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Former Cross River Plaza Getting Makeover

CROSS RIVER, N.Y. – The retail shopping center formerly known as the Cross River Plaza is getting an aesthetic makeover for 2012.

The shopping center has a new name as well – Orchard Square at Cross River. Adam Brodsky, director of commercial property for E.K. Cross River LLC, which oversees the property, said the new name wasn’t originally part of the makeover plan, but he thought it was apropos in light of the impending changes.

“We had to get a new sign, so it was a good time to change the name,” he said. “I thought the word ‘plaza’ was a little outdated. The town historian (Maureen Koehl) had told me that this area used to be an apple orchard and I thought the word ‘square’ was better than ‘plaza,’ so that’s how we got ‘Orchard Square.’”

The new “Orchard Square at Cross River” sign was put in place earlier this winter.

Recently, a crew began work to remove the tower located in the lower north section of the parking - not only because it was a relic of ‘70s-style architecture, but also because it was beginning to create some potential safety hazards.

“The reason we are taking the tower down now is because it had some cracks in it and when we had that earthquake last summer they actually got worse,” Brodsky said. “It was beginning to look a little precarious and I didn’t want it go through the winter with the freezing and thawing cycles.”

The plan for the center, which has yet to go before the town planning board, will include some substantial changes, including an outdoor clock, new lighting, stone walls, pavers, and improved landscaping. It will feature outdoor seating for what Brodsky hopes will become a gathering place for the town.

“We also want to plant some apple trees to match the Orchard Square name,” he said.

One recent improvement, which was not part of Brodsky’s vision, was the addition of DeCicco Family Market to the center.

“That was just good timing,” he said. “It worked out well.”

Brodsky said that the plan to renovate the plaza has been on the table for several years and the property owner simply felt it was time to make the move. He said that once the plans are complete and the planning board gives them the green light, the work should begin in earnest this spring.

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