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Downtown Business District Sees Positive Momentum toward Leasing Empty Storefronts PDF Print Email

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By Carol P. Bartold, Senior Reporter                    


Sep. 20, 2017: Despite an uptick in empty storefronts in Bronxville's downtown business district, Mayor Mary Marvin and Jonathan Gordon, president and CEO of Admiral Real Estate Services, are seeing good momentum toward attracting tenants to lease the spaces.

Gordon stated that approximately 6,800 square feet of commercial space is unoccupied in approximately five storefronts in the village.

Admiral Real Estate Services, according to Gordon, has recently signed three leases. One Love Foundation and Love Shoes, from Larchmont, have leased space on Pondfield Road. An herbal apothecary shop will move into the former Pure Mountain Olive Oil shop on Kraft Avenue. In addition, a juice bar is slated to open on Cedar Street in the space vacated by Stipo Optical.

A lease is in negotiation for the former North dress shop on Pondfield Road.

In courting tenants for village properties, Gordon has noticed that interest in commercial and storefront property in Bronxville comes from businesses that deal in “anything that can’t be bought on the Internet.” Marvin concurred, saying, “If people can buy something at midnight on the Internet, it’s very hard for village merchants to compete.”

Both Gordon and Marvin recognize that the village code was written during an era when soft goods retailers formed the backbone of the downtown business district, the very businesses that have been hit hardest with the rise of Internet commerce. “The village code was written in an effort to curtail parking and traffic issues,” Gordon said. “Soft goods stores tend to generate less vehicular traffic.”

Marvin emphasized that in revising the community plan, the village must change to allow for the new reality that service-oriented businesses must be included in the retail mix. “We can no longer ban service business on the first floor,” she said. “Those days are gone.” She added that the trustees are mindful of the need to allow service businesses to open without losing the authenticity and ambience of the downtown business district.

Gordon observed that allowing more service-oriented businesses to open primes the pump for soft goods stores. “It creates a snowball effect,” he said. “We need to get more people into the village to patronize businesses.”

The good news, Marvin said, is that a revitalized retail mix and marketing committee has generated interest in Bronxville. Made up of merchants, commercial property owners, residents, and others, the committee galvanized its attention toward the empty stores and locating viable tenants.

Marvin is grateful for the short-term success in generating positive energy about the village. At the same time, she recognizes that much work lies ahead in addressing such issues as traffic flow, traffic safety, and parking.

Pictured here:  A section of the Pondfield Road business district. 

Photo by A. Warner

 
Chamber Chatter for May 2017 PDF Print Email

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By Nicole Tuck, Executive Director, Bronxville Chamber of Commerce


May 10, 2017:  Welcome New Members 

The Armour Villa Neighborhood Association, located on the west side and 400 families strong, was founded in 1889, and promotes itself as a "traditional community with a contemporary attitude."

Bauman Law Group P.C. is located at 66 Palmer Avenue, Suite 49C. Tim and Carmen Bauman are seasoned litigators with a broad-based practice, including residential and commercial law. 914-337-1700.

The local branch of international HSBC Bank, 74 Pondfield Road, can meet your business and/or personal banking needs. We welcome Patricia Roberts, its new manager. The local branch phone number is 914-779-4400.

Anne Marie Costanzo, the owner of Little Black Dress, shares her passion for food and fitness. Since 2007, she has empowered women on a personal level to focus on taking care of themselves through fitness and wellness and nutrition programs. 212-731-9700.

Co-founders Matt Gorney and Ryan Hart of Maple & Rose share a commitment to cooking elegant food with rustic influences. They provide memorable meals for private events and families. 518-307-6842 or 917-647-1129.

Pondfield Café is a neighborhood tradition, serving homestyle breakfast and lunch. Ken Pugliese and his crew also make homemade dinner every Thursday night (BYOB). 3 Pondfield Road West. 914-337-5221.

Wild Vines & Liquors, 54 Palmer Avenue, has been serving the west side neighborhood for over five years. Ask Benjamin Ramirez about wines from South America and Europe. 914-337-0750.

Happening This Month

Mother's Day is May 14th! Check out some great gift ideas.

  • Visit Topps Bakery or Chantilly Patisserie for those "breakfast-in-bed" treats.  

  • If Mom is into fashion, visit Toney Toni & the GangYum Yum TreeJ.McLaughlin, or Weezie D for the latest trends.

  • Need the perfect gift for Mom? Go to Mano A Mano for a large selection of gift items that Mom will surely love.

  • Fun accessories are available at Kensington Paper or Breezeway. Both stores are located on Kraft Avenue.  

  • How about taking Mom out to a movie at the Bow Tie Cinema or The Picture House, followed by a treat at Haagan-Dazs or Candy Rox.  

  • Say "I love You, Mom, and Thanks for all you do!" with flowers from Mrs. Morgan's Flower Shop or The Flower Shop of Tryforos & Pernice.

  • Mom wants to read the newest bestsellerWomrath Bookshop has a great selection.

  • Jewelry lasts forever! Purchase that very special piece that Mom will love. Stop by La Gravinese or Bronxville Jewelers or see the latest trends from Citrine now showcasing within Silk Road.

  • Need that special gift to be personalized? Stop by Silverspoon and see the many items that can be monogrammed, such as towels, sun hats, nightshirts, and canvas totes. Or check out their fabulous mother-daughter dresses.

  • Want a pretty and protective dress for Mom? Silk Road has a selection of Cabana Life SPF 50 dresses that not only will look great on but will protect Mom's skin from damaging rays. 

  • Mother's Day brunch or dinner is always in good taste! Bronxville has restaurants that will satisfy your Mom's palate. Click here for the listings on the Chamber website.

  • Let Mom's face glow with a facial followed up with the finishing touch of having her brows and makeup done. Visit Maison Rouge.

  • Bronxville Wellness Sanctuary can offer Mom some peace and relaxation. Give Mom a gift certificate by clicking here.

  • How about outdoor yoga for Mom? Reserve Mom a spot at our 2nd Annual Outdoor Yoga Event on Wednesday, May 31. Click here for details. 

Save the Date... 

Bronxville Farmers' Market opening day is Saturday, May 13!

2nd Annual Outdoor Yoga Event--Wednesday, May 31; click here for details and to reserve your spot! 10% of the net proceeds go to the Junior League of Bronxville.

Sidewalk Sale, Friday, June 2, and Saturday, June 3. June 3 includes the spring street fair held on Park Place followed by our kick-off summer concert in the evening. Details coming soon...

 
Clothing Line Founded by Bronxville Native Lauren Thierry Now the Leading Off-Brand on Zappos.com/Adaptive PDF Print Email

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By Staff


May 3, 2017:  A tiny clothing company founded in a spare bedroom in Bronxville is now the leading off-brand on Zappos.com/Adaptive, a new e-commerce site recently launched by retail giant Zappos.

Zappos teamed up with Independence Day Clothing to create an "adaptive" category on Zappos's $1.2 billion shoe and apparel website.  

The partnership came from humble, Bronxville-based beginnings.

Four years ago, Bronxville native Lauren (Trownsell) Thierry was overseeing her son with autism, Liam, get dressed--a daily necessity, as Liam lacks the motor planning and manual dexterity to zip, button, or snap, let alone tie a shoelace. He barely had his underwear on one morning in 2013 when his little yellow school bus pulled into their driveway on Courseview Road.

"Utter panic," is how Lauren described what would be a momentary "timing snafu" in any other household. "If Liam can't get dressed by himself on time, that bus pulls away, I'm left standing next to a half-dressed kid and a late arrival to work."

So Lauren broke the "rules" of letting Liam practice dressing at his own pace. She tossed a shirt over his head, jammed his feet into shoes, and whisked him into the waiting bus.

Over a lunch break that day, Lauren sat down and wrote a 20-page business plan to stop that breathless, recurring scenario for some five million autism mothers, as well as 45 million moms who run similar obstacle courses with their kids with other disabilities, each morning. The plan called for a fashion line that fits front/back/reversible with no buttons, no zippers, no scratchy tags--a foolproof way to dress for those who otherwise cannot easily dress themselves.

What began as a novel idea and a homegrown website in 2013 caught the attention of mega-seller Zappos in early 2016.

Lauren knew she had a concept, but how to execute? "Simple," said Lauren. "You call all your Bronxville friends and say, 'Help.'"

Help was certainly needed. By her own admission, Lauren has "no fashion sense, no fashion knowledge. I just know what needs to work for this population."

Luckily, Bronxvillians Elizabeth Ackerman and Anja Cooney had fashion sense to spare--and share.

Elizabeth stressed good fabrics, like those from her own line, Elizabeth Ackerman New York. She became ID's guru of stretchable, easy-care fabrics, borrowing from her own classic designs and "adapting" them for the disabilities market with magnets, elastic, and breakaway Velcro. Anja added edgy components to keep the line from skewing "too preppy."

Jay Ackerman picked up his camera and shot the line, featuring some models with special needs and some Bronxville teens with already-impressive modeling and acting resumes--Arielle Rothman, Andrea Shepherd, Alexa Shepherd, Josh Geiling, and George Cooney. "They just had to be up for the shoot and to demonstrate what makes Independence Day Clothing unique," said Ackerman.  

Armed with samples and models, the ID Clothing project was marketed by another Bronxville couple--former BBDO ad executives Janet Lyons and Dennis Berger. "They came up with a plan that showed the line's potential to serve the disability market in a fun way--as well as the mainstream crossover potential. Jeff Cooney shot a big-budget video of the line, and--bam!--Zappos was sold on the idea," said Lauren.

"Zappos is our big shot to prove that the disabilities demographic is viable, marketable, and represents the inclusion and acceptance so many of us have fought so hard for," said Lauren. So hit Zappos.com/Adaptive and check out the merchandise. "Let's show the big boys Bronxville can play in their sandbox." 

Pictured here:  Lauren Thierry with son Liam.

Photo by Jeff Matsler

 
Bronxville Historical Conservancy Celebrates JFK Centennial with Plaque and PowerPoint Lecture Saturday, May 6 PDF Print Email

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By Ellen de Saint Phalle, Member, Board of Directors, The Bronxville Historical Conservancy


Apr. 26, 2017: Bronxville was home to John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, from 1929 to 1941, and May 29, 2017, marks the one-hundredth anniversary of his birth.  

The Bronxville Historical Conservancy will recognize this "hometown boy" with two centennial programs:  a lecture on Saturday, May 6, and a dedication ceremony on Memorial Day. These programs do not require a reservation and are free and open to the public.

On Saturday, May 6, at 3:00 pm, Anthony Czarnecki, a member of the Westchester County Historical Society and the JFK Library Foundation, will give a PowerPoint presentation titled "A Golden Interval: The Kennedys in Bronxville." The lecture will be presented in the Yeager Room of the Bronxville Public Library. Czarnecki has done extensive research using recently digitized local newspapers, including those published during the Kennedys' time in Bronxville. The Bronxville Historical Conservancy contributed funds to establish this digital library, and Czarnecki's presentation will be a preview of the article the Westchester County Historical Society will publish this spring in its magazine. A tea reception will follow this free lecture, and no reservations are required.

On Memorial Day, Monday, May 29, a public dedication ceremony will take place on the lawn of Bronxville Village Hall following the parade. Mayor Mary Marvin, the village trustees, and members of the board of directors of The Bronxville Historical Conservancy will unveil a bronze plaque recognizing the twelve years Bronxville was home to the Kennedy family. 

The Conservancy-designed plaque is the first official historic marker noting that Bronxville was home to a former U.S. president. Crownlands, the Kennedy family's six-acre estate located off Pondfield Road, no longer exists; the house was demolished and the property subdivided twelve years after the family sold the estate and moved from the village.

Pictured here:  The Joseph Kennedy family, around the time they lived in Bronxville.

Photo courtesy Ellen de Saint Phalle, Member, Board of Directors, The Bronxville Historical Conservancy

 
Bronxville Competes in Nationwide Main Street Photo Contest PDF Print Email

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By Margaret Fuller Hayden, Bronxville School Graduate     

Apr. 12, 2017: Bronxville is in the running for a competitive photo contest aimed to support America's main streets: the $25,000 grand prize would help revitalize Bronxville's "main street," Pondfield Road. 

Run by an online listing for independent businesses called Independent We Stand--a large supporter of small businesses and shopping local--the contest requires a photo submission of the community's main street. The selected photo of Pondfield Road, taken last summer by MyhometownBronxville photographer Allaire Warner, features colorful storefront awnings, an abundance of potted plants, and an unsuspecting pedestrian walking off in the background.

Newly appointed director of the Bronxville Chamber of Commerce Nicole Tuck heard about Independent We Stand from a local storeowner, and once the contest was announced, she and local merchants felt galvanized to face off with the hundreds of contestants across America. Although the competition is steep, Bronxville recently made it to the second round; the third round will determine the quarterfinalists, leading to ten semifinalists in June and the winner announcement on June 5. On the contest website, http://www.mainstreetcontest.com, one can vote for a main street photo entry a maximum of once a day; Bronxville's entry is listed as "Pondfield Road."

To go directly to the voting site hit the following link: 

Calling it a "walking village," Nicole expressed that Bronxville differentiates from many other villages, as the school's proximity to the downtown makes the merchants "an extended family." She said, "Residents take pride in all the locally owned businesses. Bronxville is a true example of how a village works well together."

Pictured here:  Photo of Pondfield Road in the business district submitted to the America's Main Streets contest.

Photo by Allaire Warner
 

 
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