Last week at the Triangle Shopping Center, members of the Reboot Yorktown task force held a press conference in front of Genesis Jewelers to announce a strategy for the town to recover quickly with a smart and safe approach.
“We need to be intelligent and innovative,” said Yorktown Supervisor Matt Slater, who was joined by councilmen Vishnu Patel and Ed Lachterman, Westchester County Legislator Vedat Gashi and several business owners and leaders. “This is about the future of where we love to call home.”
“We are all in this together,” Patel said. “Success will come soon, but safety is number one. You have to take one step at a time.”
Westchester has only met five of the seven benchmarks required by the state before it can begin a phased reopening of businesses.
In preparation of being given the go-ahead, Yorktown officials have expedited the permit process and eliminated fees for restaurants to expand or begin outdoor dining, given quicker approvals and eliminated fees for retail businesses to have sidewalk sales, and installed Plexiglass barriers in Town Hall offices that serve the public.
“What we’ve discovered is that lots of businesses are going want to be able to show that they have a safe place for their customers,” said Bob Giordano, president of the Yorktown Small Business Association and a member of the task force. “If that means me getting my hair cut outside…under this veranda. If that gets me to come rather than being fearful of going inside, that’s great. It’s great for the barbershop, for the nail salons and every small business in town.”
The new initiatives will help local businesses, like Furci’s restaurant, which hopes to expand its outdoor dining in anticipation of the easing of restrictions on restaurant dining.
“That will allow us to serve more customers,” said Deneen Furci. “It will also allow us to bring back more of our staff, as they’re eager to get back to work.”
“Yorktown is ready,” said Sergio Esposito, president of the Yorktown Chamber of Commerce. “The town is on its way to greater heights. Beyond this pandemic Yorktown is the place to be.”
Meanwhile, Yorktown officials also announced last week that the Planning Board approved a distribution center for Nestle Waters in the former Verizon building on Route 202.
Nestle Waters has proposed renovating the 1.9-acre property’s existing building and parking lot for its office and distribution uses. The complex was built in 1956 and last renovated in 1988. Approximately 60 jobs will be created.
“The rapid approval of Nestle Waters’ application is an example of a changing Yorktown that is open to new businesses by streamlining its application processes, revising outdated land uses and moving with urgency,” Slater said.