GM Plant Developer Briefs HGAR’s Commercial Brokers
John Jordan | March 3, 2015
WHITE PLAINS—A chief official with the joint venture partnership of Diversified Realty Advisors, LLC and SunCal that will be undertaking the massive redevelopment of the former General Motors minivan assembly plant site in Sleepy Hollow briefed more than 30 members of HGAR’s Commercial Investment Division on Feb. 19 on the status of the project.
General Motors sold the 96-acre property to the Diversified-SunCal joint venture in December 2014 for $39.5 million.
Jonathan D. Stein, founding partner and co-managing partner of Summit, NJ-based Diversified Realty Advisors, said that a significant amount of infrastructure work will be undertaken before work begins on the massive mixed use development dubbed “Lighthouse Landing” that is approved for 1,177 housing units, a 140-room hotel, 135,000 square feet of retail space, and a 35,000-square-foot office building. He added that there will eventually be three shuttles at full build-out in operation that will transport residents from Lighthouse Landing to the Tarrytown Metro North station.
Stein is a former executive with Roseland Property Co., which was the designated developer for the Lighthouse Landing project at the GM site. However, Roseland in late 2007 exited the project after securing a special permit due to litigation surrounding the project and issues over the scope of the project between GM and the village. Stein left Roseland shortly thereafter, and later formed Diversified Realty Advisors with fellow founding partner Nicholas Minoia.
Stein recalled that he began work on the deal in 1998 when Roseland answered a Request for Qualifications. After deciding not to respond to a voluminous Request for Proposals issued by GM, the automaker later contacted Roseland and talks eventually led to the signing of a designated developer agreement in 2001. Stein appeared on May 19, 2005 before the Commercial Investment Division as an executive with Roseland with then Sleepy Hollow Mayor Philip Zegarelli.
Now after completing successful negotiations to acquire the property with partner SunCal, Stein told the CID gathering, “We are now the rightful owners of approximately 68 acres of concrete and asphalt sitting on the banks of the Hudson River. It is a fantastic property.” A total of 17 acres of the property will be preserved as open space, most of which will be developed as public parkland.
All environmental remediation at the property has been completed. He said that the developer is preparing to submit a site plan application for the first phase of the project with the Village of Sleepy Hollow within 45 days.
“If you looked at a program that we would be through approvals with our first phase development site plan and subdivision application, we should be in the ground in 2016,” he said.
He explained that the 28-acre East Parcel has been donated to the Village of Sleepy Hollow, which plans to relocate its Department of Public Works to the site as well as develop some ball fields there, Stein said.
When asked specifics about the residential development, Stein said that according to the special permit granted for the project, up to 60% of the residential units could be for sale, with the remaining 40% earmarked for rental. The breakdown is to develop 221 townhomes, 450 apartments and 550 condo flats. He added that 61 of the units will be set aside as affordable, 40 will be designated as senior units and 21 workforce housing units.
He said the first phase of the project will involve the significant infrastructure work necessary to facilitate the construction and development of Lighthouse Landing. Stein estimated infrastructure work could take 18 months to complete and will include the restoration or replacement of the Beekman Ave. Bridge.
Stein said the property will definitely benefit from a marketplace that favors transit-oriented development and its Hudson River location.