Planning Board approves plaza plan

Gwen Chamberlain
This rendering of the new entrance to Lake Street Commons illustrates its appearance, but it was drawn before the developer decided to move the entrance 90 feet to the south.

The Penn Yan Village Planning Board has given a conditional approval to Seancony, LLP for the demolition of a portion of the existing Lake Street Plaza and construction of a new Peebles store and restaurant. Along with the new look, the plaza will get a new name — Lake Street Commons.

Engineer Carmine Torcia presented revised plans for the project to the board Monday, Feb. 4. He says work will begin on the project as soon as the company gets all the permits and approvals necessary, including approval from the state department of transportation for relocating the entrance.

The plan calls for a new entrance from Lake Street into the plaza’s parking lot. The new entrance will be located about 90 feet south of the current entrance, closer to the building that houses Community Bank, and closer to the existing McDonald’s entrance on the west side of the street.

Seancony President Demetrios Pappan told the planning board the new entrance is critical for the deal with Peebles Department store.

The new entry will include a median with landscaping and a clock. Some of the lighting throughout the plaza will be stylish, similar to the lights along Lakeshore Parkway in Canandaigua.

The entrance will help direct traffic toward the new Peebles store, which will be built on an angle to face toward the entrance.

To make room for the new construction, some of the existing stores on the southern end of the plaza will relocate and the structure will be demolished to make way for the new store.

The car wash will remain in its current location, but the new store will be built in front of it.

A new restaurant, owned by Josh Trombley and Art Kirk, owners of The Keuka Restaurant in downtown Penn Yan, The Switzerland Inn on Keuka Lake and Two Guys Pizza in Hammondsport will be added alongside the Peebles store. The restaurant replaces the Red Diamond Deli, which closed earlier this year.

Traffic will be directed around the parking lot with islands. The traffic flow in the plaza toward the portion of Kimble Avenue that intersects with Sunset Avenue will be one-way, and the planning board, Seancony, and Sunset Avenue neighbors who attended the meeting agreed each should send letters requesting the village change Kimble Avenue to one way.

The portion of Kimble Avenue that connects with Lake Street east of the plaza will remain a two-way street.

Weight limit signs reducing the limit to six tons will also be posted on Sunset Avenue and in the plaza.

In conjunction with the plaza construction project, Pappan said he plans to demolish houses he owns near the intersection of Lake Street and Kimble Avenue. The houses, which he purchased more than two years ago, have been used by the Penn Yan Volunteer Fire Department for training, and stand empty, with obvious signs of the fires that were set in them.

Pappan said the houses are a part of a bigger puzzle, which is just beginning to come together.

Last year his company was working on a development project to build a CVS store at the corner of Brown and Lake Streets. That project would have involved the lots where the houses are located. But CVS changed its plans, so that project has been put on hold.

Penn Yan Code Enforcement Officer Bruce Lyon issued notices to Pappan’s company that the houses must be demolished this month.

Pappan said he gave his word to Lyon that the houses would come down.

The board also gave a conditional approval to Paul Jayne’s plans to renovate the entire structure at 141 Water St. where he plans to operate a used car sales business. Jayne says he plans to complete construction this summer.

This rendering shows plans for the exterior of the Peebles Department store and the new restaurant.