The Examiner

New Castle Boards Approve Opening of Life Time at Chap Crossing

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New Castle’s town and planning boards granted Chappaqua Crossing developer Summit/Greenfield its revised Temporary Certificate of Occupancy allowing fitness center Life Time and two other businesses to open.

This article has been updated to reflect Life Time’s opening day, which was announced after the original version had been posted.

New Castle approved a revised Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (TCO) Tuesday night without dissent that will enable the Life Time health club and two additional other establishments to open at Chappaqua Crossing.

The Town Board voted unanimously while the Planning Board passed its resolution 3-0 following the conclusion of the public hearing. Both boards were satisfied that developer Summit/Greenfield’s traffic plan during the anticipated three-month construction period will mitigate as much congestion as possible and ensure public safety.

Construction is scheduled to resume Feb. 15 and last until about May 17.

“We agree to the opening of Life Time fitness and Pet Value and Fidelity Investments,” said the town’s traffic consultant Lou Luglio. “We agree that it could be permitted to open without significant traffic impact beyond what would be there during construction, regardless.”

Along with the 40,000-square-foot Life Time, Pet Valu will occupy 3,330 square feet and Fidelity Investments will utilize 5,250 square feet. Once the three additional businesses open, about 91,500 square feet of the eventual 120,000 square feet of retail space will be occupied at Chappaqua Crossing.

Life Time is scheduled to open next Friday, Feb. 8 at 5 a.m., the company announced Thursday afternoon. It will be open Monday through Friday 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. and weekends from 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.

No definitive dates have been announced for the other two businesses, although Pet Value is expected to open shortly. Fidelity Investments is eyeing a March opening, according to Summit/Greenfield representatives.

Luglio, who evaluated the developer’s construction and traffic plan during the past week, said there would be four phases of construction. Phase A would see construction from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and include installation of new drainage and a retaining wall on the west side of Route 117 near the intersection of Roaring Brook Road, he said.

During that work, there would be a single lane open for traffic, with a flagger stationed before the construction zone along Route 117 at both the northern and southern ends, Luglio said. During that phase, the right turn lane from southbound Route 117 onto Roaring Brook Road will be closed.

The bulk of that phase is expected to occur during the weeks of Feb. 18 and Apr. 15 when the nearby Horace Greeley High School is not in session, said Luglio. There will be also be extended construction hours during those two weeks until 6 p.m., although New Castle police will have the latitude to end construction early if the area is too congested, Luglio said.

During final repaving, projected for late April, the Phase A configuration will also be in effect.

Weekend work is scheduled on weekends from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Phase B will be similar to Phase A except that the right turn lane will be in service, Luglio said.

A Phase B(i) will see one 10-foot travel lane in each direction and the southbound turn lane open onto Roaring Brook Road.

Similar to Phase A, Phase C will also have only one lane open for northbound and southbound traffic and use flaggers but the work will shift to the east side of Route 117.

David Walsh, asset manager for Summit/Greenfield, said the phases do not progress in a sequence from A to C, but differentiate the four types of traffic patterns during the construction period.

Councilwoman Hala Makowska said she was concerned that with Route 117 being a primary route to Northern Westchester Hospital that emergency service vehicles could get stuck when there is a single lane in operation.

New Castle police Lt. James Carroll said with an officer stationed near the intersection and flaggers present, it should operate satisfactorily.

“It’s something we deal with, not all the time, but we’re familiar with it,” Carroll said. “Once the flagger sees us, they’re all trained to shut down the oncoming traffic and close it down both ways. They get us through.”

A condition in the resolution for the revised TCO mandates that the applicant and emergency services representatives meet no later than Feb. 9 to review the traffic and construction scenarios.

Makowska also questioned about what would happen if there is critical failure of the intersection.

Luglio responded that for Whole Foods, which opened along with Chase Bank on Dec. 15, there was high anticipation for its debut. A fitness club such as Life Time is membership based and will not generate the volumes of a supermarket, he said. Luglio estimated perhaps a 10 percent increase in traffic.

“There might be a couple of days where you might have some critical failure but for the most part it would just be a construction (site),” Luglio said.

Supervisor Robert Greenstein said if people find they can’t get to Life Time patrons will stay away until construction is over since the club offers monthly membership. Councilwoman Lisa Katz added that most of the peak times for the facility – early morning and after work in late afternoon – will not coincide with the construction schedule.

After the vote, Summit/Greenfield President and CEO Felix Charney thanked town officials for their efforts. Charney said when difficulties arrive, he and his team will be responsive.

“I’m particularly grateful that you want to work with us, and with that in mind, something will go wrong,” he said. “I hope I’m not back here before you until we have the (Certificate of Occupancy) because this is a lot of work, it’s very stressful, it hard on the tenants, it’s hard one everyone else. I’m very grateful for your cooperation.”

Once construction is completed, Summit/Greenfield will apply for the Certificate of Occupancy.

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