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Town Board OK's Deal To Access Bedford Playhouse Site

The Bedford Playhouse building, which includes the movie theatre and over retail.
The Bedford Playhouse building, which includes the movie theatre and over retail. Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie

BEDFORD, N.Y. -- Bedford Town Board members unanimously approved a deal with the owner of the Bedford Playhouse to access the property to test whether added parking is feasible.

The contract, which is with owner Alchemy Bedford, LLC, will allow for the town to assess existing site conditions, along with conducting soil and water tests. The agreement may last until Dec. 31, although it can be terminated if either party agrees to do so.

Accessing the site on the town's behalf, according to the contract, will be Director of Planning Jeff Osterman and Evans Associates, a planning firm hired by the town.

In exchange for approval of the agreement, Alchemy has requested that the town not condemn the property under eminent domain, Town Attorney Joel Sachs wrote in a memo. Sachs reiterated the request at the board's meeting on Tuesday; none of the members expressed disagreement with it.

The agreement also calls for the town to carry liability insurance.

A copy of the agreement is available here.

The Bedford Playhouse space, is among land in downtown Bedford Village being explored for more hamlet parking. The Playhouse's theater space, which has been closed since operator Bow Tie Cinemas left in January, is slated to be converted into a non-profit arts theater.

On another parking-related matter, the board also authorized having the town borrow up to $75,000 as part of planning services in connection with parking expansion in the hamlet. Approval of the resolution does not mean that the bond will automatically go out to bond, it was noted. Rather, it merely gives the ability to do so.

A copy of the resolution is available here.

Video of a recent board meeting regarding parking in Bedford Village, which was held on Aug. 20, is available here.

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