A developer known as 3451 Lexington Avenue LLC has proposed building a 56,000-square-foot, two-story classic car storage facility along with a 4,900-square-foot showroom and 3,528-square-foot storage building on a 16.3-acre site at 3451 Lexington Ave. in Cortlandt.
Special events such as classic car shows would be staged at the site and there would be a membership club for classic car aficionados.
Architect Heike Schneider of HS-Architecture in Yorktown Heights told the Cortlandt Planning Board on March 3 that the indoor storage facility would hold 400 cars and outside there would be 95 parking spaces for member and public use, 65 in the front and 30 in the rear.
“In the front along Lexington Avenue we are proposing a 4,900-square-foot showroom, with the members lounge on the second floor,” Schneider said. “As part of the member lounge we are proposing a bar area, small kitchen prep area, a conference room, race car simulator room and private lounge area.”
She explained that because of the slope of the site, the building would appear as one story when viewed from Lexington Avenue but other parts would be two stories. She said the height along Lexington would be 27 feet.
She said car washing and detailing services would be offered and that water used would be retained within the building and recycled so as to not impact the designed wetland area at the lowest portion of the property.
“You can then also join a membership and you can store your car for a reduced price if you are a member. Then you can also take part in events,” Schneider told the board.
She said there likely would be monthly events featuring car shows and other attractions that would be open to the general public.
“The train station is not far away,” she noted, adding that shuttle service between the site and the Metro-North station would be offered for people coming to a special event from New York City or elsewhere. She said doing so would reduce the number of parking spaces potentially needed for public events.
Board member Robert Foley questioned the impact that staging events attracting large crowds might have on the area. He pointed out that a Section 8 housing complex and a nursing facility were nearby.
“When we just approved assisted living on the corner we had some issues there. I didn’t know anything about this proposal then. It sounds like it’s a large, intense proposal,” Foley said.
Christopher Kehoe, Cortlandt’s town planner, said, “There are 95 parking spaces. We thought it was way too many but then it was pointed out they will be doing these events, plus the landscape plan hasn’t really been fleshed out. We had some questions with that. I guess there’s a possibility cars would be parked in the parking lot with their hoods open like they do at other places and people will come and look at the cars and things. We’ve got to get that fleshed out.”
Planning board chairwoman Loretta Taylor said they would need more specifics about the nature of the events that could take pace at the site.
Board member Thomas Bianchi expressed a concern that car sales activities would be taking place as you would find at an automobile dealership, including cars being taken out for test drives.
The board voted to continue its review of the proposal with a visit to the site of the proposed development.