After 35 years I’d had enough of renting. Now you have to understand, there is nothing wrong with the Hyde Park Plaza. My neighbors are great. I can always walk into CVS and peruse their newspapers; go over to Antonella’s and have a slice of pizza; amble into Mizu Sushi for lunch; wander to Williams to look just look at hardware or visit the eye doctor to chat about eye diseases in pets. But there’s a downside of being here too.
Where did all that money go?
Thirty five years of paying rent and making improvements and where did all that money go? Well I’ve probably paid for the entire shopping center a few times over. And I’ve done major renovations on my office once a decade. Could I have used those funds more productively for enhanced patient care rather than sending it off down a one way street to my landlord?
I Didn’t Know There Was a Vet Here
Do you know how many times I’ve had a client say to me “I didn’t know there was a vet up there in the shopping center.” When I was open 1 year, 5 years I understood it. We were new in town. But 35 years later?
Well then, why don’t we advertise more? With respect to advertising I’m from the old school of medicine. Doctor’s don’t advertise. They develop a following by word of mouth and by people passing by the office and noticing their shingle. We have done very well by word of mouth. I’m so grateful to the many clients who have told their friends and their friends who have told other friends. We’ve built up a very good clientele in that manner. Growing our practice by walk or drive by has been more problematic. This is not a window shopping plaza. Customers don’t go into Williams to buy a bag of bird seed and then walk along the sidewalk to see what other stores are here. And the view from route 9 while you are driving by is terrible.
You can barely see the generic Animal Hospital sign at all. If we spelled out Mid Hudson Animal Hospital it would even be harder to see. The stores are hard to see because they’re set back so far. From the roadway all you view is a sea of asphalt. By the way, the current Hyde Park zoning regulations call for parking to be built behind or along side of any new buildings. That will avoid this look while encouraging trees and other natural landscaping along the road which enhances the beauty of our town.
Maybe a sign by the road would be a good idea. Nope. There is just no way to get a sign large enough to show all the stores (not to mention phone numbers) that can be seen from a passing car.
Now I Knew What I Was Looking For
I wanted something close by, convenient to both my clients and my patients AND for me too. Living here is great. I really enjoy being able to bike to work, run home for lunch, and see my clients out and about in the parks with their pets.
I needed something visible. No more hiding in a shopping center, preferably right on route 9 or 9G and not far from the center of town.
And I Find What I’m Looking For
Decision made, I began searching. I quickly saw quite a few potential locations. Not more than two weeks into my search I noticed a new “For Sale” sign on the corner of South Cross Road and Route 9.
I had driven past that property every day for the past 30 years and remembered the funky little yellow building that had housed a pizza place, a video store and finally Milligan’s Landscaping. I always felt it would be a great location for a veterinary hospital.
I Make My Decision
As soon as I saw the property I knew it fit the bill. Perfect location, perfect size. The building itself, well, lets see. My first stop the Hyde Park Zoning Department. Can I open a veterinary hospital there? Yes, zoned neighborhood business and I can open without any special use permit. Next stop a meeting with the realtor, tour the property, put in a bid and 3 weeks later the property was mine.