From block to block Peekskill tells a different story of development. On South Division St., artistic signs advertising the F Sharp indicate an upswing in the economy, but on South St. vacant storefronts give the look of economic decline. So what is actually going on in Peekskill? Peekskill’s Economic Development Specialist Christ Marra explained what businesses went through in 2010 and what new businesses we can expect as we enter the spring of 2011.
“In 2010 no restaurants closed, it was a pretty stabilizing year,” said Marra. “People were holding on to their businesses any way they could but they stayed open.”
No restaurants closed in 2010, but eight businesses did close, while 14 new places opened (see the list below). This year, we have already seen open and close. While other small businesses about the competition Walgreens offers, several more new businesses are preparing to open this spring. A few city projects are also planned to take off in the next few weeks and months.
The city is also in the process of forming its Cultural Heritage Tourism Strategic Plan and Downtown Retail Recruitment Plan, both aimed to help the city’s economic development. The Cultural Heritage plan will focus on cultivating and promoting the city’s rich history and cultural traditions. It is expected to be complete by mid-year.
The city will hire a downtown marketing consultant to assess the area as part of the Downtown Recruitment Plan. The consultant will look at the size and shapes of spaces, and other important aspects of the buildings and area, and assess them for what businesses would fit best. “The consultant has resources that he city does not have,” said Marra. “They have access to data the city would have to pay for and experience of interviewing landlords and retail specific.”
Once the report is completed Marra will take the suggestions and guidelines, and enact the plan by recruiting the appropriate businesses, enticing them into town and doing what the city can to help get new them up and running.
What is coming in 2011:
-The Quiet Man’s Pub: An Irish pub will move into 15 North Division St., most likely this summer. The owners plan to refurbish the front of the building to resemble a traditional pub (see photo attached to this article). The building will also have four artist lofts available for rent on the second and third floors, probably not until September 1.
-F Sharp Restaurant and Music Hall: John Ford, who owns the Ford building and Ford Piano, is gearing up to open F Sharp Restaurant and Music Hall in his building on South Division St. Marra said he expects the music hall to open by time of Peekskill’s jazz fest is held, which is usually the last weekend in July, and that the opening of the restaurant would follow.
-901 Main St.: A bakery/sandwich shop is planned to move into 901 Main St., the storefront beneath the senior citizen building Peekskill Plaza apartments within the next few months.
-Main Street Commons: This 21,750 square foot commercial center at 1719 Main St. has its building permit and has paid all escrow funds, which means construction should begin very soon now that the weather is improving. The space has Auto Zone signed on as a tenant that will occupy one third of the large space. The developer has hired a real estate broker to find other tenants for the building. Marra said the broker informed him there are several interested tenants.
Metro-North Train Station Renovation: The MTA has plans to renovate the Peekskill Metro-North train station and the MTA has already accepted a bid from company to do the work. But Croton-on-Hudson station was also on MTA’s list of stations to be renovated, so the timing of the projects depends on which station the MTA chooses to renovate first. The City is still waiting to hear this decision. Patch’s calls and emails to the MTA were not returned.
-Central Firehouse: The city does not actually own the land that the firehouse is supposed to be built upon, which is part of the Crossroads Plaza, the furniture store, the liquor store, and the white house on the corner of Main and North Broad streets. “We are having ongoing discussions (with the property owners),” said City Manager Rick Finn. “Everything right now is very positive.”
Peekskill Mayor Mary Foster and Finn have both said that the city does not want to go through eminent domain to obtain the properties. Finn said that the city hopes to take ownership of the properties in June or July and, "if everything works out, construction could start as early as August."
-Lincoln Depot: Renovation of the exterior of the Lincoln Depot museum has been completed, and the Lincoln Depot Foundation held a for the interior construction to begin in February. They expect the museum to open in about a year.
-New Artist Lofts: Ten new artist lofts will be completed within the next year, said Marra. Three will be located above Baxter’s pharmacy at 950 Main St. and should be ready by the end of March. As mentioned above, four lofts will be located above the Quiet Man’s Pub, and are expected to be ready for tenants around September. Three more will be located at 113 North Division St., and probably will not be ready for tenants until early 2012.
-Holiday Inn Express: The owner and developer of the land where Holiday Inn Express is set to be built-on the corner of John Walsh Blvd. and Louisa St., is still seeking financing for the actual construction of the building. The foundation and site work is done, but in order to move forward the owner will need funding. Marra said the owner is closer to receiving the necessary funding this year than he was in 2010. “Perhaps an indication on how things are going in the finance world,” said Marra. Check Patch for more on this story.
-Inn on the Hudson: Renovations and façade improvements to the Inn on the Hudson are complete. Renovation of the interior is still underway.
-987 Main St.: Renovations to this building are currently underway, but there no identified tenants to move in yet. The renovation should be complete by May.
-White Plains Linen: White Plains Linen is moving from its current Highland Ave. location to 6 John Walsh Blvd., next to its other facility at 10 John Walsh Blvd. The company expects the move to increase efficiency and expects it will also create about 25 new jobs.
-Replacement for Kelly’s: Remember Kelly’s, the restaurant inside the train station that has sat vacant since the spring of 2009? The building might see some action again soon. The city has been asking the MTA for years to lease the building out to a new tenant, and finally, in the last two months, the MTA has hired real estate broker to find a tenant for the 7,935 square foot building with Hudson River views.
Here is a look at places that closed in 2010 (list compiled by the Office of Economic Development):
1. Ana’s Hair Salon - 901 Main Street #700
2. Royal J. Diner – 1 Bank Street
3. 99 cents Power Up – 10 Bank Street
4. Peekskill Travel Bureau – 1011 Park Street
5. Oasis Video 901 Main Street #500
6. Hyta Beauty Salon – 3 Bank Street
7. Bill’s Bicycle Barn 510 Highland Avenue, Peekskill
8. Beach Aquarium, Beach Shopping Center
Business that Opened in 2010 (list compiled by the Office of Economic Development)
2. G&H Jamaican Restaurant, 11 N. Division Street
3. , 1008 Main Street
4. Meteor Computer, Inc., 1014 Park Street
5. The Beverage Works, 1 Highland Industrial Park
6. The Cove, 5 John Walsh Boulevard (Formerly Chrystal Bay)
7. RMS Packaging, Inc., 1050 Lower South Street
8. Toys R Us, Beach Shopping Center
9. Rainbow, Beach Shopping Center
10. Hyta Beauty Salon, 1007 Park Street (New owner purchased name from
11. 1 N. Division Street
12. 970 Main Street
13. Ciro’s On South, 907 South Street (Rebranded from previous restaurant)
14.at 1000 N. Division Street
Find out what kind of development is going on in Cortlandt .