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According to Councilman Jimmy Vacca, who recently met with a Verizon representative, the communication corporation selected a broker on July 18, and is currently searching for a buyer.
While the 60,000 square foot facility’s future use is currently undecided, Vacca said the instillation of either a well-established clothing or sporting goods store is just what the area needs to continue it’s productive growth.
“Attracting a Class-A tenant would be a big symbolic win for the Square, sending a signal that the Square is back in business,” Councilman Jimmy Vacca explained. “I’m looking forward to meeting with Verizon and the broker to share our visions for the area, and I’m hopeful that by working with local merchants we can make this property a key ingredient to the Square’s comeback.”
Westchester Square Merchants Association president John Bonizio agreed that if utilized correctly, the building, which also hosts a bi-level parking garage that can hold 62 cars, could serve as a giant stepping-stone along the Square’s path to restructure.
Referencing the neighborhood’s over abundance of treatment centers, he said, “We’d much rather have that building become some type of a retail anchor store rather than a medical facility.”
Vacca agreed, adding that utilizing the space for anything that doesn’t increase local commerce would represent a substantially missed neighborhood opportunity.
“What we definitely don’t want is a tenant that could stand in the way of the Square’s transformation, or even worse, one that would set it back,” he explained. “Any social agency is out of the question and I’ve communicated that to Verizon.”
Further recognizing that the property must go to a qualified buyer, Senator Jeff Klein said he’d do what he can to help ensure the integrity of the sale.
“I will work with the merchant’s association and the appropriate state authorities to protect the Square and encourage business,” he said. “This represents a great opportunity to bring a new business into the neighborhood which will enhance Westchester Square, and contribute to the economic growth of the area.”
Excited about the possibility of transformation, and how it will tie in with the Westchester Square BID, Bonizio said, “The sale of that building to the correct entity could be the major push forward we’ve been looking for.”
While the building is currently in commission as usual, upon the property’s sale, all Verizon operations and personnel will relocate to a facility in Queens.
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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