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Yorktown Architects Reveal Renovation Plans for Roma Building

The Roma Building was the first retail building in the town of Yorktown.

The Roma Building, located at the crossroads of Routes 118 (Saw Mill River Road), 202 and 35, is expected to undergo a makeover as soon as a group of architects receive the necessary building permits from the town of Yorktown. 

Michael Piccirillo, of Michael Piccirillo Commercial Architecture in Shrub Oak, presented the plans at a recent meeting of the Advisory Board on Architecture & Community Appearance (ABACA). He applied for permits about three weeks ago and is now now awaiting to receive them.

The concept for the building's design, which will give the building height and color, was to give it more of a "village" look, Piccirillo said. 

Construction of the building would take from four to six months. Piccirillo said he hopes to receive the permits by the end of the month. He said there would be no structural changes to the Roma Building – the building would undergo façade renovations and there would not be any changes to the parking lot. 

"There should be minimum affects on the tenants," said Piccirillo, a Yorktown resident and co-chair of ABACA. Those arrangements, though, would be made between the owner of the Roma Building and the contractor. 

He expects the tenants to remain open during construction. 

The 24,780-square-foot Roma building was built by Joe Roma in 1961, William Primavera writes in this article on Patch. After his death in 1976 and his wife Grace's death in 2006, the building was maintained by their three children. The Roma Building was sold for $2.6 million to 1331 Metro Holdings Corporation in 2011.

Some of the tenants include, on the first level, Autobahn Car Repair and Gas Station, Gaudio’s Restaurant and the adjoining Three Boys from Italy Pizza, Marshall Alarm Systems, as well as Twist Frozen Yogurt Bar and Sweet Shop. On the second level are: Yorktown Jewelers, Yorktown Barber Shop, the Dental Implant and Cosmetic Center and others.

"I think it will be a great building for Yorktown," Piccirillo said of the renovations. "It will put Yorktown back on the map. It will be a great step to rebuild the downtown of Yorktown."

What do you think of the renovation plans? Tell us in the comments below.

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John Vergo January 10, 2013 at 11:39 PM
BRAVO!!! This is much needed.
William Primavera January 11, 2013 at 01:39 AM
Grace Roma was a good friend of mine and a great lady I think she would be very pleased with this plan.
Sue January 11, 2013 at 01:58 AM
Wow huge improvement.
Peter Miley January 11, 2013 at 02:20 AM
very nice!
Bob Rohr January 11, 2013 at 03:00 AM
You are now looking at what I hope will be the beginning of a new Yorktown. What would be more fitting than a redo of the first major development in Town.
Gina DeBonis January 11, 2013 at 03:16 AM
Great news! It is going to look awesome!
Area Man January 11, 2013 at 12:49 PM
This looks like just a cosmetic redo. Any information about structural or energy improvements?
Jonathan Nettelfield January 11, 2013 at 02:33 PM
This is good news and kudos to the owners whose initiative I hope can be a catalyst to others in Yorktown Heights, parts of which are looking increasingly tired and unattractive. However the resurgence of the hamlet will require more than just retro-fitting old buildings and while the new zoning laws reducing required parking spaces is a step in the right direction, there should be a more comprehensive overall look at how to plan for a 21st century community. My hope is that the Town Board will lead such an initiative even though the long-term nature of such a project will not necessarily translate into votes at the next election.
Jo deFacate` January 11, 2013 at 02:50 PM
As for Yorktown, there still will be no "there" "there". How about adding a couple of more Italian restaurants and nail salons?
George Benson January 11, 2013 at 03:03 PM
Michale Piccirillo is a great guy and one of the most talented architects in Westchester County. He handled all the permits, the questions from the contractors and also delivered he project ahead of time. Amazing work.
Bill Schneider January 11, 2013 at 03:24 PM
This is good news . This is one of the first sites one sees when entering Yorktown and it presently an eyesore. There Is no consistency with regard to construction in Yorktown. The proposed design for refacing the Roma building is attractive and long overdue
mary farrell murphy January 11, 2013 at 03:54 PM
Finally, a move in the right direction. Now if we could only get a small scale outdoor mall with the same feel at the proposed Costco location!
Elizabeth January 11, 2013 at 07:02 PM
It will look fantastic. I always thought that structure there looked tired and broken down. A new face lift is exactly what is needed to attract business. I never knew that was the oldest structure in Yorktown. I know the old Yorktown HS is very old, we used it as the 6th grade school. That structure has to be the very oldest in Yorktown.
Elizabeth January 11, 2013 at 07:07 PM
You know what else would look nice? A bell tower in the highest new level. Where I live now has the Church bell going off every hour, followed by a few seconds of bell music. Of course it's recorded now, and nobody actually sits there ringing the bell, but it can be heard for miles and everyone in the town just loves it. Gives it that 'old time' feeling, and is also helpful to know wherever you are, what time it is. Just a suggestion... :)
Scotty January 12, 2013 at 12:29 AM
I hope the restrooms will become ADA compliant. A person in a wheelchair cannot presently use a restroom in the Roma Building. Only one handicap parking space and no restrooms.
Yorktowner January 12, 2013 at 08:06 PM
Am I really the only person who greatly prefers the current Roma Building to this planned suburban strip mall facade? The current facade at least has some architectural integrity. The proposed facade looks like another CVS plaza, with its fake peaked roof fronts and ridiculous towers! Who in God's name who even think of putting a tower and fake pitched roofs on a 1961 building? This is exactly what Yorktown Heights does not need!
Area Man January 12, 2013 at 08:16 PM
The current building is somewhat drab, but this proposed facade is a superficial upgrade that will probably start crumbling in 5 years. There is no progressive thinking here. Just fakery.
Elizabeth January 12, 2013 at 09:19 PM
Make it out of real brick and wood, and it will last forever. Why put a negative spin on it? It is an ugly building as it is now. Come to think of it, it always was. Across the street from it "use to be" a Shopwell. Anybody old enough to remember that? That could use a re-do as well. Make it a bell tower! That way you get a beautiful song every hour to chime out from the new, STURDY tower!
Elizabeth January 12, 2013 at 09:24 PM
Nail salons! Nobody has long nails anymore! Except the sista's! We have Maria's and another new Italian place at the Roma building. We need more of the same? How about a little quick mart like there use to be in the Roma Building? When I was growing up in Yorktown, there was a little candy store right in there. Maybe a bigger Dunkin Donuts? One that's easier to get in and out of? You get run over when you dare to go in the one by Turco's. And the line is sometimes out the door.
Yorktowner January 12, 2013 at 09:38 PM
The Roma Building does indeed need a refresh. But Yorktown needs to stop trying to cover everything in a facade of faux suburban stripmallness and start embracing it's rich past. Part of the town's past is its fine antique colonial homes. Another part of our heritage is the Roma Building, an example of 1960's modern design. Rather than slapping on two towers and some faux peaks, the owners should embrace what they purchased. The building could use a brick cleaning. In addition, a new and expanded overhang would add more visual interest. Most importantly, the new owners should get rid of the parking area on 118/202/35, which is a nightmare to get in and out of and which causes more traffic at that horrible intersection. They should replace the parking with a pedestrian area and plantings, which would create room for the restaurants and ice cream stores in the building to have outdoor seating. In addition, the owners should create a better walkway from the front of the building to the parking in the rear upper level. And the town should improve the pedestrian crosswalks to encourage shoppers to walk from the Triangle Mall, Turco's, and other places to the Roma Building. These modest updates would be a positive change for the town.
A Contractor January 13, 2013 at 01:34 PM
Contractors Beware, the new owner of the Roma Building does not pay contractos who work on the building. I have worked on the building, for Grace Roma, for over 30 years. I worked for the new owners and now I have been owed money since May 2012. I met with the owner "Sam", who said he would make sure I would get paid. His words are lies. I have to take him to court to get paid. If you are looking to do any work on the building, you'll have to go to New Rochelle to file suit to recover your money. Nice way to do business Sam.
C Gajowski January 13, 2013 at 03:47 PM
It is great to see older buildings brought up to date, using existing commercial space. Yorktown had some nice ideas about improving pedestrian access to the area ( have yo ever tried to walk across rte 35/202?]. However, given that this is so much a suburban/car reliant place, no one would give up parking - how would they replace it/
Yorktowner January 13, 2013 at 06:06 PM
The Roma Building has adequate parking in the rear of the building, they just need to improve the pedestrian access from the front to the rear. And, as I said, the town needs to improve the crosswalks--they've already upgraded the sidewalks. The town has just revised the zoning to reduce the amount of parking that commercial structures need on site. Between the parking in the rear of the Roma Building and the parking within a 2 minute walk of the building, there is far more than adequate parking without the front lot.
Elizabeth January 13, 2013 at 11:17 PM
UT OH! Busted!
Deb January 14, 2013 at 01:58 PM
To Jo DeFacate: You can't be serious? Another pizza place masquerading as an Italian restaurant? A nail salon? Pizza and nails? Those are destination stores? What a lack of imagination! When I see either one of those opening in vacant shops, I think another waste of good retail space (and I know I will not be frequenting those spots!)
Elizabeth January 14, 2013 at 02:56 PM
I no longer live in Yorktown, but visit family there. I grew up there and think of it as my main home town. Where I live now, the Presbyterian Church is in the center of town, and it starts at 9AM ringing 9 times plus a little 'bell song.' It gives a beautiful homey feel to the whole town, and you can hear it for miles. I would love to see the same in Yorktown. It's not a 'real' bell, (though the old bell is still there) but it sounds real, and it's nice. Isn't it NICE TO BE NICE!? Damnit! LOL! (just kidding..)
Scott Petricig January 14, 2013 at 06:10 PM
Am I the only one that is recognizing the sarcasm in this comment?
Bill January 14, 2013 at 06:11 PM
Elizabeth, Why don't you go to Dunkin Donuts and suggest to the owner (I'm pretty sure that one is privately owned) that they expand? It's not like the store next to them isn't available (and has been in the past). Easy enough to do if they want to spend the money.
YTownAlum January 22, 2013 at 04:17 AM
This design is very uninspiring. This slap on renovation with the fake gables and oddly proportioned towers is exactly the kind of design the town does not need to see (again). Besides for the questionable aesthetics, how is this design addressing issues of sustainability and energy efficiency? As the focal point of the village, this building should be more representative of what Yorktown strives to become... Honoring the past while looking forward to the future. The lack of imagination and innovation hear is disappointing.
john nardi March 08, 2013 at 09:17 PM
An "eyesore" ? Please give me an example of a structure in that part of town that would make the Roma Building an eyesore in comparison ? Just one ? What the beautiful Mobil station ? Oh I forgot the Old world craftsmanship of that wonderful example of Gothic Archetecture that is the Cablevision Building !

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