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Former Borders Site In Downtown Mount Kisco Sold To Lerner, Modell Families

William Null, an attorney representing the applicant, speaks to the Mount Kisco Planning Board about the proposed Modell's Sporting Goods. Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie
A photo of the proposed floor plan for the upper level of Modell's. The bottom of the floor plan visual is oriented towards East Main Street. Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie
A photo of the proposed floor plan for the lower level of Modell's, which is adjacent to a parking lot. Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie
No major facade changes are proposed for the former Borders site in Mount Kisco, with signage and elevator equipment being exceptions. A photo of the exterior renderings is pictured. Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie

MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. -- For the second time in less than a year, the former Borders bookstore property in Mount Kisco has changed ownership.

Stephen Lerner, founder of commercial real estate firm Lerner Properties, told Daily Voice that the property is now 50-percent owned by himself and his cousin, Richard Grobman. The Modell family, which owns the Modell's Sporting Goods business, has the remaining 50-percent stake, he added. 

The property was acquired about a month ago, Lerner said. Lerner declined to discuss the price of the purchase.

Addressing the sale, Lerner called Mount Kisco a “great town with a great downtown," and added "we like that particular location.”

Lerner also noted the Modell family's support.

“They have a lot of confidence in Mount Kisco."

The families' ownership is through a trio of companies, according to Lerner. They are SL Mount Kisco, LLC, Grobman Mt. Kisco, LLC and M&M Mt. Kisco, LLC. 

The property has been vacant since Borders went out of business in 2011.

The families acquired the property from an entity called GCCFC 2007-GG11 Kisco Retail, LLC, which took possession of the site last August following a foreclosure auction and a $6.5 million credit bid. The entity first became involved with the site as the holder of a $6.3 million mortgage taken out by the prior owner, Mt. Kisco Associates, LP. Previous coverage of the foreclosure history is available here.

Modell's Sporting Goods is proposed to be the site's primary occupant; representatives appeared before the Mount Kisco Planning Board on Tuesday as part of a special-permit application.

The proposal, which was outlined at the Planning Board meeting, calls for Modell's to occupy around 16,800 of the building's roughly 22,600 square feet. Of that amount, about 12,800 would be on the upper floor facing East Main Street, while around 4,000 would be on the lower level facing a parking lot.

The southern portion of the building, which includes about 5,050 square feet on the upper level and roughly 1,050 on the lower level, would be partitioned off for other usage. No tenants have been found yet for the rest of the space, according to Lerner.

The property is located at 154-162 E. Main St.

The proposal also calls for installing a new elevator and stairwell on the southwestern corner of the building, which was used for Borders' cafe space.

The exterior will generally stay the same under the plan, it was noted, with outside equipment for the second elevator, along with new retail signage, being exceptions.

Mark Aarons, a company vice president, told the board that Modell's typically has store spaces between 15,000 to 20,000 square feet. Asked why Modell's is not seeking to use the whole building, Aarons cited a statistical analysis of what sales can be generated per square foot.

Aarons also told the board that Modell's hosts athletes and book signings. Modells also works with sports programs through an initiative called "community ambassadors," according to Aarons.

The anticipated hours of operation are approximately 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. from Monday through Saturday, Aarons said. Sunday hours could either be the same or run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Aarons added.

A public hearing pertaining to the application is slated for the Planning Board's Aug. 25 meeting.

Images of the proposed floor plans for Modell's can be viewed here and here.

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