Former gallery may become retail, office space
The Village of Cold Spring’s municipal lot on Fair Street is being eyed as a solution to a parking shortage that has delayed approval of an application to turn the former Ellen Hayden Gallery into retail and office space.
James Gary applied to the village Planning Board in June to reconfigure the interior of 40 Main St. into two retail spaces and an office with 29 desks in the rear of the building. Under village zoning, the project would need seven parking spaces for the retail portion and 37 for the offices.
Because the number of off-street spaces required by code is seldom available, businesses can pay a one-time fee of $250 per space for a waiver that must be approved by the Village Board. But parking on Main Street, which is limited to four hours, doesn’t work for an eight-hour workday, said Matt Francisco, chair of the Planning Board, during a meeting on Nov. 11.
An assessment showed that the metered Fair Street lot has enough vacant spaces to support the 40 Main St. project, said Francisco. Gary said the prospective tenant, a financial services company, expects to have no more than 20 people in the office from Monday to Thursday and would pay the village $120,000 annually to reserve spaces ($3 per hour for 20 people each day).
“It seemed to me that it was sufficient to utilize the lot that is already in place and that’s being underutilized,” Gary said.
The board closed the public hearing on the project but deferred approval until the Village Board, which meets on Tuesday (Nov. 23), decides on a solution to the parking requirement, including waivers and contracting with Gary on the Fair Street lot.
The Planning Board is also being asked to approve a change to the site plan for the last phase of the Butterfield development on Route 9D. The Planning Board originally approved a 15,000-square-foot, 2½-story structure with 6,000 square feet of retail at the street level and offices upstairs.
Butterfield Realty is asking the board for permission to amend that plan to build a 13,800-square-foot building in which the upstairs offices would be replaced by six condo units and the retail portion would shrink to 5,000 square feet. Each condo would have its own garage and parking.
In 2015, the Planning Board approved up to 55 condos on the property, which has 49, the developer said. The additional six condos would fill out the project.
“We think this might be a better use for the property,” Matt Moran, a representative for Butterfield Realty, told the Planning Board in September. The proposed change also needs to go before the Historic District Review Board.
That lot is teeming on a nice summer day and fall weekend. But yes, allow a business to take up half the lot while taxpayers are forced into metered parking or park far away from their dwelling. Once again, Cold Spring residents are last on the list.