YORKTOWN, N.Y. – A storage company is looking to lease 58,000 square feet underneath the Staples Plaza shopping center.
Planet Storage has applied for a special use permit to use the basement area of the main building in the shopping center. The first stage of the project would contain approximately 400 units, ranging in size from 5 by 5 feet to 10 by 30 feet.
Customers would access the storage units from the rear of the building, where Planet Storage is proposing to make aesthetic changes. The changes include a 9,000- square-foot reduction of pavement and gravel to be replaced by landscape islands, trees and shrubs.
“If you drive down that aisle now, it’s kind of a leftover back part of any old shopping center,” said Barry Poskanzer, an architect working with Planet Storage. “What we’re trying to do is to create some kind of ambiance on that back the feels more the front of a retail environment.”
Planet Storage officials met Monday night with Planning Board members and neighboring residential property owners, who were concerned with the added lighting and noise the project might bring.
“When we bought our homes, behind this building, never in our wildest dreams did we think they were going to build something back there, put lights up, because that’s our backyard,” said Andrea O’Connell of Pine Grove Court.
Tony Romano of Planet Storage said the company would use downlighting to prevent glare on the neighboring properties. He also said any large trucks would not be allowed to use the rear area of the building during non-business hours.
Nadine Mastandrea, a resident of Pine Grove Court, was not convinced and wanted more detailed answers about noise and lighting. She was also concerned with the lack of a separating wall between the two properties.
“I don’t feel safe with people coming seven days a week to a facility. I don’t know who they are, I don’t know what they’re storing there,” Mastandrea said. “I hear how it’s being made so inviting and so lovely for perspective tenants. I don’t hear what’s being done to protect my interests, my rights, my property.”
Planning Board Chair Richard Fon said concerns of the residents are not falling on deaf ears and that nothing has been approved at the moment.
“You’ve spoken to the right people,” Fon said. “Hopefully these guys will listen to your concerns and address them.”