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Town Looking into Buying Bedford Hills Train Station

The station has been railroad-owned since 1904.

For over 150 years, Depot Plaza has been the hub of Bedford Hills.

And though tickets are no longer sold from its windows, the old depot stands as a reminder of days past, when there was no Saw Mill Parkway and the New York Central Railroad was the primary mode of transporting people and products to New York City. 

Now the town of Bedford is considering a $655,000 purchase of the train station that has been railroad-owned since 1904.

The MTA is in the process of selling suburban stations they no longer have a need for, according to town officials, and last year asked if the town was willing to acquire the station. Initially, the response was no, given the real estate cost in cash-strapped times.

But now officials are re-considering the matter, given the role of the historic structure in the town's history, the parking spaces it includes for residents and the rental income resulting from a lease to Mark's Time, a watch and clock retailer housed in the building for the last 12 years, and other potential tenants.

"The board discussed ways to purchase building and our appraiser said the price is more than fair," said Bedford Supervisor Lee Roberts at a recent town meeting. She said officials were completing due diligence including inspecting the state of the building's septic system. 

If the town does not purchase the historic property, the MTA will sell it to the highest bidder in an auction, Roberts said.

Board member Chris Burdick said the board was approving an investigation into buying the building—not an actual purchase. "Some may wonder why would we consider such a purchase in these stressful financial times? The point here is that this is going to most likely be the only opportunity we have to look at it and inquire.

D.S. February 17, 2012 at 12:15 PM
There are better things to spend our money on!
michael mckenzie February 17, 2012 at 01:08 PM
Its a nice byuilding close to the train. Maybe mahe it an apartment or small affordable comdo as many towns have done with historical buildings
Katherine Zapsky February 17, 2012 at 01:31 PM
The town needs to preserve it's history!
christina February 17, 2012 at 03:10 PM
Would this mean that metro north would no longer be responsible for keeping the station/grounds clean? Not that they do a great job here anyway...filthy and always smells. But this is still a cost that our town will need to factor in as well. Also what about all repairs that are associated with the station/grounds? Eg platform repair, painting, elevators, parking lot roadwork, storm debris cleanup? This will no doubt fall on town now....can we afford these annual costs?
Pentimento91 February 17, 2012 at 03:43 PM
The Town is not buying the operating station - platforms, elevators, etc. will continue to belong to MetroNorth. The Town is considering buying only the old station house and the parking area around it. Yes, there will be maintenance, but there will also be continued access to the parking there which will be leased as will the station house itself. This will help to cover costs. This part of Bedford grew up around the station that was put there back in the 1840's; it was originally called "Bedford Station" and only later renamed Bedford Hills. The station is the hub of Bedford Hills; it is integral to the hamlet as well as all of Bedford and the commuters who travel from there all week long. It should be purchased by the Town or any other local group that will preserve it and maintain it as the centerpiece of Bedford Hills.
Dan February 17, 2012 at 05:09 PM
So, last year the Town didn't have the money, but now we do? The Town laid off people but took money from the general funds to help the "Open Space fund"? They passed to override the 2% cap on taxes. We, the taxpayers do not need this! As for historical, the planning board would never allow something to be changed there anyway. And really, what is the rent factor that will support the price of this purchase? And what taxes will we lose from it. We still don't have the funds to clean up after the big storm from last year. Let the town board know that we (the taxpayers) don't need this!
Lisa Buchman (Editor) February 17, 2012 at 05:33 PM
Christiana, all: thanks for your comments and suggestions - we'll be doing a follow up as this story develops.
D.S. February 17, 2012 at 08:48 PM
It seems to me that the government always finds ways to spend other peoples money....sure wish every american household could run that way......buy whatever you want whenever you want and make someone else pay the bill...Government has gotten way to big......where does it say in the constitution that anytime one of them gets a bright idea they can raise taxes on everyone in order to pay for it.....Once america allows the people that are getting free money from the government to pass the 50 % mark there will be no going back because there will be too many votes for the official running that is promising them more of the same...and Government thinks they have lots and lots of free money
Bea Rhodes February 17, 2012 at 10:56 PM
I am with you Dan!
Elizabeth R Baecher February 23, 2012 at 08:12 PM
It's a beautiful station, and we are destroying much of our heritage by letting landmarks go. On the other hand, the idea of increasing unemployment for the sake of a building is also bad. Michael's idea of turning the place into a money maker sounds like a winner. It's difficult to imagine that many apartments will sell with trains going by all day, but there are other solutions, such as stores and/or a restaurant which would generate not only income, but jobs.
Elizabeth R Baecher April 23, 2012 at 09:31 PM
I am reconsidering previous remarks, and if a Bedford resident would loudly support preservation of the old building. Too much is being torn down to make way for unimaginative and inferior quality structures. I'm only sorry I am not there to put my money where my mouth is.

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