Westchester Community College (WCC) has been granted approval to move classes into the third floor of the former Sears store in the Cross County Shopping Center in Yonkers by the city’s Planning Board.
Retailing giant Target plans to open up its first Yonkers store on the first and second floors of the building. WCC would take approximately 34,785 square feet on the third floor.
WCC already holds classes at the Cross County Center in a facility known as Building 8, but the move to the former Sears store would allow more extensive operations. The former Sears store is known as Building 11 at the Cross County Center.
“Westchester Community College has expressed interest in expanding its operations at the site. They’d like some bigger space than what they have currently. This would allow students that are coming and taking classes at Cross County Shopping Center to complete their entire Associates Degree without having to go to the Valhalla campus,” attorney Janet Giris of the White Plains law firm DelBello Donnellan Weingarten Wise & Wiederkehr LLP told the Yonkers Planning Board at its Sept. 9 meeting. “Currently they just don’t have the facilities to be able to offer all of the classes that would be necessary.”
Giris pointed out that the Cross County Center offers excellent access to public transportation as well as plenty of parking.
“There are no changes being proposed to the exterior or to the site,” Giris said. She added that there would be signage identifying the college. Giris said that the proposal complies with requirements of the city codes that already allow college operations within shopping centers. She pointed out that the building is easily accessible from the Kimball Avenue side of the center and that there is ample parking in that section of the shopping center.
Giris indicated that the number of students who would be accommodated at the proposed facility has not been determined. The city code does not allow dormitory or dining facilities at college satellite sites such as this and Giris pointed out that none is proposed.
The Planning Board determined there would be no significant adverse environmental impacts from the project and unanimously approved the site plan application. A separate sign permit will be needed from the city.