The following article was written by Freelance Journalist Tom Bartley.
It was touted as a visual anchor for Scarsdale’s revitalized Five Corners. But the two-story retail building has become a controversial flashpoint, criticized by some residents as too big and by at least one village official as not living up to the promises of its original design.
“Our building inspector issued violations on 11 different items,” Village Manager Alfred A. Gatta says, citing discrepancies between plans approved for the building and the façade now rising where Heathcote Road meets Palmer Avenue.
The structure is a joint undertaking by two Scarsdale residents. One of them, Brad Perkins, is a world-famous architect and the other, Doug Brout, is a respected local builder.
Perkins, who is co-founder and chairman of the international architectural firm Perkins Eastman, and Brout, whose 3D Properties LLC has developed a number of local projects, have collaborated before, notably on the Christie Place apartment complex.
In 2008, they formally proposed the Five Corners project to the village. Their Heathcote Corners would rise near Balducci’s supermarket, replacing a onetime Citgo gas station at that crowded confluence of busy byways.
Incorporating an underground parking garage within, the 11,00-square-foot retail showcase was also expected to include specific aesthetics on the outside. The exterior features—a pitched roof, decorative railings and window trim among them—were spelled out in plans approved by the Board of Architectural Review in 2010.
But after three years, as bricks and mortar began to replace the drawings and paper, the village charges, some details got lost, changed or forgotten. Among the officials’ complaints are these:
Roofs and railings.
The pitched metal roof, shown on paper as continuing past both ground-floor exits and the second-floor window, extends in reality just to the end of a smaller window on the ground floor. In addition, from Baldacci’s parking lot an exhaust hood can be seen where a portion of the roof is now flat, not pitched, as shown in the plans.
The rooftop railing that had been approved as the roof guard is not the post-and-rail style shown in the plans. Also, a decorative railing shown in the approved drawing above the first-story glass doors has not been installed.
Windows and doors.
While they were called for in the initial plans, lintels have not been installed over the windows in the structure’s rounded portion at the intersection of Heathcote Road and Palmer Avenue.
The main entrance is at the rear of the building, facing the east parking lot. And although the approved plans show large double entrance doors of glass, officials charge, the builder has instead provided an opening that’s smaller and meant for doors of steel, not glass.
Wall lights on the outside of the building do not correspond to the style of those on the drawings.
Gatta, the village manager, said the project’s developer has been ordered to remedy the cited discrepancies. Scarsdale could withhold a certificate of occupancy, he said, to compel compliance.
In response to a question, he suggested some finger-pointing could accompany any effort to fix blame for the deviations. “The developer would be responsible, I think, even though the developer would probably hold the architect responsible,” Gatta said.
Architect Perkins, on vacation, could not be reached. Developer Brout, contacted by telephone, brusquely refused any comment, saying, “I’m not interested in talking to Patch.com. . . . Thanks for calling.”
The preceding article was written by Patch Freelance Journalist Tom Bartley and posted to Scarsdale Patch by Patch Editor Chris McHugh.