The Examiner

Pleasantville’s MLA Property Sold to Cutlery Firm

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The MLA property on Marble Avenue in Pleasantville has been sold.

After more than a decade, Pleasantville’s largest commercial parcel will finally have a new owner.

Stop & Shop Supermarket Co., the owner of the long-vacant MLA property on Marble Avenue, has sold the parcel and the 112,000-square-foot warehouse to J.A. Henckles International, a German-based high-end cutlery company that now operates a warehouse with offices on Saw Mill River Road in Hawthorne. Henckles has been in negotiation with Stop & Shop since last summer to acquire the site, The Examiner learned last week.

“This is very happy news,” Pleasantville Mayor Peter Scherer said. “We have been working on this for a long time. I took a trip to Stop & Shop headquarters in Massachusetts after I became mayor (in 2009). I am happy to report that the building is going to be sold and redeveloped to a responsible owner that is a good fit for Pleasantville.”

Terms of the agreement were not immediately disclosed.

Henckels, which will employ 75 people at the site, plans to maintain the existing footprint. There will be about 100,000 square feet of warehouse space with the balance of the facility to be used as office space and will be used as a distribution site. The company also has plans to raise the roof to have more clearance and to rebuild the front of the building.

“We want to give a face to the building when people drive by Marble Avenue,” project architect Michael Gallin said when the plans were revealed to the public at Monday night’s village board work session. “We are going to clean up the property and make it look nice.”

Company representatives said they expected three tractor-trailers to enter and exit the property each day. In addition to site plan approval from the village’s planning commission, they may also need to obtain variances from the zoning board of appeals before work can begin at the site.

The applicant’s representatives are optimistic they can be scheduled for the planning commission’s next meeting in January. Once all approvals are in place, it is expected to take several months to retrofit the building.

The MLA property, named for Medical Laboratory Associates, has been empty since that company moved out of the site in the late 1990s. In 2001, Stop & Shop purchased the property with designs of opening a supermarket, but stiff public opposition defeated that project. Since then, the building has remained unoccupied as Stop & Shop has searched for a new owner to take the property off its hands.

Another plan surfaced from a New Jersey-based realty company in 2007 to convert the site into a mixed-use project featuring age-restricted housing, offices and a fitness center but that proposal quickly fell through.

Scherer said Henckles has outgrown its current space on Route 9A and has been looking for a new home.

The village board, which has long hoped to see, were thrilled with the company’s presentation at Monday night’s meeting. Scherer called the proposal “a home run” for the village.



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