Napoli's Chappaqua Plan: To Be Or Not To Be?

  • Comments (6)

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. – A plan by resident architect Chuck Napoli to overhaul downtown Chappaqua has earned the support several local business owners and now The Daily Voice wants to hear what readers think.


Do you support Chuck Napoli's plan?

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Do you support Chuck Napoli's plan?

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  • No

  • I'm Not Sure

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Express your opinion of Napoli's proposal by voting in our poll and submitting your thoughts in the comments section below.

Thanks to New Castle NOW and the New Castle Community Media Center, the Oct. 16 Town Board meeting at which Napoli presented his proposal can be viewed in its entirety.

Greenstein says it’s a better option than the proposed retail center at Chappaqua Crossing. On Monday, The Daily Voice gave readers an opportunity to vote in a poll on that project.

The draft of Napoli’s proposal calls for an indoor parking garage, a turf field, a new row of stores and a performing arts center. The garage would be constructed on top of the current Robert E. Bell Middle School field next to Senter Street. On top of the garage would be a turf playing field. Read about the plan in its entirety here.

“It would be nice if the Town Board showed some excitement about this, like a lot of people in this room feel for this project,” Rob Greenstein, Chappaqua-Millwood Chamber of Commerce members said at the Oct. 16 Town Board meeting. “It seems like you guys are more excited about [Chappaqua Crossing] than you are about this great project that would solve so many problems.”

Board members said the project had potential, but held off on making any judgment before learning more. Board member Elise Mottel said the Oct. 16 meeting was only the first of many to discuss the two proposals.

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Comments (6)

We know that many people are upset that D'Agostino's closed and want a supermarket in Chappaqua.

But what the Town Board is proposing at Chappaqua Crossing is NOT about a new supermarket - IT'S ABOUT CREATING A STRIP MALL!

It's about adding over 140,000 square feet of new retail space, including at least one tenant the size of a typical WalMart, with the hope that maybe a supermarket will come.

It's about destroying downtown Chappaqua. In addition to a 60,000 square foot anchor store, there will be other large merchants and will likely include ANOTHER dry cleaner, another nail salon -- all the typical shops in a shopping strip anchored by a Walmart-type store -- as well as, according to the Town Board, a Verizon Wireless shop and a SEWAGE TREATMENT CENTER! This will draw even more shoppers away from the downtown Chappaqua shopping hamlet, a place we need to support if we want local merchants at all.

A strip mall will negatively impact the surrounding neighborhoods. We will have trucks delivering food at all hours of the day and night through predominantly residential neighborhoods, and 120 and 117, not to mention the potential for accidents (or worse!) with our High School right next door! This is already a dangerous and busy intersection, and trucks are not allowed on the Saw Mill. One accident will stop traffic for miles.

The Town Board should focus on strengthening retail operations in our current downtown hamlets. There are other options available, such as developing the current Town Hall property, that the Board has not even considered. They are trying to appease Summit Greenfield, who is currently suing the Town. And they WILL, if we don't take action now.

Please join our campaign to STOP THE STRIP MALL AND SAVE DOWNTOWN CHAPPAQUA before it is too late!!

Please read and sign the petition - and pass it on!

TO LK- This article is about Mr Napoli's plan. But since you chose to promote your own agenda regarding Chappaqua Crossing here is my 2 cents and a view shared by many in our town. Chapp Crossing is 80% empty and terribly underutilized. At some point soon the developer /owner of Chapp crossing will be able to argue, demonstrate and prove that every attempt and every suggestion they have made to the people and Town officials of New Castle have been shot down and blocked. The courts will certainly be sympathetic to Summit Greenfield because they have been thwarted every step of the way. Then we lose our leverage and the developer will have the advantage. At Chapp Crossing, we dont want subdivided housing (McMansions,), we dont want affordable housing, we dont want senior living, we dont want condos, we dont want factories or heavy production facilities, we dont want supermarket/retail, etc . You see my point? The current proposal for a supermarket with mix of retail and commercial is not and will not be a strip mall. You people who continually use this expression-Strip Mall, lose all credibility. It is NOTHING like a strip mall. I agree, this first proposal for supermarket/retail appears too big. So lets work together and find a compromise. It would be great to have a Whole Foods/Trader Joes type supermarket surrounded by a few stores on a "campus" that includes some office buildings and a few condos. We get a supermarket, we get tax revenue and we keep people shopping in our own town. Once we go to Mt Kisco to shop we stay there. If I shop at Chapp Crossing I would be much more inclined to also shoot over to downtown Chapp and shop/dine as well. Once in Mt Kisco I stay there for all my other shopping needs. That is why I say lets find a solution for Chapp Crossing before we get distracted on Mr Napoli's grand plan!

Chuck –thank you for your response and offer to speak. I think it best our dialogue continue in “public” so that others in our community can see and hear. I applaud your efforts. This must have taken enormous time and energy. That said I just watched (again) your presentation to the Town officials. With all due respect, your for profit development and business plan seems terribly inappropriate for Chappaqua. In the video your partner clearly states that 389 parking spaces will be created in/on this 2 level garage and field. The performing arts center is to seat 366 people and be 5 stories high with a roof top restaurant. Let me repeat that – 5 stories high! Your plan includes multiple 3 story buildings with retail on the ground floor and 2 floors of apartments.
I don’t know where to begin. Here are a few questions-issues. Don’t you think a 5 story structure in town near the Bk Of America is over the top? What of the safety and traffic issues when these 389 new parking spaces are utilized while we have active and busy youth sports ongoing? Imagine a spring evening when the fields are used until dark. People are in town shopping, cars are in and out of this new underground garage, parents are driving to their kids games on the field and to the Rec field down the road. Now add a 6pm/7pm rush hour train pulling into Chapp Station. And should there be a movie/show/concert also going on at the new 5 story 366 seat theater while all these downtown activities are already creating traffic – what then? It would be an impossible traffic nightmare and a huge safety issue. This is a business as you need investors. How much will parking cost? Will it be free to residents? How will the performing arts center make a return on your investment? Will you have to run movies and shows regularly? Why do we need a performing arts center? Do we have a multitude of bands and performers in need- cant they use the library, school theaters? Whats wrong with Jacob Burns, Capitol Theater, Tarrytown Playhouse, Ridgefield Playhouse for movie and concerts? Why do we need this in our town?

I think the best thing for Chappaqua would be to take a deep breath, take one year and start creating a master plan for the town. Consider all options, and make sure that it considers traffic/safety and economic impact on the downtown merchants and residential property owners . While Mr. Napoli has an interesting vision, whatever is done should come from a Master Plan. The main intersection of town is crowded enough. The traffic on 117 and reader's digest road is crowded enough. I know the appeal of Chappaqua is the quaintness and small town feel. Target is not far away as is other strip malls. Let's keep Chappaqua feeling like Chappaqua. Let's fix the sidewalks we have. Honestly, no one is starving from not have a supermarket. But to make Chappaqua seem like Bedford Hills is a mistake. And to make the downtown more congested is also a mistake.

If anyone would like to be fully informed about the Chappaqua Hamlet Plan please call me, Chuck Napoli, any time of the day at 914.602.6509.
I will be delighted to provide you with the actual details and components of the project.
For example, we are adding the additional business mass to provide a healthy mix to the economy of the hamlet and 250 cars not 400 to support that mix. Not the multi level parking garage described above in comments.
Congestion when the train lets out is a problem but not the fault of our business district or the school dismissal. Both problems at totally different times one off peak and the commuter return being evening peak ,
Is actually caused by the need to turn left either to travel north over the bridge or to turn left at the King Greeley intersection by Starbucks. (You will not find UPS or your own GPS routing their trucks with left hand turns by the way) right turns a faster and reduce congestion and are safer too.
Lets not confuse car traffic with the desperately needed foot traffic every action plan or revitalization plan or comprehensive plan has determined is required and needed in the hamlet.
Our intention is provide the opportunity for a walkable hamlet with fewer vehicle movements; a sustainability effort with an economic bonus too.

Chuck Napoli

Please call me

It is clear Mr Napoli has spent considerable time and energy on this project and for that he should be commended. HOWEVER this plan is terribly out of step and character to what we are, what we need, and what we want. It is a horrible idea to build a multilevel parking garage(aprox 400 cars) in the center of town! On top of that structure which will be surrounded by stores and Bell Middle School, Mr Napoli proposes an all purpose turf field. Can you imagine the cars, the traffic, the kids, when Bell School lets out? Can you imagine the traffic and danger on weekends when the fields are in full use with children coming and going and now we add 400 more cars into this very crowded area. Traffic is already unbearable when Bell dismisses students and when a crowded train empties at the station. And who is asking for a performing arts center? Is this a fancy term for a movie theater? Whats wrong with our public library theater and school theaters? Go to Jacob Burns if you want an "arts theater". Chappaqua Crossing stands almost empty and ready to be utilized and optimized. Lets start there before we waste time and money on this downtown cement multilevel parking garage. To Mr Greenstein- you recently supported Chapp Crossing as a solution to some of our needs now you dont. If the current Chapp Crossing retail plan is too big than we should work with the town and with the developer to get us something we can all live with. It wont be a strip mall. Mr Napoli's plan is better suited for White Plains not Chapp!