Two letters in support of preserving a portion of the old Guinan's store building as a public gathering spot, such as a cafe, appeared in our local paper the Putnam County News and Recorder this week.
One letter from resident Mary Ellen Yannitelli, who made her own bid to open a cafe in the space, included the following: "Garrison Station Plaza Inc. has decided the ultimate use for the building at #7 Garrison's Landing, and it appears that they have disregarded the Town of Philipstown's goals in the Comprehensive Plan, and were uninfluenced by public pressure (we submitted a petition in support of a store with over 1,000 signatures.)
Over 75% of the GSP corporate stock is owned by their not-for-profit sister company, the Garrison Landing Association. As a 501c3 company they receive public funds from both individuals and State and foundation grants. It is possible that if their decision about the use of the building at #7 Garrison's Landing favors what the majority of the public wants to see there, the public would be more generous in supporting their charitable organizations."
Full letter can be read here with paid subscription and for free four weeks after publication.
Another, from resident Tim Donovan of Garrison, says that "Covenants are written in Philipstown to preserve rights or the environment. As a gathering spot for generations the Store has a covenant that is no less bound.... That a community noted for resisting mediocre change would permit the silencing of this store so central to our "aesthetic," "historic" and "community" interests is profoundly short-sighted. Replacing the store with an apartment and a couple of office cannot satisfy your covenant....
Formed as a not-for-profit, the GLA memorialized its 'Purpose' in corporate filings and therefore the reason for its legal existence. The 'Purpose' includes: the "aesthetics," "history" and "community" of the Landing; the GLA's goal was to protect it."
Full letter can be read here.