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Armonk Landlord Wary of Town Real Estate Projects

Armonk Town Square is good for Armonk but represents a threat to the town economy because it includes thousands of square feet of retail space that are currently untenanted, said Jeffery Garson, who owns Town Center, the retail complex on Main St.

Garson said the Article 78 petition against Armonk Town Square "has no justification and is without merit."

Kristen Wilson, an attorney at Harris Beach PLLC, a White Plains law firm that represents Michael Fareri, the Armonk developer who filed the petition against Armonk Sqaure, said the suit was brought because in an effort to rush the development of the DeCicco Family Markets at Armonk Square the town of North Castle "improperly fast tracked the the environmental review mandated by New York State.

"The Town Board's review failed to analyze the supermarket plan's impact on the drinking water supply and did not analyze traffic, parking, noise and odor impacts on petitioner's property, which is contiguous to Armonk Square," she said.

Garson said, "The Armonk Square project will work," but he opposes the Town Board's decision to reject A&P's expansion plan, which lead to the Town Square project that will include DeCicco's Family Markets, which will replace A&P.

"The Town Board wrongfully didn't grant approvals for the A&P enlargement and instead we got CVS. The town couldn't have made a worse move," he said. "Look at the CVS lease, they can sell anything under the sun. It's a general store that takes away from everyone else and hurts smaller businesses. It's terrible for Armonk and will lead to a lot of national tenants."

Garson said he turned CVS and McDonald's down when he opened Town Center 15 years ago, because they weren't right for Armonk.

Garson is worried that Armonk Town Square will feature 10,000 to 12,000 feet of unoccupied retail space after the DeCicco's store is built. Drawing retail tenants to Armonk is difficult becuase "the population is not dense," he said.

Unoccupied stores, which he called blackouts, "are terrible. They besmirch the town because it looks like businesses couldn't make it or something is wrong with the location."

Garson approves the assisted living facility project on Business Park Dr. "They pay high taxes, the tenants need virtually no town services and they'll bring disposable income that will help retail stores become absorbed," he said.

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