Visions for Vacancies: North Bedford Road Building

Put aside all the regulations, restrictions and rules—we're asking you what type of establishment would make the most sense in this space.

Let's call this a modern spin on community planning; a digital drawing board where all ideas are on the table.

We present a vacant space or property and ask you to tell us what you think would be the best use. Forget what zone it's in, ignore setback regulations, dump lot coverage rules and all the other zoning jargon that puts many people to sleep. What would you like to see there? What would be the best use for the community?

Take the building at 800 North Bedford Road in Bedford Hills. It once housed The Rugged Bear, a children's clothing store, and Kitch n' Kaffe, a shop dedicated to coffee and kitchens.

It now sits empty. We're hoping you'll weigh in on this vacant space, and share your thoughts for what sort of establishment would work best there. A community organization, or a nonprofit? Another set of retail shops? Some sort of professional office? 

Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below. Thank you for reading Patch!

Kathy December 09, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Great idea. A Trader Joe's would be wonderful.
Doreen December 09, 2012 at 02:43 PM
I'd love a Trader Joe's too!
Heidi December 09, 2012 at 03:22 PM
Trader joes was my first thought - then saw the other comments.
Don Pachner December 09, 2012 at 04:13 PM
I agree Trader Joe's, but the space may be too small for that use, and I suspect not enough parking for the number of shoppers it would attract (the present Petco space would be a better fit for that!). I vote for a small performing arts space, perhaps chamber music vocal performance, acoustic folk/alternative music and poetry readings, right down the road from the closed up Northern Westchester Center for the Arts at sustainable rent. Otherwise, an indoor urban farming experiment would be nice.
Kathy December 09, 2012 at 06:47 PM
We already have Caramoor for chamber music and that center is grossly underused. What a shame. It is terrific. I like Mrs. Greens but it needs to freshen up its appearance. A would love a Trader Joe's.
Don Pachner December 09, 2012 at 07:47 PM
When is the last time you attended a chamber music concert at Caramoor, Kathy? It's a pretty stuffy and unfriendly place to attend concerts. I can't even engage the people sitting next to me at a Caramoor concert in conversation, and I doubt they've ever thought of playing chamber music. We need a venue that is smaller scale, friendly and attracts locals truly interested in and participating in the arts, I miss the old NWCA monthly poetry nights and small scale performances.
Katherine Dering December 09, 2012 at 07:53 PM
We have a lot of small, one person businesses in the area. In part of the space, if it were broken up into offices and meeting rooms, small businesses run from peoples' homes could rent space to use as a place to meet with clients. Sort of like ZIP cars, it can be zip offices.
MAT December 09, 2012 at 08:43 PM
a pottery place for kids and adults a hardware store Old Navy clothing
Lisa Buchman (Editor) December 10, 2012 at 12:05 AM
Wow - fabulous ideas! Though I haven't found Caramoor to be stuffy—in fact I took my kids to one of their family concerts—I know what you mean about intimate performances. (And by the way, a fantastic, small place to see chamber music is the beautiful space at St. Matthews, where on Dec. 19 Handel's Water Music will be performed). A pottery place would be great too - right now we have to go to New Canaan for that!
Randy Kilgore December 10, 2012 at 12:14 AM
A new bookstore. I miss borders.
Kitty December 10, 2012 at 12:47 AM
Trader Joe's, Old Navy, fabulous! Ok, let me get this straight...Caramoor isn't enough because Don can't engage people in conversation? So, because of that-- we "need" a smaller venue for chamber music and poetry? (I'm sure they'll be able to pay their rent for about a day and a half or is he funding this venture?) I'm terribly sorry you miss your poetry gatherings, but I think I can give you some hints on why folks won't "chat you up"at Caramoor. I don't think it's the *other attendees* who are the stuffy ones... just sayin'. And, please, entertain me with this notion of an urban farming experiment.
Kathy December 10, 2012 at 12:54 AM
Don, Sorry you find Caramoor stuffy and unfriendly. I agree with Lisa and haven't found it to be so. Although I can tell by the tone of your email why you may feel that way. Give it another try...with an open mind.
hippydippy December 10, 2012 at 01:04 AM
If you combine this farm with the poetry readings-- then you've got something! (Especially if that farm sells "medicinal" marijuana then I could actually sit through one of those deadly poetry readings!) lol
Susan Dwyer December 10, 2012 at 01:38 AM
How about Home Goods?
Don Pachner December 10, 2012 at 01:57 AM
You have a knack of making me feel great about posting...guess it may have been you sitting next to me at those concerts!;>(( Sorry you feel personally offended by my generic remark. Too many suggestions for chain stores..I like the idea of a bookstore, and we had some great ones in the area before Borders moved in (Fox & Sutherland in Mt Kisco, another one in Katonah with a catchy name I can't remember.)
Don Pachner December 10, 2012 at 02:07 AM
With that wish list, I think of the 92nd Street Y in NYC...perhaps a Y or a Jewish Community Center might offer all of those activities? I have been told that the small concrete and glass building on the corner of Green lane and Route 117 used to be one years ago.
Don Pachner December 10, 2012 at 02:19 AM
I guess I just found the NWCA a little more attuned to my desire to be in the middle of music making by everyone, not just the performers. I wouldn't have the same sense of it if it were also a music conservatory for locals, and engaged the local underserved youth in music programs, as well. I am hoping that the new CEO makes strides in this direction, similar to what he accomplished at the Ojai Music Festival in Califoirnia; however, Caramoor is currently a venue only for performance. Classical music will only survive if the people attending concerts also make music when they go home after the concert, in an intergenerational spirit.
Kathy December 10, 2012 at 03:06 AM
How about a nice friendly coffee shop like on "Friends" where we trade Feebie and her guitar for some chamber music and we can set up an organic vegetable stand outside? It is important that we set up a nice friendly atmosphere so Don has someone to talk to. and, maybe we can have a nice magazine rack for Randy. I personally, am getting somewhat excited about this whole thing.
Cindy December 10, 2012 at 03:20 AM
Home Goods? I definitely second that!! How about a Michaels! I would also love a dessert shop. Not like a bakery but an actual place that just sells dessert and there is tons of seating and a variety of coffees and teas...that's not like Starbucks. I've got a vision, who's got the money?? Ha
Alison Sahm December 10, 2012 at 02:56 PM
The Rugged Bear space is big. I think we need an indoor playspace that does not require a membership fee. Just an entrance fee, healthy snack bar, party corner and plenty of seating for us parents. We don't have anything close by.
Weny Panocheck December 19, 2012 at 01:47 AM
My vote is Michael's or AC Moore.
marlo December 26, 2012 at 03:50 PM
I agree! Something fun for the family (winter is approaching and it say the least I get major cabin fever)..maybe a movie theather! A nice NEW one! They have the bowling across the street but its so pricey..too bad there is not more thing to do that are affordable. I grew up in Maryland and we had indoor spaces with mini golf, arcades..etc.
marlo December 26, 2012 at 03:52 PM
What about the Border's location..any news on that vacant spot..such a shame!
Lorraine O'Connor December 26, 2012 at 05:17 PM
How about a really good dollar store, like Family Dollar?
marlo December 27, 2012 at 05:08 PM
I know we are not talking about the Border spot but I was talking to my friend about what would do well there and he came up with a fabulous idea..Because the rent is so high there he said the spot should be broken down into a mini mall...maybe places like The Rack, Off 5th, Urban Outfitters, and the bottom could be like a small food court...I think it's absolutely brilliant and the location would be perfect with all the other retail shops around!
Don Pachner December 27, 2012 at 06:24 PM
We had just that configuration at the Mt Kisco Manufacturers Outlet Mall, and it folded (now the site of A&P Fresh and Target.) I do miss the Bass Outlet Store from those days.
Fred Bartasek December 27, 2012 at 06:52 PM
That was a manufactures outlet with garbage store you make a nice indoor shopping with a variety of stores like the one's in westchester mall. I think that is a genius idea. Also the rugged bear spot. Come on trader joes. What r u waiting for. That is the ultimate spot. I gues it can be another cell phone place like the Verizon next to that. That was a beautiful spot now owned by Verizon. It's the landlords asking for rent that is outrageous.
Kirstin Zarras January 27, 2013 at 12:54 PM
Trader Joe's would be awesome.
Asoka Galpotthawela January 27, 2013 at 01:15 PM
Trader Joe's is my first choice. I would be happy with a Dance Studio or a Book Store. For me to find a book store I have to travel at least 15 miles (White Plains, Stamford, Danbury or York Town). Same with Trader Joe's. So, lets go for one of the above.
Rich February 18, 2013 at 12:53 PM
The area needs an affordable gym. The one gym in the area controls the market and is really expensive. How about a Planet Fitness.


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