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Pelham Locals Ponder Options for Vacant Buildings

PELHAM, N.Y. – Due to the current economic climate, quite a few businesses in Pelham have been forced to close their doors. Many of these storefronts end up abandoned with no company willing to rent the space. One building, in particular, has not seen a new business in quite some time.

The Pelham National Bank used to call One Wolfs Lane home, but it closed shortly after opening during the Great Depression. The three story building, which sits on the corner across from the Metro-North railroad station, last housed the Pelham Post Office.

Pelham residents have wanted something new at that location for years, but to no avail. Many options have been presented, including a restaurant or corporate office.

Harry Engstrom, the town’s assistant court clerk, first said he would like to see a corporate headquarters there. However, he thought about it once again, and realized the building was not big enough.

“A regional headquarters for a large corporation,” Engstrom said instead. “It’s substantial, it’s an anchor, and it’ll bring jobs and businesses. And it’s stable.”

Engstrom does not believe a restaurant would provide the business and jobs that a corporation’s regional headquarters could. However, a few residents disagreed.

Michael Patel, a worker at Arnold’s Place just a few blocks away, believes a fast food chain would do well at that location.

“I’d like to see a McDonald’s or a Burger King in there,” said Patel. If a McDonald’s or Burger King were to be built there Patel said he would hope that people would eat and then come get any goods they need at Arnold’s Place.

Others agreed with Engstrom and said a restaurant there would fail.

Robert and Jayne Zweig, who had just finished shopping at DeCicco’s Food Market, said they thought that location would be perfect for a mini-mall.

He would like to see the building house “somewhere you could go into like a coffee shop – something social,” said Robert, adding  that a “series of small little shops or something like that” would be ideal.  “I think the first floor at least should be some sort of retail business. Maybe several little shops or something of that nature,” he said.

Jayne thinks a candy store would be nice for the kids and even some adults. “There used to be a candy store called Loot Bag and my kids still miss it,” Zweig said.

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