The area of White Plains Road, destroyed by a devastating three-alarm fire last year, is preparing to break ground for construction this week.
Last year, on February 4, a fire erupted from 2129 to 2139 White Plains Road, beginning at the Super Laundromat, located 632 Lydig Avenue. The fire called for over 200 fighter fighters, and destroyed 12 businesses.
Residents of the area have been concerned about the property’s progress; expecting construction to begin in early February of this year.
“Hopefully they will start breaking ground and building so that eyesore can be taken away,” said Edith Blitzer of the Pelham Parkway South Neighborhood Association. “We are trying to build up and enhance Pelham Parkway.”
Jonathan Sopher, of Sopher Properties, the company that owns the land along with several other properties in the White Plains Road BID, explains that delays arose while acquiring all the proper permits to begin the project.
“It was a long and arduous process, when the building burnt down there was a lot of asbestos and other things that needed to be cleared away,” said Sopher. “The first stage was excavating all the fire debris and getting all the permits to reconstruct the original building, but no time has been wasted.”
Though no tenants have been selected for the new location, some of the former tenants, such as Sleepy’s Mattresses, have expressed an interest in returning, but Sopher remains open to community suggestions for the property’s future.
“We are always looking for feedback from the community to see what they would like there,” said Sopher. “We are interested in opening something that will be good for the community and good for us.”
The over 10,000 square foot property is expected to provide over 22,000 square feet of retail space, large enough for several stores or possibly a school to relieve the overcrowded schools in the district.
“To hear they are breaking ground is very good news,” said Larry Prospect, executive director of the White Plains Road BID. “As of now we have no vacancies on our street so we look forward to having new stores.”