GM Redevelopment Finally Breaks Ground

John Jordan | May 2016

Jonathan Stein, founding partner of Diversified Realty Advisors

SLEEPY HOLLOW—In what Village of Sleepy Hollow Mayor Ken Wray described as simply “a defining moment for our village, a real turning point” and a break with its industrial past, the developers of The Edge-on-Hudson, a planned more than $1-billion mixed-use development, broke ground on the former site of the General Motors assembly plant here.

Joint venture partners SunCal and Diversified Realty Advisors staged the groundbreaking ceremony on the site of the assembly plant on May 18th, which rolled out its last GM (Chevrolet) Astro minivan in June 1996. Peter Johnson, vice president, director of land development for SunCal of Irvine, CA and Jonathan Stein, founding and managing partner of Diversified Realty Advisors of Summit, NJ, spoke about the history of the development site and their goal to bring the waterfront back to the Village of Sleepy Hollow. A host of local and county officials also participated in the long overdue groundbreaking program.

Stein, who has been involved in trying to develop the property since 1998 when General Motors first contacted him when he was an executive with Roseland Property Co., extolled the virtues of the property’s location. Stein noted that the project site—on the shores of the Hudson River with views of Manhattan and the Palisades, situated within walking distance between two train stations and near the construction of the new Tappan Zee Bridge, “has every dynamic element that any developer could wish for in this economy, or any economy.”

Mayor Ken Wray said of the project’s groundbreaking, “We’re doing more than simply breaking ground today. At long last we’re laying the foundation for unprecedented waterfront access and for economic development that will propel Sleepy Hollow forward for many years to come, while at the same time, positively impacting the broader Hudson Valley region.”

Work has already begun on the construction of a temporary Beekman Avenue bridge that will allow heavy construction vehicles to gain access to the site. Work on that bridge is expected to be finished in three weeks, to be followed by demolition of the slab that at one time housed the more than 2-million-square-foot assembly plant. Other infrastructure-related work will involve grading and the addition of fill to elevate the property to be in conformance with new flood regulations imposed in response to Hurricane Sandy. Johnson said that vertical construction on the first phase of the project—306 housing units—is expected to begin this fall.

The first phase is to include 40 senior affordable units and 21 affordable workforce units.  The breakdown includes 188 loft-style apartments in the four-story “Loft District” section at the eastern edge of the property; 46 three- and four-story condominium homes and 72 townhouses in the “Central Park District,” as well as neighborhood green space, a central park and a new roundabout and village green at the base of Beekman Avenue adjacent to the existing Ichabod’s Landing community. Architectural and landscape design is led by the firm of Hart Howerton. The project is expected to be certified to LEED Neighborhood Development standards, the developer stated.

When fully completed in at least five phases, Edge-On-Hudson will feature 1,177 units of housing, including condominiums, townhomes and apartments; a 140-room boutique hotel; 135,000 square feet of retail space and 30,000 square feet of office space.

SunCal’s Johnson stressed that the development will not be gated, noting that the property during its tenure as an industrial complex, was always gated to village residents. Edge-On-Hudson is being constructed on approximately 67 acres, with an additional 28 acres east of the Metro-North Hudson Line tracks already donated to the Village of Sleepy Hollow Local Development Corporation. The project will also feature 16 acres of open space and a winding promenade along the water linking the existing Westchester County RiverWalk to the south and Kingsland Point Park to the north.  In addition to property tax payments and other payments for water and traffic improvement infrastructure, Edge-On-Hudson has also committed to contributing more than $11 million to the Village of Sleepy Hollow during the eight to 10-year construction timeline.

 Photo Caption: Jonathan Stein, founding partner of Diversified Realty Advisors, at the groundbreaking for The Edge-On-Hudson development at the former General Motors assembly plant site in Sleepy Hollow. PHOTO BY JOHN VECCHIOLLA

John Jordan
Editor, Real Estate In-Depth