MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – Mount Vernon is one step closer to adding an arcade downtown at on Gramatan Avenue.
Resident Ann Mitchell said that she has been seeking permission to open an arcade in Mount Vernon at 158 Gramatan Ave. since July. Mitchell said that the next step to opening it is to meet with City Council members and the city’s Planning Department to work out the details.
“I notice that Gramatan Avenue has a lot of the same businesses like pizza places so this is something different,” Mitchell said. “I would like a stipulation about how far [away] another arcade can be located in Mount Vernon. Some people might like to open one across the street and with the money I’m spending to open it, it would really break my heart.”
But Councilman Richard Thomas, who supports opening the arcade, said that competition is a good thing and the city can’t just protect one business. Councilwoman Deborah Reynolds said that she is not against an arcade but is kind of bothered that 20 other locations in the city are designated for arcades though one doesn’t currently exist in the form Mitchell would like to open in Mount Vernon.
“I just feel that they can be places where gangs rally at,” Reynolds said.
Council President J. Yuhanna Edwards said that he can’t see opening arcades on every block but is in support of Mitchell’s arcade because there are not enough places for youths to go in Mount Vernon. Still, Edwards expressed concern of the potential traffic of youths an arcade could cause.
“I could see a lot of young people coming at once,” Edwards said. “We need to open a sizable one because of it.”
A meeting is scheduled between Mitchell and city officials on Feb. 21.
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