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New Buyer Is Taking Preliminary Plans To Clarkstown Planners
By Tina Traster
Is it time to send that last lob at the West Rock Indoor Sports & Entertainment Complex at 21 Pralle Lane in Nanuet, which over the last 12 years has been transformed from a tennis center into a multi-faceted facility pulling in more than $1 million annually in revenue?
That depends on whether a developer who is buying the complex to convert it to a self-storage facility gets greenlighted by Clarkstown’s planners and engineers who weigh in early on a project’s feasibility. The sports and entertainment center remains in operation.
The applicant, Stephan Matri Jr. of 21 Pralle Owner LLC of Port Chester, will appear before the Town of Clarkstown’s “Technical Advisory Committee” on Wednesday to propose the conversion of the existing structure into a self-storage facility. The West Rock complex is comprised of two large metal buildings connected by a smaller frame building in the center. The applicant wants to build a mezzanine level within the two large metal buildings – effectively adding a second level of around 70,000 square feet of usable space. The applicant wants to demolish the connector building and rebuild a fully enclosed interior loading area that would service both the metal buildings’ “wings.” The project also calls for a 1,000 square foot business office at the southwestern corner of the east wing.
The westerly side of the existing parking lot would be modified to provide access and turnaround for the interior loading area.
A variance is required for the floor area ratio (FAR): the maximum allowable FAR is 0.40 and the project proposes a FAR of 0.81 – twice as large.
The property is currently zoned LIO, which allows for “mini-warehouses” as-of-right.
Stephan Matri Jr. is a principal at the Greenwich, CT based The Renatus Group, a privately held real estate investment and development company that has acquired in excess of $500mm in real estate assets. Renatus’ primary focus is the acquisition of value-add real estate consisting of income producing properties, development projects and non-performing commercial real estate debt in the New York Tri-State area, according to the website.
Review before TAC is intended to provide an introduction and overview of the proposed project to identify the required approvals and zoning requirements.
Over the past 12 years, James Miller has transformed West Rock Indoor Sports & Entertainment Complex into a significant asset for the community. Like many challenged businesses, West Rock soldiered through the pandemic by keeping its sports offerings on tap, though its entertainment revenues, which represent 33 percent of income, were been gutted, according to Miller.
In January, RCBJ reported that Miller had reached out to Clarkstown town officials to tour the property to initiate discussion about what a private/public partnership could look like.
At the time of reporting the story, Miller said, “Our business is not for sale. We’re just having discussions about doing more together.”
Miller and town council members did agreed on one thing: the facility is unique to Rockland and the region. It has several facilities the town does not possess. It pays nearly $200,000 in annual town, county and school taxes, and according to Clarktown town tax assessor, its full market value is $4.3 million.
However, there has been a proliferation in the building of self-storage facilities in Rockland and nationwide over the past several years. The facilities generate tax ratables but some argue that these passive uses do not contribute to street-level activity or vibrancy in commercial districts. Further, self-storage facilities do not create many jobs or stimulate economic spinoff.