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Peekskill Brewery Expansion, Central Firehouse and More: Peekskill Development Update

Peekskill residents can expect some construction in 2012.

Several new businesses opened in 2011 and have seen success in their first few months in the City of Peekskill. The Quiet Man Public House from the New York Times; is attracting skaters from around the tri-state area; creative kids are regularly making an artistic mess at , and commuters have a convenient and exceptional new place to pick up their wine at in the historic Standard House.

This year, private owners and the city council are working towards more development. is expanding to a much larger space; the city is moving forward with the eminent domain process to make the plan happen; and the owner of is making progress with renovations (read details of these projects in list below). While these projects move forward, others have not progressed much since on the in March, 2011.

In 2012, the Peekskill City Council plans to continue its focus on recruiting more new businesses to its vacant storefronts and real estate properties. The city hired to survey residents of Peekskill and surrounding towns on what they would like to see here, and to evaluate established businesses in the downtown district. View the consultants most recent report attached to this article under PDFs. The city will also move forward with an implementation plan for its agenda.

The city has also hired a new Economic Development Directorto expand upon the work that former economic development officer Chris Marra, had been performing. Slaughter is focusing on attracting perspective tenants to properties along the waterfront, Lower South Street and downtown.

Patch caught up with Slaughter to see what residents can expect to happen with development projects this year. See the list below for updates some of the bigger plans for 2012.

  • Peekskill Brewery Expansion: The waterfront brewery and restaurant is in the process of moving and expanding into the building at 43-57 Water Street, around the corner from its current location. Renovations have already begun. Included in the expansion will be a new 15Bbl brewhouse (fabricated by Metalcraft out of Portland, Oregon) which will allow the brewery to more than double its existing production with a lot of room to grow. “The food menu will largely remain the same, but the new space will allow us to more fully realize our goal providing excellent cuisine,” a Brewery spokesperson said.  The Brewery would not release information on when they think the expansion might be complete.
  • F Sharp: Still in construction. Towards the end of 2011, it’s owner, John Ford said that its opening was “imminent.” Slaughter predicts it might open in the first or second quarter of 2012.
  • Kurzhals Building: 900 main street: The owner plans to put a mall on the first floor, offices on the second and return the third floor theater to its original condition. He has completed new corners, new roof and new windows and is beginning interior work. View photos from the first stages of renovations .
  • Central Firehouse: The city owns one of that it needs in order to build the firehouse. Because one owner of the remaining two properties does not agree with the city’s assessment and offer, and the other owner is “dragging his feet,” the city is taking actions to use eminent domain, the City Council discussed at a meeting with the Fire Departments earlier this month. Mayor Mary Foster said the city does not want to wait any longer for negotiations with property owners because the problems “in existing fire houses are very very challenging…and we need to move it forward.” Foster said she thinks the project will break ground this fall.
  • Main Street Commons: This project is a planned 21,750 square foot commercial center at 1719 Main Street. The City expected construction to begin last year, but that has not moved forward. Auto Zone is still planned to move into that space and Slaughter says other tenants are still highly interested.
  • 901 main street:  A bakery/sandwich shop was planned to move into 901 Main Street but no construction has moved forward on this project.
  • Lincoln Depot and Welcome Center: The exterior of the has been completed and the Lincoln Depot Museum will soon be moving ahead with internal construction. Internal work is currently halted because plans to run the utilities through the visitor’s center to the depot building have changed because the visitor’s center has not broke ground yet.

       The city is responsible for the construction of the Welcome Center, to be        built beside the museum, but is still working on the final details for that        project. Slaughter said it should be put out to BID this year. In the mean time, the Lincoln Depot Foundation is spending an extra $250,000 to run utilities directly to the depot in order to finish the museum on their schedule. They plan to begin utility installation soon and expect that to take about three months. In the spring the interior of the museum should be completed.

  • Peekskill Landing: Peekskill Landing is a vacant 4.4 acre waterfront site adjacent to the city’s Riverfront Green Park. The Final Development Design (you can find by clicking through the photos of this article) was adopted by the City in the Fall of 2010. Site remediation was finally completed in December 2011. The city’s engineering firm is finalizing draft construction documents this month and the city planner said he expects the project to go out to BID in the next several weeks. Construction should begin this sprint and if all goes according to plan, the construction will be complete by November, 2012. 
  • Holiday Inn Express: The city has granted the man planning to build a Holiday Inn Express on John Walsh Blvd. a one-year extension on his approval. The owner has landscaped the site and put some screens up to block the unfinished site of the foundation from surrounding tenants, who were complaining about the unappealing view. The owner continues to search for funding to complete the hotel.
  • Former Kelly’s Spot Owned by MTA: The MTA has received proposals for the former Kelly’s restaurant spot at the train station. The city still does not know exactly what will move into that space and the MTA has not given the city a response on what kinds of proposals they are receiving, according to Slaughter.
  • Hugo’s: Owner Arne Paglia will reopen Hugo’s as a restaurant and bar and is aiming to open around May.
  • White Plains Linen: The company will be closing their Highland Avenue facility and is in the process of expanding their facility at John Walsh Blvd.
  • Bertolini & Sons: The beverage distributor will expand its facility on John Walsh Boulevard. It has received approval from the Planning Commission to do so.

What opened in 2011:

  • MTA Renovations began towards the end of 2011
  • Family Dollar
  • Maureen Winzig’s Studio 44
  • Orang Splot Art Spot
  • Dylan's Wine Cellar
  • Energy Movement Center
  • Artist Lofts: One art loft was created at 804 South Street, and three art lofts were created at 950 Main Street.
  • was reopened after several months of construction and improvements.

(Something missing? Tell us in the comments.)

What projects are you excited about? What else would you like to see planned for 2012. Tell us in the comments and take our poll.

Editor's Note: The Peekskill Trolley Company and Energy Movement Center opened in 2011. This information has been added to the article.

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tom February 02, 2012 at 06:42 AM
So Patti...since everyone uses Mahopac as the bench mark for fire stations being bigger. In comparison to Putnam Valley and Mahopac FD's..what is the fire and emergency medical services call volume for the Peekskill FD? What is the professional firefighter/EMT/Paramedic staffing of Mahopac or Putnam Valley...oh that's right..zero. And Patti..didn't Putnam Valley secure a grant to assist with construction of a new station? What happened to that grant and project Patti? You have staffing 24 hours a day. Fire apparatus and Paramedic vehicles to be stored. Office and filing space needs for things that have to be on sight. Equipment storage that is lacking now to ensure its kept properly (protecting your and my tax dollar investment). But no its about building bigger. But I know the experts who chime in know how it should be. Know why I don't comment on Patti's business...I know nothing about it. What I do know is good services when I see them...especially for the city tax I pay. My school district taxes, hmmm and no I don't blame teacher salaries. They are giving to the future of this nation and nearly all have masters degrees. I paid similar school taxes before I moved back here. Funny, no security in my kids high school & they built a new elementary and middle school at the same time. But its the schools fault kids have no discipline. Nevermind the workers unemployed with the economy this project could help put back to work for a time. Till the next one Patti "The coward"
peekskillman February 03, 2012 at 12:26 AM
tom-thank you for the very informational posts, you seem to have your finger on the pulse of this issue. although I respect your insight on this hot button issue, I still , for the time being at least, hold to my thoughts that this is an ill-conceived plan. I would like to do my own research on this as you seem to have done, and then perhaps see things in a different light. Stay tuned
John Q. Public February 03, 2012 at 02:24 AM
The real issue is, Mary Foster lied about Eminent Domain to get into office. She said she was against it. Now she is using it. There are many options to solve the firehouse issue, but not to Mary "Bloody Axe" Foster. What is her financial interest in putting the firehouse on Main Street? Can the Patch or any anyone else report on this obvious monstrosity?
Patty Villanova February 03, 2012 at 02:29 AM
1. Where is the economic impact statement for the firehouse (that was supposed to have been done as part of the SEQRA & planning process) that shows the before and after effect on taxes? 2. Generations of city councils have approved budgets that provide millions of dollars for the physical plants and other needs of the emergency services. Why were the existing stations allowed to rot and go into such a state of disrepair that the only answer now is to build this unsustainable monument? And where are the stats for the fire department that show the REAL call volume, number of fires, false alarms etc.? that justify the numbers being tossed around? Show us the verifiable facts. 3. The PVFD tried to get a grant from the Obama stimulus and they were turned down for a number of reasons, not the least of which was they false information was submitted. If anyone bothers to do the research, they'd see that Peekskill could likely fund most of the project through Federal grants. Has anyone who works for the City bothered to take a look and see what's available for their loyal compadres? And what will this firehouse do to the Downtown business district? Thanks to Tom we now know what to expect " lights flashing through windows, diesel motors, sirens 24 hours a day..... 20 ton vehicles near a school.... On a 1 way street." Yahoo- Ride 'em cowboy!
tom February 03, 2012 at 05:14 AM
1. I can't speak for the economic impact. My take is that there is open space currently in Crossroads Shopping Plaza. The 2 other buildings I doubt is earth shattering. 2. What millions of dollars? From what I understand the line item for building maintenance was ridiculously low. The biggest line item in the budget is personnel. You also have line items for equipment, which the equipment required to do that job costs thousands of dollars per person to outfit them. Then you have to maintain it and follow regulations for the maintenance and testing of it usually on an annual basis. Call volume...I've heard it mentioned at several meetings. Also there is also really no such thing as a false alarm. Fire alarms activate for reasons. Even a kid that pulls a alarm box...its not false it was actuated and it worked as designed. And I know its hard to explain to a ignorant moron...but call volume isn't just the reason you need new facilities. You have employees working in subpar conditions, in buildings not up to code for occupancy lone less the regulations to ensure their safety, training requirements etc. Do yourself a favor Patti..since you think I'm the one that doesn't know Peekskill, yet I live here. Once in a while instead of complaining and whining on here, while waiting for customers, look out your window..there's 2 fire stations in the downtown business district now...the trucks and paramedic vehicles only go through downtown over a dozen times a day.
tom February 03, 2012 at 05:30 AM
Maybe you're right Patti..never mind putting in on the fringes of the commercial area. Nice try at mixing words. Luckily most people are smart enough to see through your ignorance. One of the busiest companies in that city (I know how to get numbers, its called you ask) is just up the street and travels the same path they would out of the new station. I mean is it just me? Or are you exactly like the ones you claim lie, twist, etc. and cry about? I find it extremely funny how you mock those who are tasked for your safety and preservation of your property if needed. But what else would I expect from an ignorant classless person. Peekskillman...thank you. I respect your opinion and understand. I have a pulse because I am in the business and feel for my Peekskill colleagues and the conditions they work in. They are dedicated, highly trained individuals who have high call volume considering Peekskill is 4.5 square miles roughly. They deserve better working/living conditions. Not to mention they help us save money on our fire insurance premiums. It makes no sense to me to maintain multiple buildings. The time has come and it will pay off in the long run. Put in the fact that Peekskill has a combination department with volunteers and you have to facilitate their needs as well. But hey what do I know...apparently I'm a cowboy as well as a coward.
Patty Villanova February 03, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Spoken like a true Hero. Give the boys whatever they want, don't let the facts or the cost get in the way. Then again, I'm sure no one wants to get on the wrong side of the brave First Responders.....
Bob Ogden February 03, 2012 at 04:19 PM
John/Patty, You keep referring to Ms. Foster's, "financial interests". If you have proof of any of this you should speak to the Attorney General's Office and let them investigate it. If you don't then you should not disparage someone's integrity with baseless allegations. By the way - These First Responders are Brave and serve this community at the risk of their own safety. I don't care whether they're paid or volunteers, they're doing something that most of you wouldn't, couldn't or would be too afraid to do. You should thank them everyday. As to replacement vs repair: I've been involved in renovations of large buildings and on more than one occasion the decision was made to replace the building rather than repair it due to the costs involved. I applaud Foster and her team for taking the heat to do this project. Seems no matter what is done in this town by whatever Mayor is in office, someone is always against it. This really seems to be a political agenda rather than a real world one. When John was Mayor he took the same kind of heat for every project he planned. It's amazing anyone runs for this office at all. Maybe we should make it a full time position, then at least they'd be able to collect a decent salary while they're being abused.
Lanning Taliaferro (Editor) February 03, 2012 at 06:40 PM
Thanks to those who pointed out the problem; that comment has been deleted.
Lanning Taliaferro (Editor) February 03, 2012 at 06:46 PM
A comment that was a personal attack has been deleted.
John Q. Public February 03, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Mungo, the AG has been informed about a number of financial abuses by Ms. Foster and Ms. Claxton. You are naive to think partisan politics does not color how these issues are decided. Cuomo gives them a free pass on corruption. Ms Foster's position as Mayor requires her and the Council to direct the City Manager. She is overpaid already for what she has done, which is mostly preventing Peekskill from being a great City. There are better places to put a firehouse than in the middle of the downtown that would not require the use of eminent domain. Any American, whether fireman or not, sees the terrible injustice in this. What would you do if the City offered you 30% less than what you paid for your house and held a gun to your head? Would you take it? I doubt it.
Patty Villanova February 03, 2012 at 07:44 PM
No one is being forced to join the fire department or to become a cop or any of the other emergency services-- this is a personal choice, made by someone who knows full well the dangers that come with the job. Sometimes bad things happen, just like in the construction industry; I don't see the bronze medals come out everytime some hardhat gets injured whiled working on a building, or gets buried in a ditch, or any other accident that occurs. These are just people doing their jobs is the point I'm trying to make. As as alleging corruption in the City of Peekskill, I think that most of what's being written here was already documented in the local media during many years of reporting. You can't make this stuff up.
Anabasis Bob February 03, 2012 at 07:59 PM
I'd invoke my 2nd amendment rights and my constitutional right to self-defense and property, stand in my doorway like Horatio on the bridge, and resist the forces of government evil unto death. Beyond this line you shall not pass! Scary Mary: We want your house. Me: Come and get it. I make no compromises and I accept no demands.
John Q. Public February 03, 2012 at 08:08 PM
Patty, Check out the Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Injuries. http://www.bls.gov/iif/oshcfoi1.htm I think your point is right that there are lots of more hazardous jobs in the USA than being a police officer or firefighter. in 2010, 2,231 killed in the services industries, 751 construction workers, 312 farmers, 44 police, 34 correctional officers (same number as teachers). Since 2009, 255 soldiers in Iraq -- annualized, there are far riskier jobs. People don't like facts, and I'm sure I'll be criticized for quoting objective data that makes people uncomfortable.
Liz Claire February 03, 2012 at 10:00 PM
JQP, you are right. Fishermen, loggers, miners, roofers, garbage collectors, all suffer more workplace deaths than firefighters and police officers. Most police officers who die on the jobs do not meet death from bullets, but from their own bad driving. It's in the stats. The people fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq and around the world are the true heroes.
Bob Ogden February 03, 2012 at 11:26 PM
Liz, According to OSHA the most likely person to be assaulted is a clerk at a 24-hour convenience store. This fact does not make it any less dangerous to be a fireman or a police officer. I recall Sept. 11, 2001 when everyone was running out of the World Trade Center, the only ones running in were Cops and Fireman. Many of our own Firefighters from right here in Peekskill ran down to the City to help as did our Police Officers. Did you? Yes the Americans fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq are heroes, but that doesn't make our cops and fireman any less. Have you ever had to confront a psychopath with a knife, gotten in a gun fight, been attacked by a gang, had to prevent someone from taking their life by putting your own in jeopardy? I doubt it. You see that's why there a pipes and drums at their funerals. It's because they are special, whether you want to believe it or not. They are the people who have chosen to dedicate their lives to public service. Being a cop or fireman means there are no holidays, no weekends, no snow days. So Liz, live your quiet life and know that someday you or someone you know will pick up the phone and dial 911. Then those men and women who you do not consider to be heroes will put their own safety second so they can come and save you. Do they deserve a decent place to work? I think so. Is Main Street a good place? I think it is. But what you wrote was disrespectful and you owe them an apology.
Liz Claire February 03, 2012 at 11:51 PM
Mungo, I was in the South Tower on 9/11 and got out, though not everyone I worked with did. If you were there on the ground at the time, covered in ash, coughing, choking, running for your life after watching people you worked with die, you would have a less sentimental view of what really happened. Yes, Sam Oitice gave his life, he is a hero. But I saw as I left the WTC many "emergency responders" a/k/a firefighters fleeing for their own life when it came crashing down. They had to to survive long enough to go back in later. Don't sugarcoat reality you weren't there. Many people I know who also survived have never recovered from the guilt of surviving. I don't need you moralizing to me. I respect cops & firefighters. But facts are facts. More people in my company died on 9/11 than police or firefighters. That doesn't diminish what they do. It simply states a fact. There are a lot of people who sugar coat what happened that day, people like you who weren't there. It's sickening to me that you exploit 9/11 when your experience was watching it on TV. A lot of us lived it. I see no reason to apologize for citing government statistics. The police and firefighters I know and respect have more humility than you, and don't believe in grandstanding. Speak of what you lived, not what's in your political advantage. You owe me an apology.
Patty Villanova February 03, 2012 at 11:53 PM
Oh please, enough already with the grandstanding. It seems ever since 9/11 every local first responder and emergency services worker wraps themselves the mantle of their brethren who actually were at the WTC that day. Of course no mention is made of the ordinary office workers and their incredible acts of bravery and heroism (including an amazing guiding eyes dog that led his owner down all those stairs to safety; catch the video online). I think it is disrespectful to the taxpayers and residents to keep playing the "hero" card in the hopes that people will be too intimidated to say anything about what's going on with the new fire station.
Patty Villanova February 03, 2012 at 11:59 PM
Bravo Liz- well said!
peekskillman February 04, 2012 at 01:26 PM
Tom and others-did a little research, and found a few items of interest: =the de facto chairman of the firehouse comm is retired PHS coach and past volunteer fire chief -what are his qualifications =another past volunteer fire chief is a current building inspector-why wasnt the deplorable conditions addressed by him in his capacity as inspector =a current vlounteer fire chief lives outside the city limits, in Cortland-so he can press for a new building, but not bear any of the financial burdens with it =at a recent council workshop, the fire chief stated that there were app 30 active volunteer firemen, and about 25 paid fireman-for only about 60 or so people, why do we need such a large place to house them, esp if only 6-7 paid men are on duty at once (hmmm, 3 items relating to the volunteers, could it be the counceil is trying to buy them off?) =the current shopping center was built during the urbann renewal of the 60s-70s-who know what is buried in the ground, as a SEQRA hasnt been done yet MacGregor brook runs righ under the footprint of the building, what happens if the brook is damaged =the designer of the bldg is the same (only) one who did a study to see if it was feasible to remodel the current house-why only one bid, and from the same design man-smells fishy =kudos to all who serve, but I hold my point that it is too much, and poorly planned =more to follow
Patty Villanova February 04, 2012 at 01:47 PM
This is the kind of research and investigation that should have been done by our elected officials BEFORE they made such a huge committment. If it's any consolation, we're going through the same process here in Put Valley. The cast of characters, including the main architect/ designer is Mitchell Associates. I don't know if Peekskill has officially signed a contract with Mitchell, but if so, then someone needs to FOIL it to find out how much you're already committed to. The PVFD has already spent over $700 grand on planning and other assorted expenses, even though it's highly unlikely the economy will improve enough to build the new fire station. And we need it even LESS than Peek. But here, like there, Emergency Services/ First Responders are a huge voting bloc that can make or break a politician. Find out about the contract and you may be surprised.
Bob Ogden February 04, 2012 at 02:45 PM
Liz, I'm sorry you were there and lost your friends, but I too lost my friends. I worked on recovery for the next thirty days. My response to your comments about police officers dying because of their own bad driving and I will not apologize to you for my response. I have buried too many of my friends in fact over my twenty three year career, I buried 160 of them. Now you say you respect officers, but I don't believe it.
peekskillman February 04, 2012 at 08:45 PM
more on this-please ladies and gents, we are straying from the issue, which is the cost and size of this proposed building. I have utmost respect for the men of the fire and police who do a job for whatever reason, that others cant or wont do. My sympathies to all those who lost their lives (or friends) in the attacks, no matter what their job title was. As an aside, Tom refers to response times, which means how fast the fire dept gets there. All our friends and neighbors on the north end of peekskill should now know that THERE IS NO LONGER A FIRE TRUCK STATIONED ON HIGHLAND AVENUE. Thats right, the building is now closed, and the fire truck is stationed on Washington St. I guess that the firemen were right that the conditions were so bad that they had to move. Im glad the city is looking out for the men, but now what happens if there is a fire or emergency north of the monument, how much more time is going to be used to get a fire engine there? Even if the truck was moved for health reason, the timing is a little suspicious, like the city is trying to prove a point. It would be interesting to hear the city's explanation as to why no one was notified of this. As stated by Tom, a few feet or tenths of a mile make a big difference in insurance premiums, will it now affect all these households? and it goes on...
tom February 04, 2012 at 09:16 PM
LOL. The difference between the construction worker and firefighters and police officers is many of their deaths come from controllable accidents. Second statistically cops die from other bad drivers...struck and killed is their top cause of death. Peekskillman...I can't answer those questions I have nothing to do with any of it.
peekskillman February 06, 2012 at 11:08 PM
Miss Villanova-I sympathize with you in PV; this proposed building in Peekskill is the FIRST that he has done alone; all the others that he has worked on was with the previous firm he was employed by. Perhaps he is trying to make a name for himself in this area by proposong such large, out of place structures. I for one wouldnt want a first-timer to design such an important building; hopefully our respective officials have vetted this from his resume.
Patty Villanova February 06, 2012 at 11:22 PM
I thought the Peekskill firestation is to be done by Mitchell Associates,no?
peekskillman February 07, 2012 at 11:58 AM
Mitchell Asssociates is Bob Mitchell, one and the same; he is not the multi-architect type firm that he use to work for from what I am told
Patty Villanova February 07, 2012 at 01:39 PM
Peekskillman- I have in front of my the contracts,invoices & other documents I FOIL'd for the proposed new Put Valley firehouse. The architect is "Mitchell Associates Architects, Sole Proprietorship." I think this entity is one and the same as Peekskill. Bob Mitchell is the owner/ principal of Mitchell Associates and their are others on staff whose bills you are no doubt paying. You need to start filing FOIL requests with the City to get the records of what's going on. Unless you have the documents in front of you, you can only speculate. I don't know if anyone in Peek has been doing FOIL research, but the only way you'll be able to fight this thing and generate support.is to get all the paperwork and start getting out the information. The Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) is a beautiful thing. And the City officials hate and fear it.
peekskillman February 07, 2012 at 10:13 PM
thanks Ms Villanova-same man, same firm. Ill try the foil, and see what the city is up to. BTW, the silence is deafening from the city, no?? Still no answer as to why our friends on the north end of the city are now without a fire engine to respond to an emergency. it is now parked in the Washington St firehouse, clear across town.
Patty Villanova February 07, 2012 at 11:41 PM
Who is in charge of your fire department? Put Valley is all volunteers but there is a chief (several in fact) and other officers who must deal with the town officials. There must be someone who can give you answers. How about going to a council meeting and bringing up these issues live on camera? Ask the questions of Foster, Claxton, et al. They're the elected officials who are supposed to know where the money is going. If you don't want to go live, then I urge you to start writing letters to the council and/ or filing FOIL requests. I know there are others in town who share your concerns, some of them may have posted on Patch. You need to get together. It's the only hope you have to do something. The Foster- Klaxton strategy= Divide & conquer. It works every time. People get the government they deserve and they usually get it good.

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