Long ago, horse-drawn vehicles were maintained at the site that is now home to . By the time the Tappan Zee Bridge was opened, a gas station, auto service location and car dealership had replaced the horses. Out of that grew Rushneck Honda, which flourished until it was sold to Dwight Dachnowicz in 2006 and Tarrytown Honda was born.
Since then, Dachnowicz with the growth of his business – but shares with local residents their growing concern with its effect on the neighborhood. Car carrier deliveries block roads, test drives have made Sheldon Avenue a thoroughfare, and the busy site is unsightly.
Now, Dachnowicz has plans for big improvements. A proposal currently under review by Tarrytown's Planning Board shows reconfiguration with a much larger structure and new access arrangements that will allow off-street unloading of car carriers. Activities such as service reception will be brought indoors, far fewer vehicles will be visible outside, and the business will not use on-street parking. Showroom space will be similar to today's, but there will be more service bays to improve volume and efficiency.
On the Planning Board's approval of the proposal, Dachnowicz would buy the last lot on Sheldon Avenue and an adjacent portion of Sheldon Avenue from the Village, to provide space for the new building. Tarrytown Board of Trustees' approval would be needed for both these steps.
The new building, which has a larger footprint and an additional floor, will be considered by the Architectural Review Board. Dachnowicz has already modified the plan substantially from the standards generally required by Honda to be more in keeping with its Village setting, and other changes may follow.
The proposed footprint of the three-phase proposal will grow from its current 15,270 square feet to 28,386. As Dachnowicz told Patch previously, "The Board has been great, recommending stone and gables and things that fit in with the neighborhood." He also mentioned all the sustainable initiatives the building will incorporate, making the dealership "the first officially green Honda facility in the U.S."
Local residents have already been vocal at Planning Board hearings, raising issues with today's operations and concerns with the new plan. Alison Boldyrev, for one, who ran for Trusteeship this year, has expressed her concern over the traffic, noise and construction issues to come, particularly in light of that other huge project on the fasttracked horizon: the Tappan Zee Bridge.
Dachnowicz has already responded to the use of Sheldon Avenue for test drives by requiring his technicians and sales staff to follow other routes. Carrier and other deliveries remain a concern, and Dachnowicz's traffic consultant is refining plans for on-site handling.
In our interview with Dachnowicz back in December, 2011 he said he was grateful for the approval process, however arduous:
As a business owner, would I love to get a stamp and move forward? Absolutely. But not only are these people my neighbors, they're my customers. The review process makes me take it all into consideration; it’s good they have that.
Anyone interested in following the progress of the proposal can view plans at Warner Library and Village Hall. Schedules and agendas of the Village boards involved are posted on the Village web site, http://www.tarrytowngov.com.
The Planning Board meets tonight, with Honda on the agenda among other items listed , at 7 p.m., Village Hall, One Depot Plaza.
What do you think about the demo/rebuild? Weigh in here.