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.