With the opportunity to shape the southern gateway to the village’s downtown business district and add parking, Briarcliff Manor announced Feb. 11 that it had reached an agreement to purchase the site of the former Wells Fargo Bank at 1050 Pleasantville Road opposite Village Hall.
The $2 million purchase price will be augmented with an additional $450,000 to demolish the bank building, temporary site reconfiguration, land use planning services and other related costs.
The village expects to take title to the property within about 90-120 days. An adjacent 3 acres of undeveloped village-owned land abuts the site to the south and west, further enhancing the site’s importance for the business district.
The Wells Fargo parking lot, which many residents and merchants utilize, is still private property, with regulations dictated by the owner. Once the village closes on the deal, signage regulating use of the parking lot will be installed.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Mayor Steven Vescio said in a statement announcing the purchase. “The village board has carefully considered various scenarios for the future of this prominent location. We have unanimously concluded that moving on it while we have the chance is in the best interest of the community. Acquiring the property gives us the time to fully consider possible uses and gives our residents the opportunity to play a key role in visioning its future.”
It is expected that implementing a re-imagination of the property will unfold over two to five years. In the immediate term, the village will gain additional parking, including in the north most lot abutting Chase bank. In the long term, a portion of the site will be retained for municipal uses, while public-private partnership uses will be considered for the remainder.
Village Manager Josh Ringel said Briarcliff will explore the best uses for the property.
“With operations at Village facilities at full capacity or outgrown, gaining some additional space that is directly across the street may make sense. The timing was also right as we are currently considering plans to redesign the downtown traffic patterns, adding new sidewalks and making other aesthetic and safety improvements. Securing this property provides tremendous flexibility in what we can do.”
The 2.64 -acre lot is in the CB1 Central Business District Zone. It was originally developed in the 1970s and for several decades that followed the 5,200 square-foot building was a major branch of Peoples Westchester Savings.
In recent years, a series of bank mergers and consolidations saw different owners occupy the branch with Wells Fargo arriving in 2008. The bank closed last September. The building is far larger than typically needed for suburban bank branches today. Once the property transaction is finalized, planning for public input sessions will begin.