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Possible Tenant Eyes Former Borders Site

An unnamed possible tenant is interested in leasing all of the former book chain's old Mount Kisco space.

A prospective tenant is in talks to lease all of the former Borders Books & Music site in downtown Mount Kisco, a real estate agent representing the landlord confirmed.

The dialogue has been progressing, according to Carl Austin of Rye Brook-based Austin Corporate Properties. The hope is for a resolution, including a lease, to come up within the next few months, he said.

Austin, who is a co-agent for the site, declined to give the name of the possible renter or its business use, citing a desire from the company not to divulge its identity for now.

Mount Kisco Mayor Michael Cindrich confirmed that he is aware of the prospective tenant but also declined to disclose its identity, citing the fact that discussion for the space is still ongoing. 

With regards to a possible tenant for the site, the mayor said he is “excited about it.” However, he added that “I don't want to give anybody any false hope because it's in negotiations.” 

Borders was once among the most prominent stores in Mount Kisco's downtown and served as an anchor business for East Main Street merchants. The site has been empty since Borders closed in September 2011, as the ailing chain went into bankruptcy and then liquidation.

"We miss them," Austin said.

In the months immediately after the store's demise, East Main Street retail owners noted that they took a hit from the loss. When asked whether the concern still hold true now, Cindrich agreed, and said that some East Main Street merchants feel their business and foot traffic would be better if the site was filled. He added that he mentioned the merchants' concern to the building's ownership.

Despite the relatively quiet environment around the property - its parking lot is often nearly deserted - the landlord, Property Group Partners, has had no shortage of demand for it.

Austin noted that interested tenants often inquire about the site, including those who may not meet its current zoning or may only want to lease part of the building. Among those who expressed interest at one point or another was Barnes & Noble, Borders' former competitor, he confirmed.

The landlord prefers to lease the entire space instead of subdividing it, Austin said, with the intent being to preserve its unique size.

The site is located at 162 E. Main St. is 22,500 square feet and carries an asking rent of more than $29.50 per square foot, an ad for leasing the property states.

The collapse of Borders was during a period of months when several Mount Kisco stores shuttered and downtown vacancies rose. This prompted a backlash from some residents; the Occupy Main Street group that promoted discussion of the issue was a notable example. Over the subsequent year, officials in the village feel that things are improving, as new merchants have come in.

Phil Bronzi, who is president of the Mount Kisco Chamber of Commerce, told The Examiner in its Monday story about the possible Borders tenant that more business are coming to Mount Kisco than those who are leaving.

When asked about any net improvement for the vacancies, new stores versus departures, since last year, Cindrich felt that the situation is better.

Lisa Foltz Allan January 08, 2013 at 02:46 PM
How much is the rent/month?
Don Pachner January 08, 2013 at 03:05 PM
Unfortunately, the Village of Mt Kisco has always seen bigger as better...they have far more national chain stores than any surrounding community, which takes away from any sense of community that was served by such stores as Fox and Sutherland or the privately-owned and operated art supply store that recently went out of business (most recently across from the former Borders site.) The same holds true for the landlords, who see a large national chain as a superior tenant to a smaller, privateliy-owned and operated business that may better serve our community and provide more needed merchandise or services than those of large national chains.
Ashley Tarr (Editor) January 08, 2013 at 03:18 PM
Looking forward to seeing how this plays out! Also wondering what local folks would like to become of the space.
10506er January 08, 2013 at 03:26 PM
In my dream world, Fox and Sutherland would return in this space, with all the old employees who I see scattered working elsewhere around town. As Don said above, Mount Kisco was so well served by all the mom and pops before the landlords got greedy. Mount Kisco went from classic small town to Anywhere USA. If not Fox and Sutherland, only another large bookstore would do. I miss so very much the opportunity to browse the long aisles, pick up a half-dozen books, get my magazine fix, and buy a couple of CDs and DVD's too.
Linda January 08, 2013 at 05:18 PM
Completely agree with Don Pachner & 10506er. When we first moved to Mount Kisco, there were a lot of wonderful shops, now it looks like a town with strip mall shops in it. I miss the Curiosity Shop, the Bookstore, the Kosher Deli/Restaurant, Villanova's...so many, I can't name them all. What a shame.
Joanne Bader Lepore January 08, 2013 at 11:18 PM
Unfortunately the rents in town are so high that only chain stores can afford them! I miss Borders but I would love to see a Trader Joes in that space!!
Elena Rover Strothenke January 09, 2013 at 02:01 AM
I was thinking Trader Joe's too. Wouldn't that be great?!
Blaue Vogel January 09, 2013 at 03:00 AM
I liked the mom & pops too. But it's difficult to compete. I can't wait to see the Borders space filled. I've been dreaming of an Apple store.

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