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Briarcliff’s development plans could shake up downtown restaurants

Moonbean Cafe on September 10, 2021. Photo by Robert Brum

One of the city center Briarcliff Manorthe commercial facilities of would be demolished and the one next door remodeled to plans proposed by the owner, disrupting the restaurant scene along a busy stretch of Pleasantville Road.

Croton-based Immobilière Matra Inc. proposed to demolish the 1,650 square foot two-story building at 1123 Pleasantville Road which now houses the Moonbean Cafe on the first floor and three offices on the second floor.

In its place would rise a 6,740-square-foot three-story structure that would house two take-out restaurants on the ground floor and eight apartments comprising a mix of studios, one and two bedroom units on the second and second floors. third floors.

Matra’s renovation plan for the 5,400-square-foot, three-story building next door at 1133 Pleasantville Road calls for keeping the first-floor restaurant space now occupied by The patio, as well as offices in the basement and second floor. The third floor would be renovated to accommodate two apartments, one with one bedroom and one with two bedrooms.

All tenants at 1133 Pleasantville Road may stay during the renovation except those on the third floor, owner Antoine Matra said in an email. Tenants who rent office space at 1123 Pleasantville Road could move to available space at 1133 Pleasantville, he said, adding that he hoped the Moonbean Cafe would be one of the new dining spaces at 1123 Pleasantville.

Matra has received parking waivers from the Briarcliff Zoning Appeal Board, but still needs site plan approval from the village planning council. He said he expects to return to the Planning Council in October.

The proposals are in line with the village’s amended zoning laws that allow residential units above commercial buildings as a means of revitalizing the downtown area, Matra said.

A large open patio between the two buildings would provide space for alfresco dining, and a pair of sidewalk cuts would be eliminated to create more on-street parking, he said.

“Definitely touching for me”

Owner of Moonbean Café Abby wallace said she was not surprised by the proposed dismantling of the building because Matra had told her about her plans some time ago.

“When you look at the current building at 1123 it’s so charming and quaint and you’d like to think they would keep it, but from a financial point of view I understand why they would want to tear it down and build something bigger. Said Wallace, owner of Moonbean for 15 years.

“The downside is that I would have to stop my activity for a while,” she added. “And I guess if you had told me about it a year and a half ago, I would be devastated, but seeing as we have been through this pandemic, it has been a really tough year. … Because I am understaffed and I think this is a common problem for a lot of companies, so right now I’m looking forward to any time off.

A lot of his clients are upset “because they hear different things and it’s not all right,” Wallace said.

“It’s really moving,” she said. “I’m tired, but at the same time, it’s been like another child for me for 15 years. That’s all I’ve known for 15 years.

“My owner and his wife are good people, and I respect what they want to do, and I understand that,” Wallace said. “So now let’s wait and see what really happens. It’s a long process, so I don’t expect it to happen within six months or anything.

The patio on Pleasantville Road at Briarcliff Manor on September 10, 2021. Photo by Robert Brum

The Patio is a popular spot with locals, some of whom have been regulars since it opened about three decades ago.

Carlos abzoun, who has co-owned the Patio with his brother for 16 years, plans to continue running the restaurant. It adds a new bar to the dining room. The restaurant closed on September 12 for a two week renovation.

Parking variation granted

The Matra company, Matra Building Corp., was founded in 1995 as a home improvement and remodeling company and then expanded into custom home construction, according to its website.

The promoter has been granted exemptions that would allow it to include fewer parking spaces than required by the village. Matra wants to provide 19 spaces at 1123 Pleasantville Road instead of the 28 required. At 1133 Pleasantville Road, it would provide 16 instead of the 31 required.

“When viewed in a vacuum, it may appear that the requested deviations are substantial,” read the June 18 application filed by White Plains law firm Zarin & Steinmetz. “However, when you take into account that it is only lunchtime that there is insufficient parking to meet demand and combine that with the fact that there is municipal land just down the road. street and commercial and street parking additional immediately. domain, it is respectfully submitted that the requested deviations are not substantial.

The request also stated that the expansion of the two buildings “would strengthen the commercial core and character of the central business district” and that the requested exemptions would “not adversely affect the health, safety and well-being of the district or the community”.

After building inspector David Turiano denied the developer a building permit, Matra received exemption requests from the Zoning Appeal Board at the end of August.

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