Editorial

Use Empty Corporate Parking Lots for Drive-ins and Religious Services

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July 20, 2020

Most people I know are experiencing COVID-19 pandemic fatigue. We feel locked in, there is not enough variety in our lives and we don’t know when the pandemic will be over.  And, we miss going to the movies, theater, live Jazz concerts.  Praying at a Zoom service is not the same as going to a service!

    I have a suggestion that I am proposing to the Greenburgh Town Board: Rezone some of the office parks on Route 119 (heading to Tarrytown) to allow for  drive in  movies, theater, concerts after hours. The operators of the business could even rent their drive in facilities to religious institutions for prayer services on weekends.  This proposal, if implemented, would enable the arts to come alive while COVID-19 remains a risk.  The office complexes usually empty out after 5 PM and the parking spots are empty the entire night. It’s a wasted resource–with hundreds of vacant parking spots available.  The town of Greenburgh hosted a drive in movie this past weekend. The turnout was great -and we provided space between each car so even cars were socially distancing from each other.

   The proposal could be a win win for everyone. The office market is difficult -with lots of vacancies. And now that people are used to working from home – we could expect more vacancies.  Landlords would benefit from the additional revenue. Residents of Greenburgh and the county would be able to look forward to quality entertainment with drive in movies available for adults and children. Restaurants near the office complex would benefit with more customers.  And, it’s possible that empty office buildings could be converted into other uses –a deli or pharmacy near a drive in movie theater might be very successful. We have to be creative -economic development after COVID-19 will be different than before.

  So far the reaction to this proposal has been fantastic. Please e mail me your thoughts. If you are a musician, entertainer, religious leader, resident – let me know what you think. My e mail is pfeiner@greenburghny.com.  A link to what Gerymany is doing to drive in theater’s is below.

https://www.dw.com/en/drive-in-cinemas-are-booming-in-germany-amid-covid-19-restrictions/a-53295181

PAUL FEINER
Greenburgh Town Supervisor

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