95 West 95th development stirs controversy

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Residents near 95 West 95th Street are up in arms about the possible redevelopment of the property’s two bottom floors, which could force out some treasured local stores. The building’s owner, the Witkoff Group, wants to add 4,950 square feet of retail space to the building, which is known as Columbus House, and add 17,530 square feet of community space, including a rooftop garden. The project could displace four retailers, including a local favorite health store called Columbus Natural Food. But while some residents fear the changes may stifle local business, Scott Alper, a Witkoff principal, said that the development will be a positive addition to the neighborhood. “We don’t want big box stores,” Alper said. “We are supportive of mom and pop.” [Westside Independent]

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