monsey office building

Class A Office Building To Rise At Former Rockland Drive-in Site On Route 59 In Monsey

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Groundbreaking On Office Complex Expected Within A Few Weeks

By Tina Traster

Although COVID-19 resurrected interest in drive-in movies, the iconic Rockland Drive-in screen this week was demolished to make way for a Class A office building at 75 Route 59 in Monsey.

Town Square Development LLC is planning to build 33/59, a 140,000 gross square-foot (108,000 leasable), six-story premium office building stocked with a food hub, conference center, gym, shul, outdoor and indoor terraces, and parking.

“This is a good use for the site,” said Ramapo Supervisor Michael Specht. “There is a shortage of office space. This should fill a need. It’s a good location.”

Developer Arcadian Cap Group LLC of Montvale, NJ, which is affiliated with Town Square Development LLC, recently acquired building permits for the project. The project, which will cover 6.5 acres of the 22-acre site, is expected to break ground in the next few weeks.

“The structure is a steel and concrete frame, and the building is clad with a glass curtain wall, insulated metal panels, and stone base,” said Frederick Kincaid, director of architecture and design at Jarmel Kizel Architects and Engineers, Inc in Livingston, NJ. “All floors have outdoor terraces on different corners of the north and west facades offering an outdoor space to many office suites. Each terrace will have integrated planter boxes. There is a grand two-story entrance lobby and the interiors are designed by Susan Strauss Design.”

Principals at Arcadia expect rents to be in the “low to mid-thirties” per square foot.

“We have begun pre-leasing,” said a spokesperson. “We have several interested tenants in the healthcare fields.”

Rockland Drive-in closed more than 30 years ago. Over the years, there has been talk of siting a Wal-Mart there, and more recently a $150 million 600-unit housing development with more than three dozen buildings. However, Town Square Residences, which would have been a mix of rentals, condos, and brownstones, was never built.

Arcadian is also the developer who turned the former Pathmark and Rickel’s into Town Square, an indoor mall of 30 stores, and the Evergreen Kosher Supermarket. Evergreen has taken over the lease of The Stop & Shop supermarket in the Pacesetter Shopping Center in Ramapo.

Arcadia is banking on a high-end, multi-faceted Class A office complex, which are in limited supply in the county. The web site for the project promotes offices ranging from 5,000 to 25,000 square feet.

In 2020, the county and the Rockland County Department of Public Transportation opened the Monsey Park & Ride Facility at the intersection of Route 59 and Saddle River Road (County Route 73) in Monsey. The new facility replaced the leased facility at the former Route 59 drive-in theatre site. Parking is free of charge and no permit is required.

Rockland Drive-In, the county’s first, was built by local businessman Harry Applebaum. The theater opened September 1955 with space for 1,500 cars. A cafeteria style snack bar sold hotdogs and pizza during the 15-minute intermission with patio-style seating nearby. At its opening, speakers and heaters for cold weather were handed out at the four-lane ticket booths.

The 303 Drive-In on Rt. 303 in Orangeburg opened on August 2, 1956. The theater closed in 1988, but its famous marquee sign on Rt. 303 survives as a marquee for the 303 Nursery.