A mixed-use building with 150 luxury rental apartments and ground-level retail shops is being proposed to transform the downtown Yorktown Green shopping center.
During a work session with the Yorktown Town Board Tuesday night, representatives of Oster Properties also announced lease negotiations were underway with a new supermarket to replace the long empty former Food Emporium on the almost 15-acre site at 335 Downing Drive.
“This is very welcome news and yet another sign of the economic upswing we are working hard to see in our town,” Yorktown Supervisor Matt Slater said. “It is a key property in many ways, not the least of which is its prominent location in the heart of the town. This proposal recognizes the evolving economy that we are facing, especially e-commerce.”
Matthew Jarmel, Oster’s architect, said the plan calls for the 90,000-square-foot building that has been vacant since Kmart closed two years ago to be demolished and replaced with a four-story, U-shaped structure that will have 84 one-bedroom and 66 two-bedroom residences.
The approximately 9,000 square feet row of stores that currently exist on both sides of the old Kmart will remain but receive a facelift.
“Throughout the retail world there’s a rethinking of how retail spaces are designed to service the world,” Jarmel said. “This Kmart is empty because of e-commerce. What we see as architects and as planners is that many retail centers, and some very large shopping malls as well that we’re working on, are being repositioned to mixed-use.”
Town Board members reacted positively to the project, which is included in the Planned Overlay Zone District that the board is currently grappling with and hoping to formally adopt in the near future.
“I think this is a smart development both from a commercial and residential point of view,” Councilwoman Alice Roker said. “You won’t have Lake Caldor anymore.”
“I think it looks great so far,” said Councilman Ed Lachterman. “I look forward to see this go through the planning process. There’s a lot of questions to be answered.”
Oster representatives said a formal application to the town’s Planning Department could be made in about two weeks.
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