By Carol P. Bartold, Senior Reporter
May 3, 2017: Commuters at the Bronxville Metro-North Railroad station were met with the news that the coffee and newsstand, a fixture at the station since 1986, is due to be shut down in favor of a new tenant that would take over the bulk of the station building.
Village Administrator Jim Palmer stated that, although the Metropolitan Transportation Authority ("MTA") circulated a request for proposal ("RFP") involving the Bronxville station, it did not receive desirable responses from prospective tenants. The authority has since put another RFP in circulation.
Palmer has contacted the MTA real estate attorney on behalf of the coffee and newsstand owner Sudhil Patel to allow him to continue his business while awaiting responses to the latest RFP.
Palmer also noted that the MTA plans to retain its manned ticket booth at the station.
Patel, whose lease ended in 2016, hopes to remain in business at the Bronxville station. He asked the MTA for a holdover month-to-month lease as well as a rent reduction. Although the MTA granted him the month-to-month lease through May 30, it denied him a reduction in rent.
"This was not set up for coffee service. It was originally a newsstand only," Patel said, in describing his coffee and newsstand set-up. "I need to remodel the space and have a kitchen to properly run this business but I can't make any improvements because I don't have a lease."
Last week, employees Mary Ann Vicere and Eddie Reyes began circulating a petition among early-morning commuters calling for keeping the business open. Although Patel sought 1,000 signatures on the petition, by Monday morning, May 1, over 1,100 customers had signed it. Patel indicated that he would take the petition to village hall and from there it would be forwarded to the MTA.
Patel still hopes that the MTA will reduce his rent until the authority finds a new tenant. "Then I could stay until they do," he said.
Pictured here: Bronxville Metro-North Railroad station in late April.
Photo by A. Warner