Times Square Business owners met this week to try to get on the same page with the town about details they’re concerned about in the upcoming redevelopment of Times Square. They followed up their own meeting with a get together with town staff to pass along their ideas and concerns.
Several of the items that came up at the business meeting were: public restrooms, a trash compactor that all the businesses could use, why the clock is being evicted, the new awnings each restaurant will be getting, a drop-off area for deliveries and Uber and Lyft drivers, the sails that cover the view of the skyline and how long the project would take.
When the business owners arrived at Town Hall for their meeting with staff, the expressed their appreciation that recommendations they made during an initial workshop were included in the design. Town Manger Roger Hernstadt told them now was the time to come to a consensus on what else they wanted make any other specific requests for the project.
Hernstadt also filled them in on a few specifics of the project. He said all lighting will be turtle compliant and drainage will be sloped toward the center of the former road. He then asked the group to get to a consensus on their issues and send him an e-mail which he would then take up with the town council. He also said he would challenge the design team to look into public bathrooms. As far as the trash compactor goes, Hernstadt asked if there were any volunteers who wanted one near their property.
The entire project is expected to take 8 months and it could begin right after Easter in 2021. Businesses will not be expected to close during construction and Hernstadt promised they would not lose water service.
The main issue is that the business owners need to come to a consensus on a timeline they’d like to suggest the project proceed with. There are two options. One is to work straight through (least costly). The other is to spread the work over two off-seasons in 4-month increments. Right now the business owners are pretty much split on that issue. The town council will make the final call on the timeline.