New owners of the Polish Community Center in Yonkers, which had been in danger of closing or being used for a church, received approval from the Yonkers Industrial Development Agency today for a sales tax abatement on materials used in its planned $1 million renovations. The IDA authorized negotiation of a property tax abatement as an incentive.
The owners, Shree Balajee Corp., will re-open the 92-year-old community center on Waverly Street as the Castle Royale, with a target date of Mary 2014. Shree Balajee Corp. already provides catering in several Westchester County locations and operates the Royal Palace Restaurant in White Plains. The company plans to offer a full range of cuisines at its new Yonkers location and may open a restaurant in addition to catering events, according to the Yonkers IDA.
“This is excellent news for Yonkers,” Mayor Mike Spano, chairman of the IDA, said in a statement. “This iconic property is where people have had weddings, birthdays, and other special events for more than ninety years. It’s good to know it will continue being a center of community life and celebrations for many years to come.”
Having Shree Balajee Corp. take over the building keeps it on the tax rolls and helps provide jobs, Spano said. The company expects to provide the equivalent of more than 50 full-time jobs at the site.
Jagdish and Monica Mitter, who will be operating the new facility, said the Polish Community Center provides a great opportunity. “We think a renovated and refurbished catering facility will do well in this location. We plan to provide the best place for events not only in Yonkers, but throughout Westchester,” they said.
The Polish Community Center first opened in 1922, and was the focus of the city’s then-large Polish population. In recent years it changed its name to Polonaise Catering at the Polish Community Center. The owners had explored options ranging from business partnerships to selling the building to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Spano said.
Also today, the Yonkers IDA approved providing assistance with the renovation of 52 Main St. as a residential and commercial property. The new owners, Saw Mill NY Inc., will spend an estimated $899,000 to buy and renovate the building. The IDA approved a $9,000 mortgage tax exemption, an estimated $12,000 in sales tax exemptions on materials used in the renovation. It also authorized negotiation of a property tax abatement.