$136M Westchester Avenue Redevelopment Project Gets Preliminary Nod From IDA

John Jordan | July 2018

Mark Weingarten, a partner with the White Plains-based law firm DelBello, Donnelan, Weingarten, Wise & Wiederkehr, briefed the Westchester County IDA Board on the $136 million “The Collection” project.

WHITE PLAINS—A plan to redevelop an underutilized stretch of Westchester Avenue in White Plains that will feature more multifamily development and some retail space in the downtown district is progressing.

A proposal by Sabre Chauncy, WP, LLC to build 276 units of rental housing and nearly 25,000 square feet of retail space at 80-100 Westchester Ave. secured a preliminary inducement from the Westchester County Industrial Development Agency on June 28. A total of 17 of the units have been earmarked as affordable.

The Sabre Chauncy partnership, which developed the mixed-use Rivertowns Square project off the Saw Mill River Parkway in Dobbs Ferry, estimates the project cost of its White Plains development at more than $136 million.

The project called “The Collection” was the largest development project that came before the IDA at the early morning session. The developer is seeking IDA approval of nearly $2.4 million in sales tax exemptions and another $953,340 in mortgage tax exemptions.

Mark Weingarten, a partner with the White Plains-based law firm DelBello, Donnelan, Weingarten, Wise & Wiederkehr, said the component of the project that fronts Westchester Avenue will feature two levels of retail space totaling 24,500 square feet and three levels of luxury residential space (90 units). A building fronting Franklin Avenue will feature four stories of parking, including 275 municipal spaces and 125 spaces for the project, and seven levels of residential units totaling 191 units.

Weingarten told the IDA Board that the project is fully approved, although the developer is working on construction drawings with the City of White Plains  and will require approvals for building permits before it can proceed with construction.

He added that the developer is hoping to break ground later this year or by the spring of 2019. The project site is next to Westchester Burger, which will remain, and includes a former automobile dealership.

The project, which has been in the planning stage for some time, has secured significant interest from retailers and restaurants. In fact, Martin Berger, a partner in the Sabre-Chauncy venture, said, “We have leased the space initially with let-leases and letters of intent and to this day most of those retailers, who are restaurants and small shops, are still waiting for the project to go. They view it as being the best parcel in White Plains because it has all of the Westchester Avenue traffic or mall traffic, but not the mall prices.”

The IDA Board also granted a preliminary inducement to MatriArch Development’s mixed-use project at 101 Wolfs Lane in Pelham. The developer of the project includes managing member Lester Kravitz, his wife Rosalie and daughter Mara. Lester and Rosalie Kravitz are principal brokers of Kravitz Realtors in Pelham.

The $28-million transit-oriented development project calls for the construction of 118,240 square feet of mixed-use space that will feature 58 rental apartments and 7,370 square feet of ground floor retail. The long vacant project site at 101 Wolfs Lane is located near Village Hall and the Pelham Metro-North station, will also include a new parking garage with 71 parking spaces and public open space, including a public pass through linking the site to the train station that would feature retail space and an arcade.

The five-story building would feature four, three-bedroom duplexes on the fourth and fifth floors. The first floor would include retail space. The remainder of the building calls for three studios, 31-one-bedroom units and 20 two-bedroom units.

MatriArch Development is seeking approximately $1.2 million in sales tax exemptions and $260,000 in mortgage tax exemptions from the IDA.

The same morning, the Westchester Local Development Corp. approved a bond resolution of between $11,465,500 and not to exceed $12.5 million for the Purchase Senior Living Corp.’s “Broadview Senior Living at Purchase College” project that is to be developed by Purchase Senior Learning Community, Inc. The project on a 40-acre parcel at Purchase College-State University of New York will at full build out include up to 385 senior housing units. The development would be the first senior living community built on a college campus in Westchester County.

The bond financing will cover the costs of pre-marketing the project, as well as the costs associated with finishing the design and securing necessary approvals.

In the first phase of construction, the project calls for the development of 220 independent living homes, consisting of 174 apartment homes and 46 single and duplex villas in the first phase of the project. Also planned are 18 assisted living beds and 16 memory care beds, 44,000 square feet of amenity space, that includes dining, fitness and spa facilities, lounge areas, a library, a theater and a large Learning Commons. The project is designed to achieve LEED Silver certification.

Separate from the Senior Learning Community project, the Westchester County LDC approved last October $36.4 million in low-cost financing for Purchase College-SUNY to construct a new residence hall on its campus.

The financing is being used to build a four-story, 80,000-square-foot residence hall, consisting of 300 beds in a suite-style configuration with student common areas and resident advisor accommodations. The building, which will be designed and constructed to meet LEED Silver or better standards, will be located on a four-acre parcel of land near the college’s other residence halls and educational facilities.

The new residence hall is being constructed as a Design-Build project by KBE Building Corporation, headquartered in Farmington, CT. The firm has retained New Haven, CT based Newman Architects for the design of the project.

Purchase College announced on March 26 that construction on the four-floor building had begun. The anticipated opening of the new residence hall is expected in August 2019.

The LDC at its June 28th meeting also gave an initial approval for a bond resolution of $11,465,500 for renovations to the 46-year-old Bethel Nursing Home in Ossining. The project will modernize the two-story, 43-bed facility, as well as repay an existing $2-million loan on the 43,200-square-foot building.

John Jordan
Editor, Real Estate In-Depth