ELLENVILLE – Ellenville’s makeover got another brush stroke at the village board meeting on November 27. E&I LLC, a development company, appeared before the board for discussion of a proposal to take down the old Burger King/Diner building on 127 South Main Street and replace it with a three-story professional office building.
Behind this new move lies the Restore NY grant program. Village Manager Joe Stoeckeler has been promoting use of this program for months. The Leberge group are the consultants on this, and considerable funding is available under the right circumstances.
In August, Governor Cuomo announced that $80 million would be available for Round 5 of the Restore NY Communities initiative. The program assists local governments in revitalizing towns and neighborhoods. Governor Cuomo said, "I encourage local governments to apply for funding, as it supports the demolition and rehabilitation of blighted properties to improve our neighborhoods, entice new investment, and support a stronger, more prosperous New York.”
The Restore NY program has received $395 million since its inception, including this latest round of funding. More than 200 projects have been funded to remove and restore blighted properties.
The project at the old Burger King/Diner site would lead to a 12,000-square foot office building. The developers would need to fund about 50% of the estimated $1.8-$2.5 million cost. There would be four offices per floor, except on the ground floor where there would be three plus the lobby. If required, non-structural walls could be removed on any floor to enlarge the potential office space available. The developers would begin by offering below market rents to fill up the building. It was noted during discussion that Ellenville is one of the few municipalities in the area that lacks this kind of building, which can offer space to architects, medical practitioners, insurance agencies, law offices etc. The developers noted that the building will rise in space already zoned for business. However, there will have to be an application to the planning board for approval.
This news comes on top of the major redevelopment of the Stewart’s Shop complex on Main Street in the heart of the village. At the planning board meeting two weeks ago, Steve Kinley of Stewart’s Shops, gave a presentation of that project. Essentially, the Stewart’s shop will move from the current location facing Canal Street to one on the corner of Main Street and Center Street (Routes 209 and 52). Stewart’s will take down the three-story building that formerly housed a yoga and fitness business. The new building will be 3,700 square feet in extent, about 50% larger than the current one. New Stewart’s offerings will include pizza and made-to-order sandwiches. There will be sixteen parking spaces.
Only when the new building is complete and open for business will the current building be closed and prepared for demolition. Stewart’s will not be closed for business at any point during this entire process.
At the same time, the number of pumps and gas stations will be increased to six from the current four. Diesel will also be made available.
Kinley said that an effort would be made to retain existing trees, but at least three new trees will be added to the landscaping for the new shop. A cupola on top of the new building is part of the plan.
The planning board made a motion to send the application to the county for review. After a short discussion it was decided that the application did not need a public hearing, since no opposition is imagined from the neighbors or the village at large.
Meanwhile, farther up Main Street, at the mini-mall where Ellenville Wine & Spirits is located, work continues on the new Taco Bell franchise. The house at 33 Main Street is to be demolished and a drive-through established there, that will bend around the wine shop and mini mall building, and connect with the Taco Bell restaurant, which will occupy the southern end of the mini mall building. Customers will then exit via the existing driveways back to Main Street, Route 209.
At the planning board there was discussion of a secondary structure, a 1,500-square foot, storage space for the wine shop that will be built at the rear. It will have the same exterior treatment that the current building has. The site will receive Taco Bell’s standard landscaping, with shrubs and herbs. Only existing trees will remain.