After 2019 air rights deal scuttled, Greenwich Plaza submits new plan without cinema
A new pre-application for the renovation of Greenwich Station and Mixed Use Block has been submitted to the City Planning and Zoning Commission.
Attorney Bruce Cohen submitted a story on behalf of Greenwich Plaza Inc, which owns the 83,116 square foot plot on Railroad Ave between Greenwich Ave / Steamboat Rd and Arch Street near the station and now a closed cinema.
In 2019, the applicant received preliminary site plan approval to redevelop the site, including the adjacent property south of the railroad tracks.
The project was to be part of a public-private partnership involving the purchase of Greenwich Plaza from the city of the air rights to the office buildings at 2 Steamboat Rd.
The city and Greenwich Plaza were unable to come to an agreement on air rights and the project was withdrawn.
Since then, Bowtie Cinemas, which was already in difficulty, has permanently closed the cinema during the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the applicant’s account, the physical impairments in the theater have worsened over the past two years.
The theater is over 50 years old and its roof is in poor condition. The structure suffered extensive water damage from Ida. The building is unoccupied and could not be rental without significant investment.
The applicant now has a concept plan that is less expensive, but offers several of the benefits offered in 2019.
The proposal is to demolish the theater and build in its place a new mixed-use space with a pedestrian square and access to the railway platform.
In addition, they are looking to renovate and renovate the remaining mixed-use building and significantly improve the station.
The footprint of the existing structure west of the theater will remain the same (from Citibank to the old Hopscotch space). The same will apply to the parking lot adjacent to Arch Street and the on-street spaces on Railroad Ave.
Strong points: New 3,800 square foot restaurant, Pocket Park, larger waiting room
â¢ The corner of Railroad Ave and Steamboat Rd will have a 3,800 square foot restaurant and a small pocket park with green space and outdoor seating for the new restaurant.
â¢ Access to the train platform will have a new staircase for better access. They will remove the unsightly garbage area.
â¢ Renovate the row of storefronts between the station and the old cinema for new storefronts and new tenants, to connect the active shopping streetscape of Greenwich Ave to the station.
â¢ The station itself will be redone and renovated with new materials, lighting and signage. Inside the first floor entrance, new materials and lighting will create a more open feel.
â¢ On the second floor, the ticket office will be removed, letting in light and allowing more waiting space.
â¢ The elevator door will be reoriented allowing for a small retail space.
â¢ On the west side of the station, Citibank should stay. There will be a mix of retail and office space on the existing footprint. The applicant believes that small office spaces will be desirable after the Covid.
â¢ The backs of houses along the tracks will have a delivery aisle and discreetly store garbage for tenants.
â¢ Surface parking with 36 spaces will remain as well as 32 parking spaces along Railroad Avenue.
â¢ Along Arch Street, the buffer zone will be replanted
The site is already under-parked with 100 spaces. This is considered to be an existing legal non-compliance which the applicant proposes to maintain.
More specifically, there are 36 parking spaces on site while 147 are required under current regulations.
Planet Pizza – 10 seats; Olive branch – 12 spaces; Retail space – 57 spaces; Personal Service (former Hopscotch) – 68 spaces. The station parking lot is in the suburban parking lots. The parking lot for the theater was at Greenwich Plaza.
The applicant wishes to be on the agenda for the first possible P&Z public meeting.
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