof.
Although more than 100 years old, the building is not particularly historical, McGrath said. However, he said he heard Village Historian Carsten Johnson call it one of the buildings that is most closely associated historically with Pleasantville.
If the deal is finalized, this would be the second time this year that the village has sold a municipal building to a private owner. Last winter, officials announced the sale of the old recreation center, also known as Library Hall, to a Hawthorne contracting firm for $100,000.