EASTCHESTER, N.Y. – Some big city folk might be trying to elbow their way into small town Tuckahoe, as developers push to fill a vacant storefront at 73 Main Street with a Subway sandwiches franchise.
It’s still early in the process, but developers with the project recently appealed to the Tuckahoe Zoning Board, seeking a parking variance that would require just four spaces outside of the restaurant, citing that they sought the foot traffic of commuters and local employees, not hungry diners travelling from out of town.
Leonard Brandes, the architect behind the proposal, said that they’ve already locked down two parking spaces next door, meaning that with the variance, they would be required to track down another set to comply with village zoning code.
“We looked at a location on Columbus, but there wasn’t enough foot traffic. This location affords us access to more people on a daily basis,” he said. “We want people to be able to walk over, get a sandwich and go back to their office or go to the park. We don’t need parking.”
The developers noted that they’ve done their research in the area, and have concluded that a partnership in Tuckahoe can be mutually exclusive for the restaurateur, locals and officials alike.
“It speaks highly of the village that a company would come in and check the demographics and determine there is enough business to be sustainable,” Zoning Board Chair Ronald Gallo noted. “I hate to see a business not survive, so this gives solace to me.”
While many are eager to see some of the village’s vacant storefronts filled, others argued that allowing a chain restaurant into Tuckahoe – something forbidden by ordinances in Eastchester and Bronxville – would cheapen the charm of the neighborhood.
The hotly contested topic remains on the table as village officials on various boards take the steps necessary to approve or disapprove the application. 73 Main Street was set to be a topic at Tuesday’s Planning Board meeting, but it has already been adjourned as more facts are collected.
“I believe the village identity and character is being lost in the pursuit of tax money. Lets not destroy our village’s desirability for short-term revenue,” longtime resident Albert Stern said. “Our small village of Tuckahoe will be cheapened if you approve this application.”
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