VOM Train Station for Sale - Name Your Price

by Judy Silberstein

VOM Train Station
The Village of Mamaroneck Train Station, in service since 1888, is now for sale.
Antique postcard view courtesy of Metro-North.

(May 3, 2007) Realtors for the Metropolitan Transit Authority began running ads over the weekend announcing that the Mamaroneck train station building is up for sale. Though the actual ads are less detailed, it's possible to imagine the following copy:

For Sale: by the Metropolitan Transit Authority: 5120 square foot, one-story (with attic and basement), terra cotta and brick Mamaroneck Village train station, built in 1888.

Pros: original details, like cast iron columns, fireplace with “ornate surround and overmantle,” and “beautifully molded doors and window surrounds and transoms,” as described in a State Historic Preservation Act (SHPA) inventory. Then there’s location, location, location – the heart of Mamaroneck Village, overlooking Columbus Park, and in walking distance to everything.

Cons: it’s a bit noisy (multiple trains whiz by each hour or stop with a squeal of brakes). The roof is shot, the basement needs shoring up, the antique wainscoting requires refurbishing – as does almost every other element of the building inside and out. And, because the building is historic, changes must comply with SHPA regulations.

Price: make a bid.

Mamaroneck Train Station - West Elevation, courtesy of Metro-North.

Larchmont Village lost its quaint 1887 vintage railroad station when the New York Thruway came through in the 1950s. That building was destroyed, but Mamaroneck Village's grand Gothic station house will remain, protected by its landmark status, even if it is sold and "repurposed" as a restaurant or office.

The MTA tried leasing the building. “A nice little café or market would bring a little bit more vibrancy to the downtown, and stay open much longer than the ticket office,” said Marjorie Anders, spokesperson for Metro-North. Tuckahoe’s station has a Starbucks as a tenant, for example. However, there were no prospective tenants willing to assume responsibility for the hefty repair and maintenance required, all of which must comply with SHPA. By offering the building for sale, the MTA hopes to attract greater interest.

Local commuters who use the Mamaroneck train station have not had full access to the station house for some time. Much of the large interior space has been partitioned off and closed to the public; the bathrooms are closed as well. A ticket office remains in operation, but many commuters use the ticket vending machines on the platforms.

According to Metro-North spokesperson Marjorie Anders, Metro-North has budgeted $6.3 million in the 2005-2009 capital program for improvements at Mamaroneck Station. The project includes construction of a waiting area, platform repair and rehabilitation of stairs, canopies and ramps.

The Village of Mamaroneck has been collaborating with the MTA in support of the sale. “We’re hoping that they get someone in,” said Village Manager Lennie Verrastro. “This anchors our central business district. We’ve got Columbus Park that was renovated a few years ago and we have new condominiums going in, with Avalon across the street. This would complete the upgrade of the downtown and the streetscape,” he said.

“We’re pretty excited about it,” said Ms. Anders, “to finally get the building improved, restored and put to good use.”

More information on the proposal for sale of the Mamaroneck Train Station may be found at cbre.com/mamaroneck.