White Plains mulls eminent domain for redevelopment; fate of several businesses uncertain

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The future of several businesses located on roughly 13 private properties near White Plains Hospital is uncertain.

Through its Urban Renewal Agency, the city is eyeing the 4-plus acre parcel for redevelopment to build a parking lot and affordable housing.

One option being considered by the agency is taking over the properties by eminent domain.

"They voted on Thursday just as a resolution to consider the potential acquisition through eminent domain. But the thought at this time is to actually negotiate with property owners," said White Plains Planning Commissioner Christopher Gomez.

The Burke & McCowen Hardware store on East Post Road has been in the neighborhood for almost a century. Owner James Savanella says if he's forced to move, he doesn't know where he'll go. The store that sells everything from Christmas decorations to screwdrivers is almost 6,000 square feet, and that kind of space is hard to come by these days.

"If I could find another location, but I don't know if it'd be possible," Savanella says.

There is no word on when a final decision will be made. White Plains officials say all property owners will receive fair market value if their property is taken over by eminent domain.

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