Pelham Examiner

Pelham Examiner

Pelham Examiner

Shops at Four Corners see big sales declines after sinkhole repair work keeps much of parking lot out of use for two months

The trench was dug in the Four Corners parking lot to make repairs after a water pipe broke.

The shops at Four Corners have continued to suffer steep declines in business because a large portion of the parking lot remains closed off after a broken water pipe created a sinkhole two months ago, according to store owners and staff interviewed last week.

Miranda Bucciero, co-owner of Flour Power, said the bakery lost half its customers, dropping from 100 to 200 people a day before the closure to 50 to 85. Four Corners Pizzeria’s sales are down at least 25% during lunch.

We were definitely nervous because a hole opening up in the parking lot can never be good, but I don’t think we expected it to turn into what it was,” said Bucciero. “We assumed that it would be a smaller-scale repair, and as we learned about it and what caused it, we realized it was going to be pretty devastating.”

Bucciero said that the once-small sinkhole is now a 20-by-50-foot trench, with fences and barricades erected around it. That has eliminated all but two of the parking spaces in the shopping center’s front lot. The water line feeding CVS’s fire-sprinkler system ruptured June 17, causing what was orginally a small sinkhole in the parking lot.

Businesses hang signs in windows to remind customers shops are still open.

According to Joe Del Balzo, the owner of Four Corners Pizzeria, without the front parking lot, there are nine legal parking spots near the pizzeria and two additional spots that were approved by the Village of Pelham Manor. There are another ten to twelve parking spots across the street from his restaurant. The lot on the other side of the strip mall next to CVS can also be used, but it is less convenient for visiting all of the businesses except for the drugstore.

We’ve all been very patient during this time; however, it’s really at the point where we really need to see some action and get this project completed, especially as the school year is three or four weeks away,” said Del Balzo, “We’re all taking a huge hit.”

“My main complaint is that they are dragging their feet in whatever the litigation is or necessary permits,” said Rick Simmons, the optician at Vision World. “They’re occluding much of the parking lot so it makes it difficult, particularly here at Vision World, for our older patients to get in and out of their cars, and get into the office here safely.” 

According to Adam Sposato, director of operations for Pelham Dental, many are wondering why this has been dragging out.

“It has been prolonged when it’s—in many’s eyes—a rather easy thing to fix a hole in a parking lot,” said Sposato.

The parking lot is filled with cones, fences and barricades to protect the construction zone.

Lindsey Luft, Pelham Manor village manager, said that it is important to note the repairs are taking place on private property.

“Our building inspector has been reaching out to the property management company daily to follow up on the necessary deliverables they are required to submit,” said Luft. “We continue to reach out to the owners, Friedland Properties, and communicate the gravity this situation has imposed on our community and advocate for action items at the site.”

But those who work in the businesses at Four Corners remain frustrated the conditions are not being addressed by the owners of the building.

“It’s not good,” said Aiden Lin, owner of Wellcrew Hair Salon. “I don’t know how long we can do it.”

Bucciero said that after biding their time for about a week, Flour Power’s owners realized that if they didn’t do something or find a way to bring in extra revenue to make up for the lost foot traffic, they would end up losing a significant amount of money. The store raised $13,000 through a GoFundMe campaign that helped cover all of its payroll for July. According to Bucciero, owning a small business, especially a new one, is expensive. They are still paying back start-up loans.

The money raised has been spent, and now Flour Power is just trying to make it work. The bakery signed with some delivery apps but cannot make up for the revenue lose since construction started.

Progress on repairs including interior gas utility work has been completed, according to a Village of Pelham Manor statement on Aug. 11.

Luft said that Tuesday a plumbing permit application was filed and approved for the replacement of the water and gas service lines. The plumber is now able to begin work at any time, she said.

“My hope is that as the fall progresses now, they get to move very quickly on this situation,” said Simmons. “But it’s only going to get darker before long, and I really don’t see light at the end of the tunnel for another few months at least.”  

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About the Contributor
Kiran Schwaderer, Managing Editor
Kiran Schwaderer is a sophomore at Pelham Memorial High School. She has been part of the Pelham Examiner since fifth grade. She enjoys playing the flute in the PMHS band and jazz band, playing the harp, and participating in softball. She is very excited to continue to contribute to the Pelham Examiner.

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  • L

    Leila BradyAug 24, 2023 at 4:28 pm

    Awesome article Kiran!

  • A

    Ann RendeAug 23, 2023 at 9:21 pm

    Has the Pelham Manor Administration reached out to the Friedman management to perhaps assist these businesses with a rent reduction or rent furlough?

  • C

    Charlotte CohnAug 23, 2023 at 1:04 pm

    Great article Kiran!!