After the better part of a decade, a Garden City-based developer has finally reached the first phase of construction on a vacant parcel on Crompond Road in Yorktown.
Breslin Realty Development Corp. plans to build a 121,000-square-foot Lowe’s home improvement center, a 7,600-square-foot restaurant, a 4,500-square-foot restaurant and a 4,000-square-foot business.
“I’m a little numb after nine long years,” the development company’s CEO Wilbur F. Breslin said of the planning process. “I’ve been here before, and I’ve had projects that make this look like a fast track. I’m kind of used to it.”
Breslin said his company is in talks with two restaurants and a third business to take up the three additional spaces at the planned development, though nothing has yet been confirmed.
“It’s a little premature,” Breslin said.
Demolition work on the property’s existing dilapidated and graffiti-covered structures began earlier this month. Construction could begin in January with the stores opening later next year, Breslin said.
The long-vacant site was formerly occupied by the Yorktown Country Inn, which closed more than 20 years ago. The property was last used as a county-run homeless shelter.
An October groundbreaking for the roughly $70 million project marked a milestone in what has been a long road for Breslin’s company, which has been in talks to develop the property since 2009.
The development replaces a previously approved 151,092-square-foot Costco and a members-only gas fueling station on the 19-acre parcel near the intersection of Crompond Road and Taconic State Parkway. The Yorktown Planning Board approved the $60 million project in November 2015.
Costco’s project hit a snag when its on-site gas station was strongly opposed by independent gas station owners in Yorktown. Yorktown Smart Growth, a citizens development watchdog group, Yorktown Gas Mart Inc. and Quick Stop Central Ave. Inc. filed a lawsuit against town officials and Breslin Realty Development claiming the big-box store would hurt area gas station owners and sought to have the town’s approval of the project overturned.
After years of delays and roadblocks, Costco ultimately pulled out of the project in 2016.
Yorktown Supervisor Michael Grace said he hopes Costco will look elsewhere in the town to develop a new store, though no new plans have been proposed.
While the Costco project spent years in the planning stages, the Lowe’s development was approved just three months after it was proposed to the planning board.
Town officials have said that spreading the risk and the wealth to four businesses rather than a single business is an advantage, along with the additional tax revenue those additional businesses would provide.
Breslin credited a more diversified site plan, one that includes additional businesses along the front of the site and “a superb job” by Grace and the town’s planning director, John A. Tegeder, for the relatively speedy approval process.