Lundy’s landlord Steve Pappas is hailing the Department of Building’s November 17 decision to lift a stop work order on his Cherry Hill tenants this week - while opponents say that the new tenants still won’t be able to proceed with their original plans.
In October, Cherry Hill Market’s efforts to open up a new upscale food outlet at 1901 Emmons Avenue were stymied when the DOB hit them with a stop work order after determining that the retail food component of the operation violated Sheepshead Bay zoning regulations.
The Landmarks Preservation Commission also put a halt to work being done on the sidewalk outside the building which the city found to be questionable.
“This fella is doing a tremendous job,” Pappas said. “He’s doing a store in Sheepshead Bay that resembles a store you would see on Park Avenue using the most expensive marbles and granites. People in the neighborhood can’t wait to see this store open.”
In order to do that, however, State Senator Carl Kruger says that Cherry Hill will have to undergo a complete “turnaround” of its plans.
“They are not going be able to progress with their original plans,” Kruger said. “Obviously we are not against development or reopening Lundy’s. If the proposal is for a restaurant that would be fine -- as long as they maintain the landmark status of the building.”
Community Board 15 Chairperson Theresa Scavo says that she is still wary about whether or not Cherry Hill has indeed altered its business plans and will not attempt to sell fruits and vegetables at the Lundy’s site.
“They have not removed the refrigerator units,” Scavo said.
According to the CB 15 chairperson, the existence of those refrigerator units on the premises gives clear indication that Cherry Hill still has intentions of operating beyond the confines of a traditional restaurant.
The DOB says the Stop Work Order was lifted on November 17 after Cherry Hill revised its application so that the building will be used as an eating and drinking establishment and not as a supermarket.
Scavo says she is going to see what the tenant’s next move will be while also suggesting that if Cherry Hill does try to sell fruits and vegetables at Lundy’s - as it does at its other 86th Street location - they will have to apply for a change of use variance from the Department of City Planning.
Cherry Hill owners could also end up before Community Board 15 if they decide to continue installing the tiled sidewalk outside of Lundy’s.
According to the Landmarks Preservation Commission, making a presentation before the board is a prerequisite to possible legalization.
Kruger is insisting that the Lundy’s premises be returned to the state they were in when landmark status was originally granted.
“We don’t need creativity,” he said. “We need sustainability.”