By Nick Brandi & Hannah Teligades
People familiar with the address known as 335 Downing Drive are already aware that its occupant, Yorktown Green, had been in a state of steady decline going back more than a decade, to when the Food Emporium closed in 2010. Adding insult to injury, the property was rendered even further moribund when its anchor store, K-mart, shuttered in 2019. In response to this, Yorktown Town Supervisor Matt Slater is planning a major resurrection. Oster Properties, a NJ-based real estate company with more than two million square feet of property in northern New Jersey, Rockland County, and NYC, has taken up the project, which includes demolishing the vacant buildings and constructing a mixed-use property. The development would be a residential-and-retail complex, which Slater hopes will spur economic growth and create a larger sense of community in the town.
Describing the current languishing lot as an “eyesore,” Slater says the new project will not only be a visual asset but an economic and a social one too. By building up the commercial real estate sector, his hope is to lessen tax burdens on homeowners and stimulate innovation. Slater adds that with “traditional retail taking a hit,” the Oster project will infuse new energy. Some existing businesses, like Suburban Wine & Liquors, will be staying, but with a new façade. “[This project] symbolizes the changing economy we are all facing,” Slater says.