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Harrison Master Plan Targets 2 Locations

HARRISON, N.Y. – Downtown Harrison and the section of Westchester Avenue known as the “Platinum Mile” for its strong commercial base are the two main areas the town will target in updating its master plan.

Having last updated its master plan fully in 1998, the town put forth a draft for a new one in 2007 but it was never adopted.

According to Jonathan Martin, a senior associate with BFJ Planning based out of Manhattan, the firm will examine what role the streets off of Halstead Avenue play into the area’s commerce. Martin had previously studied the property Emilio’s Restaurant sits on as well as the parking lot across the street on Colonial Avenue. He said that downtown Harrison hasn’t changed much recently and the company wants to keep some of its “significant” architecture intact.

“We have to see how something like this fits into a larger scope of the area and carry that analysis further for the downtown,” Martin said. “Streets off of Halstead Avenue need to support the central business district but we have some solid residential districts in the area, which we need to preserve.”

According to Martin, the Platinum Mile will need a marketing strategy that will work going forward. Martin said that in Westchester County there are approximately 6 million square feet of vacant office space but two large companies, HistoGenetics and Sloan Kettering, have agreed to move to that location. But like downtown Harrison, the Platinum Mile is located near a residential section that could potentially create traffic problems.

“There is a glimmer of hope in the horizon for businesses on the Platinum Mile,” Martin said. “Still, the idea that new offices would be built is not realistic given the housing market right now.”

According to BFJ Planning Associate Susan Favate, the firm is hoping to put forth a plan for adoption by the town board by this Thanksgiving. Favate said that BFJ will spend two and a half months working concurrently on both the downtown and the Platinum Mile chapters of the master plan. Favate is hoping that a draft of the final plan will be finished by August.

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