View Full Version : Renewal and Resistance in Yonkers

April 4th, 2003, 04:14 AM
April 4, 2003

Luxury Rentals on Yonkers Waterfront


The first residential development in downtown Yonkers in more than 30 years, a luxury rental complex with 266 one- and two-bedroom apartments, is nearing completion on the city's burgeoning waterfront. Called Hudson Square, the $60 million complex includes 22,000 square feet of office, retail and restaurant space.

For Yonkers, the opening of the apartment complex represents a major step in the rebirth of its downtown waterfront, a former industrial site that fell into disrepair in the 1950's and 1960's. According to Edward A. Sheeran, the Yonkers director of economic development, Hudson Park is the single largest private investment in the waterfront in the city's history.

Larkin Center, the new 200,000-square-foot home of the Yonkers Public Library and the city's Board of Education, opened in October across the street from Hudson Park on the former site of the headquarters of Otis Elevator, which left in 1972.

Next to the apartments, the Metro-North Railroad station is undergoing a $35 million renovation of its historic Beaux Arts structure. The revived waterfront also features the newly opened Esplanade Park, a 1.5-mile promenade with unobstructed views of the Palisades on the opposite shore.

The developer of the Hudson Park complex is Collins Enterprises, which is based in Stamford, Conn. Collins, which specializes in the redevelopment of urban properties, has built a number of residential and office projects in Connecticut. The latest is an $18 million, 75,000-square-foot office complex on the site of a former American Cyanamid factory on the Stamford waterfront.

Collins, in a joint venture with Avalon Bay Communities, built the Avalon, a 110-unit, $26.5 million rental complex completed in 1998 in Bronxville in Westchester County. A year and a half ago, Collins sold its interest in the project to Avalon Bay. Arthur Collins II, president of the company, said his concern, which also has several housing projects in Norfolk, Va., was actively considering other sites in Westchester.

Because Hudson Park is situated next to the Getty Square Station on the Metro-North's Hudson line, the apartments are being marketed to professionals in their 20's and empty nesters, many of whom want to be close to Manhattan, Mr. Collins said. The express train from Getty Square to Grand Central Station at rush hour takes 28 minutes. But with the location convenient to major highways, Mr. Collins said he was also focusing on renters working in Westchester.

The new apartment complex is comprised of two brick buildings, each of which are staggered in height from four to nine stories to maintain views of the waterfront for the public from other vantage points in the city. The apartments range from 697 square feet to 1,147 square feet, with rents beginning at $1,575 a month for a one-bedroom apartment and going up to $2,936 for a two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit with a den on the ninth floor with a full view of the river. Tenants are being offered the first month's rent free.

Included in the rent are amenities like membership in a fitness center, use of an on-site business center and concierge service. All apartments include washers and dryers. Parking in a covered area costs $75 a month; in outside areas, it is $50 a month.

The architect for the project, Do H. Chung of Stamford, who has worked with Collins Enterprises since 1975, said he designed Hudson Park so that as many apartments as possible had views of the Hudson. Because of the manner in which the buildings are massed and the way their heights are staggered, at least 80 percent of the apartments have at least partial river views, he said.

Brick was used for the facade of each building, in four different colors and sizes to give the impression of many separate buildings, Mr. Chung said, and the style of the eaves and trim varies.

He said his firm, Do H. Chung & Partners, followed design guidelines for the Yonkers waterfront established by Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn, the firm that produced the master plan for Battery Park City.

Under an agreement with the Yonkers Industrial Development Agency, Collins is leasing the two and a quarter acres of waterfront land on which its buildings sit from the city. The developer will make payments in lieu of taxes to the city for the first 15 years; for the first 10 years, these payments will be $70,000 a year, after which they will increase in steps to about $1 million. After 15 years, Collins will be responsible for about $1 million in annual property taxes.

A rental office is open at the site, and occupancy is to begin on May 15.

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

November 1st, 2003, 08:38 PM
November 2, 2003

Renewal and Resistance


YONKERS--On a recent Thursday afternoon, a handful of diners lingered over elegant dishes of poached salmon and shaved fennel in an airy exposed-brick restaurant called Zuppa. Nearby, the Hudson River lapped serenely at the edge of a new apartment building with a 24-hour health club and a swimming pool.

A few blocks away, in the heart of southwest Yonkers, shoppers picked through children's coats in C. H. Martin's, a discount department store. Sale signs papered the display windows of Easy Pickins and 99 Cent Dreams. Up the hill is Mulford Gardens, a housing project built in 1939, where a fifth of all families live below the poverty level, more than triple the rate in Westchester County.

In many ways, Yonkers, the fourth-largest city in New York State, is a city that time forgot. As development boomed across Westchester in the 1990's, Yonkers languished, stained by corrupt politics and stinging accusations of racism. Downtown storefronts remained boarded up. Dollar stores did the bulk of the business in the impoverished area.

But gradually, over the last year, Yonkers, Westchester County's largest city, has begun to re-emerge on the development map. Two new luxury apartment buildings have been built on the waterfront, just two blocks from Getty Square, the poorest Yonkers neighborhood. Zuppa, the city's first new white linen table-cloth restaurant in a long while, opened nearby. The city's long-traveling library was given a permanent home in a new glass building.

"We're doing it," said Mayor John D. Spencer of Yonkers. "We're trying to take an area that for 30 years stagnated. It has never been done before. This is not the politics of old."

But as the mayor's office, fresh with success, prepares for more downtown projects, including a minor league baseball stadium, some locals are eyeing the plans nervously. Residents say they fear rising rents. They do not want local discount stores to be replaced by pricier national chains. And they do not want traffic from a stadium clogging their streets. A local property owner is even trying to block plans for the stadium in court, with a suit filed in State Supreme Court that challenges how the city is handling the stadium development.

"I think they are trying to get rid of the poor people," said Margaret Jessamy, 80, a cashier at C. H. Martin's, the discount department store, who has lived in the area since 1941. "They're trying to tell us to just go away. They want us to disappear."

In the economic logic of development, more businesses in an area means an improvement in the life of people there. Mayor Spencer argues that increased business activity from the ballpark, and higher wage earners in the new apartments, will ultimately boost tax revenues and improve the school system. Southwest Yonkers, depressed for years, would benefit from an infusion of higher-wage earners, he argues, and the stadium, which will include 110,000 square feet of retail space, will draw crowds of new spenders to the neighborhood. Development is a big issue in the current mayoral race, with the Republican candidate, Deputy Mayor Phil Amicone, a Spencer protégé, pressing to continue the projects in his race against Joe L. Farmer, the former Yonkers school superintendent and a Democrat.

"We're looking to elevate people who live there, not move them out," Mayor Spencer said.

But as development collides with the economics of poverty, maintaining that balance can be tricky. Development has swept across American cities over the last 20 years with a very mixed record of integration of poor and rich. Rising prices and rents often leave many longtime residents behind.

"I don't care whether you're in Harlem or Westchester, if your area has been targeted by a developer, you're going to have these same things happening," said Nellie Bailey, head of the Harlem Tenants' Council. "The whole intent is to generate money, and you can't do that off of poor people."

Yonkers had a grand and prosperous past. It was a shopping hub in the 1940's, when traffic flowed on railroads and rivers instead of highways. The Broadway musical "Hello Dolly" tells the story of a prominent Yonkers businessman. A 19th-century artists' colony is now a leafy enclave on the city's eastern edge.

But in the 1960's, the demographics began to change, in part because of urban renewal programs in nearby areas that drove the poor to housing projects in Yonkers. According to the 1980 census, the mile-square area around Mulford Gardens contained 97.7 percent of the city's public housing and 80.7 percent of the city's minority population. Those families would later clash with the city's predominantly white local government.

"Yonkers was stagnant, a political mess for 20 or 30 years, while other cities were developing," said Mayor Spencer. "It had such a failed, failed record."

In the mid-1980's, the city of Yonkers announced an ambitious plan to revitalize its Hudson River waterfront. Six luxury apartment high-rises were expected to bring life back to the depressed area. An abandoned power station would be transformed into condominiums.

The plans quickly unraveled several years later, when an emotional and public battle over school desegregation turned Yonkers into a poster child for dysfunctional local government.

IT was not the city's first false start. The earliest plans for redevelopment date to 1953. One attempt at waterfront renewal was heralded by setting white Roman-style colonnades into the façade of a downtown building. The columns were later assailed as tacky and were ripped out. The development never began. The stately Carnegie Library was torn down to widen a road, and the books were stashed, for 18 years, in a building that was once a department store.

In those years of stagnation, the quality of life for residents steadily declined. Neighborhoods in the area became infested with drugs. In Nodine Hill, a hilly neighborhood of old two-family homes, frequent fires left empty, burned out lots, giving the area a look of a jaw with knocked-out teeth. Street violence in the area tormented parents, who feared for their children's lives.

Random gunfire last year claimed the life of the daughter of Julio and Alba Guzman, immigrants from El Salvador. Late one afternoon, as the toddler lay on her parents' bed watching a Winnie the Pooh video, the crack of an explosion and shattered glass shook the room. A neighbor with a high-power rifle had been shooting target practice from his window and missed, hitting the toddler in the head. She died on the way to the hospital.

"It's dangerous here," said Mr. Guzman, who last month moved his family into a small, new home in a different neighborhood, built by Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit group. "It was an accident, but that kind of accident should never have happened. We can never feel safe here."

Downtown development can help heal those social ills, argues Edward A. Sheeran, head of the city's Industrial Development Agency. The agency estimates that about $600 million in new investment has been added to the economy since the development began, along with a substantial number of new jobs. Graffiti has been scrubbed from the sides of buildings. Small banners fly from lamp posts and a colorful mural has been painted across the side of formerly forlorn downtown walls.

"In 1997, we couldn't even get the developers to stop in Yonkers for a cup of coffee," he said. "It used to be you couldn't give away waterfront property. Now it's worth $1.1 million an acre."

For Mr. Sheeran, rising rents, at least in commercial spaces, mean progress. But for the area's residents, it is a frightening new fact of life. For decades, southwest Yonkers was a last-resort area in an otherwise pricey county. Housing prices in Westchester have more than doubled since 1997, with the median home price at $530,000 from about $175,000.

Peter Smith, director of municipal housing in Yonkers, called the situation in the county a "housing crisis." A 1997 home ownership program for residents of public housing never got off the ground because of climbing prices, he said. In all the city has 2,609 apartments for low-income people and another 1,700 apartments are currently accepting Section 8 certificates, federal housing subsidies paid to landlords. The waiting list for public housing is between 1,000 and 1,200 families. Another 70 to 80 families a year receive rent and mortgage subsidies. The waiting list for those subsidies is about 1,500 families.

"In Westchester, there's a large population in need of affordable housing," said Mr. Smith. "Incomes here just have not gone up in any way, shape or form, commensurate with rents."

Valerie Perez, 39, and her mother and sister moved to Yonkers last year, after their landlord in Sleepy Hollow sold their $900-a-month two-bedroom apartment. Their search led them to several different towns. They even saw apartments without bathrooms. Many landlords would not consider their application because Ms. Perez, who formerly worked entering data in the county clerk's office, is unemployed. Her sister, Salome, cleans apartments and baby-sits. Their apartment is on the edge of the proposed baseball stadium site.

"We don't know where to go," said Ms. Perez, standing with a mug of instant coffee in her small kitchen. "Rents are changing so dramatically. We have found them astronomical. It's a very scary thing."

But it would be hard to argue that in southwest Yonkers, nothing should change. Jonathan Rose, chairman of board of the Greyston Foundation, which has financed the construction of about 150 low-rent apartments in Yonkers, argued that drawing bigger wage-earners to the area was the best hope for progress among longtime residents. Mr. Rose, who is also president of Jonathan Rose Companies, a developer based in Katonah, has bid for a large site on the Yonkers waterfront, just north of the new luxury apartments.

"It's not the gentrification that's bad, it's the lack of income diversity," he said. "When rents are low, building values are low and taxes are low. Communities find it hard to dig out. Having only low rents is condemning people who live in those communities to having low services and underfunded schools. It doesn't help their kids move forward."

The stadium has raised a great deal of opposition from people who say it is a good idea in the wrong place, that it would be too hard to get to, and that the project too much a mix of goals. In all, the stadium would displace families in about 16 apartments, a relatively small number as development goes. The site spans four city blocks, and will stand on land that is now occupied by about 20 small businesses. Some want to sell out, Mr. Sheeran said. Others, including a women's clothing store, Suzy's Fashions, a photo developing service and C. H. Martin's, the discount department store that opened in 1979, have dug in to fight the development.

"Show me a plan," said Martin D. Goldman, owner of C. H. Martin Company, a New Jersey-based chain of discount stores. "They're not telling us anything."

He added: "I employ 35 people year round and 50 people during Christmas. I pay taxes."

Mr. Martin said the city has yet to tell the businesses their new location or the rent they will have to pay. Others criticized the city for offering economic incentives and tax breaks to the new developers. The waterfront apartments, for example, are owned by Collins Enterprises, based in Stamford, Conn., which bought the land at about a fifth of the market rate, and made a one-time payment that exempted the project from up to 12 years of property taxes, said Arthur Collins, president of the company.

Debra Cohen, a lawyer representing the small businesses opposed to the project, said: "People who live and work in southwest Yonkers feel like they're disposable, like they're yesterday's garbage. Do you really think the best philosophy of economic development is clearing the city out block by block or are you better trying to blend the old and the new?"

The administration said it was working hard to accommodate current business owners. Mr. Sheeran acknowledged that no specific locations or rents had been discussed, but that is because the developer has not yet been chosen.

"We're not coming in with bulldozers and disrespecting the life of the people," said Mayor Spencer. "We want all the businesses in the area."

Many see the stadium as the city's last hope to draw big retail to downtown. In an emotional debate about the stadium at a recent City Council meeting, a council member, Gordon A. Burrows, compared Yonkers with White Plains, its neighbor and Westchester's capital. White Plains is experiencing a boom in its downtown in an aggressive development push led by the city's mayor. Downtown Yonkers, far from the highway, and bound on one side by the Hudson River, should instead fasten its hopes for economic progress on the stadium, he said.

YONKERS housing advocates, however, do not have fond memories of past development in White Plains. An urban renewal program there in the 1960's and 70's, drove many of the lower income residents out of the city into Yonkers, said Mr. Smith. It was the exodus from White Plains, many argue, that helped make the early problems for Yonkers.

"I'm afraid of a repeat of White Plains," said Lisa Best, a community advocate and resident of Mulford Gardens. "If you don't have the economics to keep up with the pace of the city, you'll be forced out."

Blending the old with the new will indeed be the biggest challenge for planners in Yonkers. Kennedy Smith, director of the National Main Street Center, a Washington-based nonprofit group that helps communities revitalize, said planning by city administrations is the key to success. While the vast majority of development in the last several decades has pushed out longtime residents, more recently, preserving the present has become part of the planning process.

"Ten years ago, no one recognized that it was a problem," said Ms. Smith. "It just seemed like, 'Great, new investment is coming in.' "

Ms. Smith cited neighborhoods in Washington and Hollywood, where urban renewal has been inclusive, with loan and grant funds available to help existing businesses stay where they are.

"The most common mistake is dealing with these problems too late," Ms. Smith said, "after market forces have already transformed the district."

Harlem, where urban renewal has been booming for several years, is a case in point. Ms. Bailey, of the Harlem Tenants' Council, said development in Harlem raced ahead so fast that it left the poorest - those it had initially been intended to help - worse off. Local leaders, she said, put little thought or preparation into how to help the poor.

"More landlords in newly gentrified neighborhoods are getting rid of people who can't afford to pay the rising rents," said Ms. Bailey. "It's almost politically incorrect to talk about them. The black leadership in Harlem simply takes the view that you are holding up progress."

It remains to be seen how development in Yonkers will proceed. As the neighborhood waits and watches, the process marches forward. On a recent Thursday at 5 p.m., a band of residents, property owners and journalists sat on wooden benches in the City Council viewing galley. Ms. Perez sat with her sister. Mr. Goldman, dressed in a gray suit and gold-colored tie, reclined slightly, his left arm slung over the bench's high back. Council members were meeting to vote on whether to allow the mayor to begin the eminent domain process for the stadium. Of the six members present, two voted "no" - those from the districts that would be directly affected by the building of the stadium.

"I live with the people who live and shop here," said Symra D. Brandon, one of the representatives who opposed the stadium, in a passionate address to fellow council members. "They don't frequent the Gap or high-end stores. There has to be some sort of a mix. Think about the people who live here."

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

July 2nd, 2004, 06:17 PM
July 2, 2004

Where Fixing a Problem Yields Anxiety


Mulford Gardens in Yonkers, one of the nation's oldest housing projects, has 70 entrances, making security a challenge.

YONKERS - Mulford Gardens is, by all accounts, a notorious public housing project: a cracking, leaking behemoth in southwest Yonkers that is teeming with crack addicts, reeking of urine, infested with mice and devoid of any soothing greenery or recreational space that its name might suggest.

Now there is a plan to tear it down and replace it with cutting-edge subsidized housing: an architecturally winsome mix of town houses, single-family houses and apartment buildings. City officials had for years sought money for the plan from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, and finally, last month, after a push by Representative Nita M. Lowey, they got it.

Other large cities have greeted plans to demolish troubled housing projects with celebrations, and the replacement plan should bring praise in a city where the existing housing complex has long been a scene of crime and source of civic shame. But this is Yonkers, where a desegregation battle has raged for nearly a quarter-century, and where nothing is simple.

For residents of Mulford Gardens, there is anxiety over where they will end up. For city officials, there is satisfaction that the Mulford Gardens redevelopment will cure one social ill while helping the city in its mission to revamp its waterfront and spruce up the neighborhoods leading to it.

And for those who see Yonkers as a city that has failed to comply with a desegregation order, it is just another plan to keep black people segregated from middle-class whites.

Whether it becomes the next front in the continuing war over housing desegregation here, a conflict many thought had receded, remains to be seen. But a lawyer for the Yonkers branch of the N.A.A.C.P., which joined the United States Justice Department in a discrimination lawsuit against the city in the early 1980's, says that replacing Mulford Gardens on the existing site would violate the desegregation order that was put in place by a federal judge in 1988.

That order called for the creation of new public housing outside southwest Yonkers. Two hundred units of public housing, on seven scattered sites, were completed in the early 1990's.

But the city has so far achieved just two-thirds of the required 600 units in the separate affordable housing category, even though the deadline has passed.

The desegregation order, from Leonard B. Sand of Federal District Court, came in response to allegations that Yonkers, a city of nearly 200,000 people just north of the New York City border, had contributed to decades of segregated housing and schools by placing subsidized housing in the southwest.

The dispute convulsed this sprawling city, the fourth-largest in New York, which was held up as a center of racism after local lawmakers at first defied the court order.

The wounds had started to heal, however, as the order was quietly carried out. But now Mulford Gardens is threatening to become a new obstacle in the continuing conflict.

"All it's going to do is recreate the segregation in somewhat nicer accommodations," said Michael H. Sussman, the lawyer for the N.A.A.C.P.

He said that a lawsuit from the organization over the Mulford Gardens proposal was likely.

City officials, for their part, believe they are doing the right thing by the residents there. They point to the opportunities for homeownership, as well as plans for on-site job-training, computer access and child-care programs.

Indeed, lost amid the years of defiance and foot-dragging was another component of the desegregation order: to make living conditions better for the residents, most of them minorities, left behind in the public housing in the city's southwest.

The Mulford Gardens plan comes at a rare moment in Yonkers's history, when the needs of the poor seem to dovetail with the desires of the city. After years of fruitless discussion about redeveloping the city's waterfront, upscale rental buildings, loft spaces and restaurants have started to rise.

But Mulford Gardens sits just off Ashburton Avenue, a hard-luck road of vacant storefronts that happens to be a main gateway to the waterfront.

By replacing Mulford Gardens, then, the city is hoping to upgrade the Ashburton Avenue corridor. "We want to make Ashburton Avenue a much more easily traveled and attractive route to the waterfront," said Mayor Philip A. Amicone. "We want new retail along Ashburton Avenue and to bring in not just low income, but middle income and upper income."

Indeed, one of the precepts of the federal program known as Hope VI, which awarded Yonkers the $20 million grant in the spring, is reducing concentrations of poverty. In Yonkers, that will be achieved by adding a greater range of incomes and reducing the density on the current site.

Built in 1939, Mulford Gardens is one of the oldest public housing projects in the country. From the 1940's through the 1960's, it was considered a desirable steppingstone for working-class families. It was safe, and there were even gardens. "When you moved here at that time, it was like an upgrade," said Emma Taylor, 64, a tenant since 1966. "They had trees, and they kept it up so nice."

But today the 550-unit complex, made up of connecting three-story buildings of drab brick, resembles nothing so much as a detention center.

Gregory Flowers, 41, said his two-bedroom apartment, which he shares with his girlfriend and their 3-year-old son, was so infested that he caught "at least six or seven mice every night with those glue traps."

City officials say the project is beyond updating, with an antiquated electrical system, leaking steam pipes and cracking retaining walls. The city's Municipal Housing Authority recently spent $225,000 to fix a steam leak under one of those walls. "You didn't improve the quality of life one bit," said Peter Smith, executive director of the housing authority.

In addition, the housing project has 70 separate entrances, making it difficult for the police to catch drug dealers who gravitate there. It is a menacing place, and the Police Department estimates that more than two-thirds of those arrested at Mulford Gardens do not live in the complex.

The plan is to replace the 550 units with an equal number of residences. But only 187 apartments will be built on the 12-acre site. The remaining units will be built on a half-dozen sites nearby.

Most of the apartments will fall into the standard public-housing category, with very low rents geared toward welfare recipients, the disabled and the elderly. The rest will be a mix of "home-ownership" units and so-called affordable rentals for those with slightly higher incomes. The developer plans to build some market-rate housing as well.

Mr. Sussman of the N.A.A.C.P. contends that all of the new subsidized housing should go on the predominantly white East Side of the city. But many residents appear to have little interest in picking up and moving across town to make a political point.

"We love our community, and we love the conveniences of the area," said Lisa Best, a longtime tenant who said the city's East Side offered less public transportation and fewer affordable day care centers.

As for the old neighborhood, Kristin M. Miller, president of the Richman Group Development Corporation in Greenwich, Conn., which is developing the site with the Landex Corporation, said she hoped that "in five years, when you drive by Mulford Gardens, you won't look at it and say, 'That's a public housing project.' "

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

January 6th, 2005, 05:27 AM
January 6, 2005

Yonkers Plans to Uncover River Running Through It


The Saw Mill River before going underground at Ann Street in Yonkers.

YONKERS, Jan. 5 - In the mid-17th century, a young Dutch lawyer named Adriaen van der Donck cleared a patch of wilderness and built a house and a sawmill on a bend in a winding tributary of the Hudson River. Mr. van der Donck was known as "the Jonker" - or "young squire" - and the town that evolved around his property became known as "the Jonker's land," and later Yonkers.

Yonkers became the state's fourth-largest city, but the tributary on which it grew - now known as the Saw Mill River - was channelized and diverted to make room for buildings and roadways. Around the turn of the last century, the section that runs through downtown Yonkers was almost totally covered over, relegated to a dark culvert that passes beneath the city's center.

On Wednesday, however, Gov. George E. Pataki signaled that the rebirth of the Saw Mill River might be at hand.

In his State of the State address before the Legislature, the governor said he would work with the City of Yonkers on a plan to uncover sections of the river and make it "a centerpiece of the city's redevelopment blueprint."

The governor has approved a $25,000 grant to help pay for a feasibility study that will analyze the costs and practicality of the proposal, a spokeswoman said.

"The Saw Mill River has been paved over, invisible and almost forgotten in downtown Yonkers," said Ned Sullivan, the president of Scenic Hudson, an environmental and conservancy organization that has been spearheading the effort to incorporate a restored river into the city's master plan. He said that a salvaged river "has the potential to transform downtown Yonkers."

The 20-mile-long river begins in a pond in Chappaqua in northern Westchester County and runs south, passing through municipalities and running alongside 16 miles of the Saw Mill River Parkway. For most of its length, the river is open and visible.

But at School Street in Yonkers, on the eastern flank of the open-air parking lot known as Chicken Island, it disappears underground. It briefly re-emerges at Henry Herz Street at the southern edge of the lot, curves sharply to the northwest to Ann Street, then disappears into another culvert. For its last half-mile, the river passes beneath stores and office buildings, Larkin Plaza and the train station, then spews into the Hudson on the west side of the train tracks at Dock Street.

"If you look at a map, it's like the case of the disappearing river," said Carol Capobianco, coordinator for the Saw Mill River Coalition, an advocacy group that has campaigned for the revitalization of the river. "A lot of people don't know it's there."

The plan calls for reopening the river where it skirts Chicken Island and incorporating it into the designs for a proposed minor-league baseball stadium. It would also be uncovered in Larkin Plaza, near the site of the old sawmill, where Scenic Hudson hopes to mimic the original s-curve of the river. A river walk would be built along its exposed lengths.

Planners determined that trying to open the remaining downtown sections of the river would require tearing down too many buildings.

Scenic Hudson and other proponents of the plan argue that a river walk would help to renew and enliven the downtown by beautifying the city, drawing visitors, and providing ecological and educational benefits. The proposal follows a national trend of recovering forgotten urban waterways: In the early 1990's, Providence, R.I., uncovered the Moshassuck and Woonasquatucket Rivers and San Antonio cleaned up the San Antonio River and turned it into an entertainment destination.

"We want to return to the city not only an amenity but also a very crucial part of their history," said Raymond J. Curran, the senior urban planner for Scenic Hudson.

According to Mr. Sullivan, Governor Pataki told Scenic Hudson several years ago that he wanted to uncover the Saw Mill River, and asked the organization to move the plan forward.

Two summers ago, Mr. Curran did some initial reconnaissance, strapping on boots and wading into the spooky culvert beneath downtown Yonkers. "It's pretty nasty," he recalled. "All you see is what you see with a flashlight."

Supported by the governor, Scenic Hudson persuaded the city of the plan's merits. The developers of the baseball stadium also embraced the idea and agreed to shift the footprint of the complex to the east to incorporate the river into its plans for an adjoining pedestrian and retail plaza.

The effort is part of a wider campaign by Scenic Hudson and other groups to help towns and developers integrate the natural ecosystem of the Hudson River into new developments and to restore the Hudson and its tributaries as public and natural resources.

Mr. Sullivan, an optimist by vocation, envisions a day when people will fish and swim throughout the Hudson River estuary. He can even picture children one day tubing down the length of the Saw Mill River. "Why not?" he said, unflinchingly. "Why not dream?"


Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

January 15th, 2005, 08:58 PM
January 16, 2005


A Dowdy Mall Warily Awaits Its Makeover


YONKERS - The venerable Cross County Shopping Center has developed a local reputation for being the oldest shopping center in the United States. The truth is that it only looks as though it has been around forever.

Cross County opened in 1956, well after other shopping centers were already operating around the country. But it was a rarity in the New York suburbs and quickly became an important part of the community's emotional tapestry, the site of shopping expeditions for prom dresses and first communion outfits, family outings and first dates.

Eventually it grew old and dowdy, as other malls sprang up elsewhere in the region and tugged at its clientele. But Leonard Marx, the center's managing partner for about 25 years until he died in April 2002 at the age of 97, ignored the supplications of retailers and city administrators to modernize the place.

The shoppers were still coming, he would say, so why change anything? And, indeed, the shopping center remained profitable, in spite of its looks. Mr. Marx expanded it from 27 stores in the late 1970's to more than 100 at the time of his death.

But Mr. Marx's successors, sensing that time may finally be on the verge of overtaking the center, are planning a $100 million overhaul and expansion that they hope will keep the complex abreast of other newer, more polished malls in a robust regional retail market that analysts say is only going to become more competitive.

The center's facelift also coincides with a major push by Yonkers city administrators to renew the worn out city with billions of dollars in mostly private development.

The physical problems besieging Cross County are readily apparent to any visitor: The entire place sags. The parking lot, which was built on a marsh, now has the rolling contours of a golf course fairway. Fissures snake through the walkways. Many of the stores' facades are remnants of the mid-20th century. And where newer shopping centers have integrated enhancements from the natural world, like landscaping and foliage, much of Cross County remains a giant slab of unadulterated concrete. It is aggressively un-hip.

"It's bad," said Gregg Sanzari, a partner in Street-Works, a development and consulting group based in White Plains that is designing the overhaul of Cross County. "Everybody knows it. They did Band-Aid fixes repeatedly."

But for whatever it has lost in aesthetics and panache over the years, it has gained in location, analysts say. It sits at the intersection of two major highways, Interstate 87 and the Cross County Parkway. While many retailers, particularly the national, big-box stores, have found it difficult to penetrate the Westchester County retail market because of the scarcity of large tracts of available real estate, Cross County sits on a 74-acre parcel with an abundance of parking spaces.

Retailers jealously guard their sales numbers, but some indication of the center's retail potential comes from Juan Rivera, the general manager of the Sears that serves as one of the mall's anchors. The store is ranked among the top 10 Sears stores nationwide in sales volume, Mr. Rivera said.

Still, the center's primacy in the southwestern corner of Westchester is now threatened. Forest City Ratner Companies is planning to build a huge mixed-use retail, business, residential and entertainment complex in Yonkers, called the Ridge Hill Village Center, about three miles from Cross County.

In addition, some national retailers are finding creative ways of sliding into the space-deficient retail market in Westchester. Target has opened a store, for example, in a basement space in the new City Center project in White Plains, forgoing its preference for a ground-level and highly visible shop front.

Retail experts in the region say Westchester still has plenty of room for new retail stores.

According to calculations by Peter Ripka, a partner in Ripco Real Estate, which is brokering retail leases for the Ridge Hill project, there is one Target, Wal-Mart or Kmart for every 80,000 to 100,000 people on Long Island. In Westchester, he said, there is one of those big retailers for every 250,000 residents.

"Competition has increased so much that centers have to constantly renovate or expand to keep themselves fresh in the consumer's mind," said Malachy Kavanagh, vice president for communications at the International Council of Shopping Centers, a New York-based industry trade group.

Al DelBello, a lawyer who represents Cross County's ownership group, Dollar Land Syndicate, said that the Ridge Hill development had helped motivate Mr. Marx's successors to renovate. But he said Cross County would continue to cater to a middle-class clientele, particularly shoppers from the Bronx, Mount Vernon and Yonkers. Ridge Hill, he said, would probably be focusing on a more upscale market.

Philip A. Amicone, mayor of Yonkers, said the Cross County overhaul would mean more jobs, revenues and shopping opportunities.

It will also help freshen up the city. The Amicone administration has been promoting several billion dollars worth of development in the city, particularly along the downtown waterfront, including the construction of thousands of rental apartments, office space, restaurants and other commercial businesses, a public esplanade, a library, a parking garage and most recently a plan to uncover portions of the Saw Mill River.

His goal, he said, is to restore the round-the-clock vitality of downtown Yonkers.

The Cross County renovation plans call for adding 200,000 square feet of retail space to the existing 900,000 square feet and for refurbishing existing buildings. The owners also intend to rebuild intersections to make access easier and unsnarl traffic, construct a parking tower and redesign and beautify the streetscapes.

If the governmental review process goes smoothly, Mr. Sanzari said, the investors hope to break ground in the spring of 2006 and complete construction by the end of 2008.

But the facelift at Cross County is not welcome news for everyone there. It promises not only to change the appearance of the center but also, some retailers suspect, to alter the essential nature of the place.

Many stores are independently owned, and proprietors fear that the renovation will increase rents, driving them elsewhere or out of business.

"A lot of mom-and-pop stores are going to be deep-sixed," said Adam Lauzar, who owns the Florsheim Stratford Shoe store, one of the oldest businesses in the mall.

The mall, Mr. Lauzar said, had always had a friendly and communal atmosphere, a tone set by Mr. Marx, who would drop by the stores to talk business with the proprietors and always seemed to have their best interests in mind. The new ownership group, Mr. Lauzar said, seems more aloof.

"It's been a great mall," he said, the wistfulness in his voice suggesting that an era was coming to an end.

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

January 15th, 2005, 09:30 PM
More or less I know about what talk this post, and I can't read it all because my english is so bad for it and I haven't enought time (My exams are near and I have tons for study) ...but... why anyone write??
Why only Kris write in this post?
Oh.. I think I'm getting crazy this weekend.. I have to stop to study hehe.

February 18th, 2006, 05:20 AM
February 19, 2006
In the Region | Westchester
Expanding New York City Into Yonkers


IF it is approved by local officials, a $3.1 billion proposal unveiled earlier this month to revive major areas throughout this gritty city with new residences, a ballpark and stores would be the largest municipal revitalization effort in Westchester County, far outstripping even the construction that is transforming downtown White Plains.

Indeed, the cost of the proposal here is almost as large as the plan for the Atlantic Yards development in Brooklyn, which has been described as the biggest project in the borough's history and the third-biggest ever in New York City.

Parts of the Yonkers plan have been unsuccessfully proposed before. The catalyst for the latest version is Louis R. Cappelli, the Valhalla-based developer who is behind $2 billion in residential and commercial projects in White Plains and New Rochelle.

For Yonkers, Mr. Cappelli has joined forces with Struever Brothers Eccles & Rouse of Baltimore and Fidelco Group of Millburn, N.J. The two companies last year outlined a proposal for a 6,500-seat ballpark that would be home to an expansion franchise in the independent Atlantic League. Proposals for a minor league ballpark here have stalled under two different developers since first being put forth in 2002.

Mr. Cappelli said he was trying, in effect, to expand the northern residential boundaries of New York City by building high-rise apartments in economically depressed cities in the southern tier of Westchester, just beyond the upper reaches of the Bronx.

One dispassionate expert endorsed the notion that Yonkers is a good candidate for significant renewal. Christopher Jones, vice president for research at the Regional Plan Association, a nonprofit planning group in Manhattan, said, "If you look at places where you'd like to see intensive redevelopment, Yonkers is one of them."

"The region needs more housing, Mr. Jones said. "New York City can't accommodate all the demand." In particular, he said, the region needs residences for moderate- and middle-income people. Whether such projects would be created in Yonkers is not clear; the developers have not yet worked out those details, according to Geoff Thompson, a spokesman for the three.

Apartments in Mr. Cappelli's new high-rise condominiums in White Plains and New Rochelle are marketed as being in the luxury category, but they cost less than comparable residences in Manhattan.

Like White Plains and New Rochelle, both within a 35-minute commute of Manhattan, the city of Yonkers is along major transportation routes, and its downtown has deteriorated in recent decades as suburban shopping malls expanded.

"The idea is to also create a mix of offices, hotels, retail shops and entertainment to complement the residential development, including a nightlife and things to do on weekends," Mr. Cappelli said. "It makes a complete package."

In Yonkers, the development being proposed would fall in an area a mile north and a mile south of the Getty Square neighborhood, in the heart of downtown from the Hudson River to the Saw Mill River Parkway.

Most of the property affected is privately owned, and the developers may have to invoke the city's power of condemnation to acquire them, although, according to Yonkers Mayor Philip A. Amicone, they will try to buy them first.

The new development team, called Struever Fidelco Cappelli, will begin a six-month planning process, which will include public meetings.

Alfred DelBello, a former mayor of Yonkers and currently a White Plains lawyer, who represents all three developers, informally brought them together some months ago, Mr. Cappelli said. "We're better attacking this as an army than as individuals," he explained. "When we got together, we discovered that there was a chemistry between us, and that we have the same priorities."

According to their agreement with Yonkers, the new developers could build the downtown projects themselves or form partnerships with other developers. After the study in coming months, the partners will submit a comprehensive redevelopment plan to the City Council.

The plan would be carried out in three stages. The first would encompass the ballpark and surrounding area in the heart of the downtown. It would also uncover the Saw Mill River, which now runs under a 2,000-foot stretch of city streets before it empties into the Hudson, and create a riverfront promenade along it

Preliminary plans for the first stage call for 750,000 square feet of mixed-use buildings; stores would be on the ground floors and offices and up to 800 units of housing above. The tenants might include a major retailer, movie theaters and possibly a hotel. This phase would include development of two riverfront parcels south of the Yonkers train station that have already been zoned for new residential construction.

The second phase calls for new waterfront residences on industrial properties north of the Yonkers train station, between the Hudson River and the Metro-North tracks, and mixed-use redevelopment — including commuter parking and office, residential and retail space — for an area surrounding the post office between Main Street and Larkin Plaza, near the waterfront.

The third phase would redevelop a residential area near the Ludlow station, another Metro-North Railroad stop in Yonkers, and in the Nepperhan Valley, an economically distressed industrial area. The area encompassed by the three phases could reach 526 acres, said David Simpson, a city spokesman.

But no timetable has been set for the new development, and in past years, Yonkers has had a poor track record with developers. "There was too much bad politics and a lot of haggling," Mayor Amicone conceded. "It turned off the private sector. But that's changed in the last eight or nine years."

Indeed, several new apartment projects have been completed on or near the waterfront in the last decade, along with other commercial development downtown.

Residents, meanwhile, want more say in how development moves ahead, "especially now that there's a feeding frenzy of developers in Yonkers," said Robert M. Walters, a long-time activist and Hudson River environmentalist here.

He wants to ensure that developers listen to the concerns of existing residents. With that in mind, a dormant neighborhood group, the Hudson River Community Association, was reactivated a few years ago "to create more of a dialogue" with government officials, he said.

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

February 27th, 2006, 04:03 AM
February 27, 2006
Civic Fights Subside as Yonkers Hopes for $3.1 Billion Project

YONKERS, Feb. 23 — On the west side of this old mill city, a place defined not by what it is but by what it could be, prosperity is measured by the number of new buildings scattered along the Hudson River waterfront: a $53 million library, finished under budget and ahead of schedule; the refurbished Yonkers train station, with its arched windows and domed tiled roof; and two luxury condo towers and the restaurants, bars and banks that have sprouted around them.

Step across Warburton Avenue, just three blocks to the east, and the pulse of a budding neighborhood suddenly flat-lines. There are boarded-up homes and empty storefronts, rotten wood and peeling paint. The shops in Getty Square, the heart of downtown, sell little beyond cheap furniture and dollar goods to the mostly poor, immigrant families who are their last loyal patrons.

Standing outside her home on nearby North Broadway, where the stoop wobbled under a visitor's feet, Graciela García, 29, said dejectedly, "I've given up hope that anyone can change the way things are around here."

"It's like we've been forgotten," Ms. García said, "like no one really cares."

But earlier this month Mayor Philip A. Amicone stood beside the City Council president, Chuck S. Lesnick, to promote a $3.1 billion plan to turn downtown, the waterfront and dozens of acres of abandoned mills into an expansive network of new homes, offices and stores.

"You're going to see the kind of development that we couldn't even dream of five years ago, the kind of development that will finally provide the city of Yonkers the much-needed revenues, the thousands and thousands of jobs, the kind of excitement that we can only talk about and that will now become a reality," Mayor Amicone said on Feb. 2, when he unveiled the plan at a City Hall news conference.

It was an instance of political cohesion in a city that hardly ever achieves it.

Attempts at improving the once-alluring west side go back as far as 1964, when city officials devised a plan to turn the Getty Square business district into a pedestrian mall that would compete with the Cross County Shopping Center, which opened a decade earlier near Yonkers Raceway and shifted the axis of retail to the east side of town.

The pedestrian mall never materialized, nor did many of the other plans devised to resuscitate this dying commercial hub. They were doomed, in most cases, because the city had no money or because its politicians could not get along — or both.

It is remarkable that the redevelopment plan exists at all. But in a city known for racial and ethnic volatility, lawsuits, upheaval and feisty political brawls, even more surprising is that opposition to it remains muted so far.

"This development is our last best hope," said Joan Jennings, 60, assistant director of the city's Downtown/Waterfront Business Improvement District and a native of Yonkers, who moved out in 1958 but returned five years ago and has since lived downtown.

"The business owners, the residents, they're tired of being disappointed," Ms. Jennings said. "This city has endured 30 years of broken promises. We can't wait another 30 years for an opportunity like this to knock on our door."

Many downtown merchants, who are likely to see their weary shops replaced by shining office towers, new storefronts and apartment buildings, seem resigned — and, in some cases, eager — to accept the plan.

"I'm in favor of change because if there's no change, there is no progress," said Elbert Shamsid-Deen, 63, who has owned Thruway Insurance Brokerage in Getty Square since 1987 and is one of many minority business owners downtown.

"However, the city should make some provisions for the people who are here, the people who stayed here during the difficult times, so that they can have a place in the community," Mr. Shamsid-Deen said. "These people — and I'd like to include myself in this group — deserve a piece of the pie."

The $3.1 billion project would cost almost as much as the $3.5 billion Atlantic Yards development in Brooklyn, a planned complex of 9.1 million square feet of residential towers, a basketball arena, offices and retail space, which has been described as the third-largest ever in New York City. The Yonkers project would be financed by a combination of state and federal money, which still has to be secured, and investment by the developers.

The first phase consists of developing two large blocks downtown, including Getty Square and a nine-acre parcel known as Chicken Island, which has functioned for at least 20 years as a municipal parking lot.

If all goes as planned, a minor league baseball park will rise above two floors of stores. Around it, there will be a hotel, a multiscreen movie theater and at least seven other buildings with 500,000 square feet of retail and office space, as well as 800 apartments.

To make room for the new construction, the developers have, over the past four months, bought two-thirds of the mainly commercial properties that line Palisade and Nepperhan Avenues and New Main and Elm Streets at a cost of nearly $30 million, said Louis R. Cappelli, president of Cappelli Enterprises of Valhalla, N.Y., one of the three companies that will execute the project. (The two other companies are Struever Brothers Eccles & Rouse of Baltimore and Fidelco Realty Group of Millburn, N.J.)

The developers and city officials said they are hoping to proceed without having to invoke eminent domain. So at times, the developers said, they have offered some merchants twice the market value for their property, and then offered to help the merchants move their businesses along the edges of the development — close enough for the businesses to benefit from the foot traffic the new stores might generate, Mr. Cappelli and several downtown merchants said.

"Remember, all of this is just about money," Mr. Cappelli said. "These are businesses — there are a lot of 99-cent stores, there are a lot of small restaurants — that can move and use the money they got from selling their old shops to create a better business a block away or two blocks away."

To the merchants whose businesses lie within the limits of the new development, the question is whether to sell and retire or sell and move up the street. To those whose businesses are just outside the boundaries, it is a matter of how long it will take until someone offers them big money for their piece of land.

One recent morning, from behind the busy counter at the Galaxy Restaurant, which is cater-corner to the northwestern edge of the development, Louis Vlahopoulos said he did not plan to move, but wondered, "just out of curiosity," how much the business he has owned for 24 years would be worth.

Five years ago, Mr. Vlahopoulos, 56, bought three buildings on Main Street, in the long block that separates Warburton Avenue and Getty Square. Recently, he said, someone offered him $2.5 million for the buildings, but he decided to wait it out, hoping he could sell for a lot more once the new development gets off the ground.

"One way or another, everybody is trying to get their hands on something," he said. "The big guys want to buy land, the little guys want to get as much as possible for the land they own."

The optimism is palpable among merchants and residents, many of whom say that this time downtown Yonkers is finally going to get its groove back. But there is also a sense of discomfort in the air, a feeling that the locals might become the outsiders once the crowds come back to shop and live downtown.

Mayor Amicone himself said in an interview that he hoped the new apartments would lure couples whose children have left home and young professionals who work in New York City but cannot afford to live there. He is banking on these people, and on the added sales and property tax revenue, to lift Yonkers from its financial black hole. The city faces a $100 million deficit in its 2006-7 budget and the mayor has been making the rounds in Washington and Albany to raise money to close the gap one last time, he hopes.

Meanwhile, the agreement signed this month between the mayor and the developers is under review by the City Council, which needs to approve it before the project can move forward. In spite of a few squabbles over the value assigned to municipal property to be sold to the developers, a deal may not be too far on the horizon.

"The mayor and the City Council know that this project is good for Yonkers," said Mr. Lesnick, the Council president. "And we've realized that it's much better for us to work together and fight for the credit each one deserves after the project is done than stop the project because we can't agree and then say that the other is to blame."


Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

July 26th, 2006, 03:45 AM
July 26, 2006
Yonkers Plan Clears Hurdle, but Still Faces Opposition

YONKERS, July 25 — Now that the developer Forest City Ratner Companies has won approval for its ambitious Ridge Hill Village development here, officials representing the city and the developer are turning their attention to resolving an environmental challenge to the project from neighboring Greenburgh.

Construction on Ridge Hill is expected to begin by the end of the year, according to the developer. The $660 million residential, retail and commercial project, near the New York Thruway in the northern part of this city, is expected to create 7,000 jobs and generate $24 million a year in gross revenue for Yonkers — a virtual lifesaver that might just pluck the city out of its perpetual financial pit, its supporters say.

But Ridge Hill has also generated fierce opposition from the Town of Greenburgh, which abuts the project and has battled Yonkers before over development along the town’s border.

In April, Greenburgh filed a lawsuit in State Supreme Court challenging the adequacy of the project’s environmental review. The pending suit does not prevent the Ridge Hill project from moving forward, but it could deter its progress down the line, city officials said.

“Our goal is not to be obstructionists, it’s not to kill the project,” Greenburgh’s supervisor, Paul J. Feiner, said in an interview. “Our goal is to negotiate a settlement,”

Officials in Greenburgh have voiced concern about the increased traffic that might result from the project, as well as about the accompanying noise and air pollution.

“Obviously, we’d like a much smaller project and we’re going to do all that we can to protect the quality of life in our town, but we’re realistic,” Mr. Feiner said. “And I’m optimistic that by the end of the day, we’re going to come to an agreement.”

Plans call for Ridge Hill to have 1,000 high-rise apartments, movie theaters, a convention center, a hotel and 1.3 million square feet of retail space. The retail part has been a cause of contention. Opponents in Greenburgh want to see the retail space cut by half, but the developer and the city have refused to budge, saying that doing so would doom the project’s economic prospects.

David Simpson, a spokesman for the city’s mayor, Philip A. Amicone, said that “there are always going to be issues with any development, such as increased traffic, but that’s the price you pay for broadening the city’s tax base.”

Forest City Ratner, the development partner in building the new Midtown Manhattan headquarters for The New York Times Company, has agreed to contribute $3 million for a new firehouse in Yonkers and to pay an extra $10 million in property taxes to the city over the three years that it will take to build Ridge Hill. It has also pledged $10 million for a road linking the project to the Sprain Brook Parkway.

For the past decade or so, Yonkers has relied on state aid to balance its budget, partly because of its limited success in attracting development. This year, the State Legislature earmarked $74 million for the city, helping it fill a $100 million budget gap. The city is now banking on Ridge Hill, among other plans, to stabilize its economy and spur growth.

The 81-acre site where Ridge Hill is to be built is nearly vacant, save for an office building in its southeast corner. Forest City Ratner first proposed the project four years ago, but political infighting, legal challenges and accusations of backroom deals stalled its progress.

“This process had a number of flaws,” said Andrea Stewart-Cousins, a Westchester County legislator who represents Yonkers. “Many of the parties could have been brought to the table way earlier and many of the deals could have been brokered more transparently so as to avoid a lot of the problems that came up along the way.”

The City Council voted once before, in December, to change the zoning to allow residential and retail use on the site. But the three council members who opposed the rezoning filed a lawsuit, charging that the vote was based on an illegal change in the number of votes needed to overrule the Westchester County Planning Board’s rejection of new zoning. Originally, such an overrule vote required the approval of five of its seven members, but the rule was changed to require a majority vote.

A State Supreme Court justice agreed, and annulled the vote in May, forcing the city and the developer to start the approval process over. This time, the council voted 5 to 2 for the new zoning.

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

October 1st, 2006, 09:18 AM
The New York Times
Westchester - Editorial
Hustle and Flow in Yonkers
Published: October 1, 2006

Gov. George Pataki went to Yonkers last week and announced that the state would spend $34 million to expose the Saw Mill River to daylight. It would mean ripping up thousands of feet of concrete and blacktop under which the river now slinks unseen into the Hudson. A drainage culvert would thus become a second riverfront, with shady walkways and the burble of flowing water through the heart of downtown.

Of all the development projects being dreamed up for this proud but slightly sagging city — and there are a great many — the “daylighting” of the Saw Mill might have the richest combination of exemplary traits, qualities that should guide any effort by a community to reinvent itself. First, it’s democratic, creating a public amenity that charges no admission while promising to greatly enhance life downtown for everyone. It’s respectful of history — downtown and the river have not been acquainted for many generations — and the environment. Finally, it’s unexpected, even a little audacious, using the imaginative thinking not always associated with contemporary urban planning, which too frequently involves a depressingly similar mix of big-box retail stores and cookie-cutter housing and offices.

But the rest of Yonkers’s renewal plans may be another story. Huge changes are coming to this little city, from Ridge Hill in the north, where Bruce Ratner wants to build a $600 million “village” of shops, apartments and offices, down to the Hudson, where Collins Enterprises is erecting the second phase of a complex of hundreds of luxury apartments and a renovated ferry terminal will start sending commuters to and from Manhattan in the spring.

The biggest chunk in this wholesale overhaul is a $3.1 billion partnership of three developers — Cappelli Enterprises of Valhalla; Struever Brothers Eccles & Rouse of Baltimore and Fidelco Realty Group of Millburn, N.J. — to bring homes, offices and stores across dozens of acres downtown. The developers have a pedigree (Cappelli Enterprises has helped make downtown White Plains gleam again, and the other developers have created admired projects in places like Baltimore, Providence and Newark), but it’s too soon to tell whether all the moving parts will add up to a successful whole.

The most troubling component of the plans is a riverfront high-rise that threatens to be 30 stories tall and loom over the water like a misplaced and stranded chunk of lower Manhattan. The environmental group Scenic Hudson, which has long been a voice for sensible and proportional development, opposes the tower at that oppressive height, and the City Council and mayor should listen to its concerns.

Yonkers is a big city, but one of its most lovable traits is its small-town density and intimacy, the hustle and flow of its streets lined with mom-and-pop shops and its funky aura of bygone heavy industry. The people guiding Yonkers’s renewal should not forget that the best kind of development — like the long-overdue return of the Saw Mill River — takes place on a humble, human scale.

November 4th, 2006, 12:11 AM

Looks good.

April 5th, 2007, 01:58 PM
April 3, 2007
Alsop Makes U.S. Debut in Yonkers
C. J. Hughes


The latest European architect to hop the pond for a U.S. debut is Will Alsop, a Brit who hopes to transform a long-unused power plant along the Hudson River in Yonkers, New York, into a sweeping residential complex featuring a museum, restaurant, and park.

Under the plans, which Alsop unveiled to a 50-member audience at a public hearing in Yonkers last week, the hulking 80,000-square-foot power plant will lose its two smokestacks and gain a large residential tower. A third of the 400 units will be luxury condos and the rest rentals, with some reserved for low-income residents, said Erik Kaiser, principal of developer Remi Companies.

The $250 million project also calls for adding a contemporary art museum, located in a former switch-house, and a new apartment structure, nicknamed the “magic tower,” with a boxy upper portion balanced on tentacle-like stilts.

“Good architecture does make a difference,” Alsop said at the hearing. But some audience members expressed concern that the main building, at 25 stories high, will block river views. Others said they favor preserving the power plant as it is now. Alsop countered, “the building will fall down if nobody does anything about it.”

These issues could surface again as the zoning-approval process begins in May. What went unchallenged, however, is the whimsical style of Alsop. In 2000, he won his country’s top architecture prize, the Stirling, for London’s Peckham Library and Media Centre. A red, tongue-like decorative disc tops the building’s hefty cantilevered main volume.

“World class architecture should be in Yonkers,” Kaiser said. “You should be demanding something that is not typical.”


April 5th, 2007, 05:08 PM




April 5th, 2007, 05:10 PM
It looks like a joke.

April 5th, 2007, 05:33 PM
That Alsop nut should stay in Britain.

April 5th, 2007, 05:41 PM
This is the architectural equivalent of the painting of the Virgin Mary covered in elephant dung.

April 6th, 2007, 09:35 AM
Looks like vandalism.

April 24th, 2007, 09:53 AM
I don't know what to say.

April 24th, 2007, 09:58 PM
Two guys lookin at rendering:

Guy 1: Wow

Guy 2: Ummm Yea

Guy 1: Looks like a party favor

Guy 2: Hmmmm so you want lunch?

Guy 1: Sounds good. Hey don't they have toy like that in a happy meal in McDonalds?

Guy 2: Yea should get it for my daughter.


November 7th, 2008, 01:55 PM
I love these models. This is just the type of thing Yonkers needs to reinvent itself for 21st century. The city has so much going for it location and people-wise I think we need new blood and ideas. Another thought for the old power plant (I call it the "Portal of Perdition"; forget that old-school 'gates of hell' nonsense) is to create a museum space like Tate London. The train station is right there to bring in the swells from NYC if we did innovative shows. DIA Beacon is very crowded on weekends and much further from city. This could also tie us in to the Hudson Valley art scene. Places like this bring life to a city worth more than just taxes from luxury rentals.

December 1st, 2008, 01:54 PM
Old sugar refinery wary of future neighbors

http://cmsimg.thejournalnews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Avis=BH&Dato=20081201&Kategori=NEWS02&Lopenr=812010341&Ref=AR&MaxW=380&Border=0&q=30 (http://www.lohud.com/article/2008812010341)

The American Sugar Refining plant sits along the Hudson
River in Yonkers, in this view from the Yonkers Sculpture
Meadow. (Mark Vergari/The Journal News)

By Len Maniace (lmaniace@lohud.com)
The Journal News • December 1, 2008

YONKERS - In pushing the redevelopment of downtown, city officials have repeatedly conjured up images of a derelict industrial waterfront that long ago ceased functioning as an economic engine for the city.

But there's at least one exception to that picture: American Sugar Refining, a business that turns out 4 million pounds of sugar daily under the Domino label. Operating out of a string of interconnected buildings, the oldest dating back to 1901, American Sugar Refining employs 285 full-time workers and reports gross wages of nearly $20 million.

The sugar works is one of the places where the Yonkers of old is rubbing up against the new Yonkers - or at least the hope for a new Yonkers. Roughly 100 feet away from the northern end of the refinery sits empty land upon which is to rise Palisades Point, an upscale housing development with two 25-story towers.

It also is a place of potential conflict between a manufacturing operation and the residents who are to fill those new buildings. At least that is how American Sugar Refining sees it. Over the past year, company (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/#) officials and their lawyers have told the city that they believe their operations could be threatened by noise or air pollution complaints from tenants at Palisades Point, part of the massive Struever Fidelco Cappelli downtown redevelopment effort.

"America Sugar Refining has been saying it doesn't oppose the project, but it wants to be assured that placing residents next to the plant does not cause the plant to have difficulty continuing to operate," said Joseph DiSalvo, an attorney representing American Sugar Refining.

City officials say they want to keep American Sugar Refining in Yonkers. The company contributes to the city's economy, producing tax revenue and jobs for local residents, Council President Chuck Lesnick said. The City Council approved the Struever Fidelco Cappelli project's environmental review last month.

"We want to keep those industrial jobs in Yonkers whenever we can," Lesnick said. "People have worked in that factory, and their parents have worked in there. It's part of the historic fabric of Yonkers."

DiSalvo said nearly 100 of the refinery's workers live in Yonkers.
City officials say they also are concerned about the potential damage any conflict might do to Struever Fidelco Cappelli's redevelopment plans. If American Sugar Refining brought a lawsuit to protect its operations, Lesnick said, it could delay the project's construction and a hoped-for rebirth of the city's downtown.

American Sugar Refining officials say they are concerned that with the construction of the new buildings, they will face stricter noise and air pollution codes and could risk violating them. Under city regulations, the allowable nighttime noise limit would drop to 50 decibels from 70 decibels once the Palisades Point site switches to a residential use from an industrial zone.

Noise from American Sugar Refining, mostly from the facility's power generator, tops 50 decibels when measured at Palisades Point, said Daniel Riesel, a consultant for the sugar company.

The company also is concerned that construction of the towers will interfere with the dispersal of low-level sulfur dioxide emissions from the plant, possibly causing illegal concentrations of the pollutant to build up at the southern side of the Palisades Point development.

To cope with these issues, Struever Fidelco Cappelli has agreed to install nonopening windows on the south-facing side of a five-story building that would rise 100 feet away and also on the south-facing side of the 25-story tower closest to the refinery, roughly 300 feet away. Builders also will need to carefully locate air intakes for heating and ventilation systems to avoid the tainted air, the City Council noted in its environmental findings.
Struever Fidelco Cappelli's project manager, Joseph Apicella, said the measures agreed upon by the developers and the city will allow Palisades Point residents and American Sugar Refining to co-exist.

"The residents will not even know what's operating next door," Apicella said. "They'll be focused on the magnificent Hudson River and the Palisades."

Lesnick said he believed new residents moving to downtown Yonkers will understand that city life isn't as quiet as life in the suburbs. "That's the attraction of living in an urban environment where there is street traffic and lots of people, and you can't shut it down at night," Lesnick said.



December 13th, 2008, 01:23 AM
Demolition begins at Yonkers biggest housing complex

Len Maniace
The Journal News Dec. 10, 2008

http://cmsimg.thejournalnews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=BH&Date=20081210&Category=NEWS02&ArtNo=812100361&Ref=AR&MaxW=318&Border=0 (http://www.lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?template=zoom&Site=BH&Date=20081210&Category=NEWS02&ArtNo=812100361&Ref=AR)
(Len Maniace/The Journal News)
Former resident Loretta Bryant, who lived at Mulford Gardens from
1989 to 2006, says she hopes to move into replacement housing.
Demolition equipment began taking down Mulford Gardens Tuesday,
part of a plan by Yonkers to the replace the public-housing complex
that was built in 1940.

The claws of two huge demolition machines tore into the brick and concrete buildings of Mulford Gardens yesterday, signaling the final chapter for the massive housing project that was called home by thousands of families through the decades.

Mulford Gardens, opened in 1940 to provide housing for families of modest means, eventually became engulfed by rising crime that planners now say was encouraged by the project's anonymous common areas that were beyond the control of residents and police.

Despite Mulford's troubled decline into drug trade and violent crime, several former residents who showed up to say goodbye to the 550-unit, 17-building complex said they had fond memories of their lives in Mulford Gardens.

"It was nice living here - close to schools, close to the hospital, close to the park and to shopping," said Loretta Bryant, 50, who lived in Mulford from 1989 to 2006, raising two children.

"When I first moved in was really great, you felt safe going out at night," said Bryant, a food service worker for the Yonkers school district. Now Bryant, who lives a nearby private rental building, said she hopes to move into the 60-unit Croton Heights Apartments, the first of Mulford Gardens' replacement buildings, which is set to open next week.

Mulford Gardens was the first and the biggest of several federally sponsored, low-income housing complexes to be built in Yonkers and the first to be demolished. Speaking at a brief ceremony before demolition began, Mayor Phil Amicone noted that it provided housing for generations of Yonkers residents.

"I've met so many people who grew up in Mulford Gardens, it's hard to imagine that anyone lived anywhere else," Amicone said. "The fact is many people think it was a great place to grow up in, but it has now outlived its usefulness in today's age, and we need to replace it with a better place."
The new housing is funded by a $20 million federal Hope VI housing grant and the city's $180 million Ashburton Avenue urban renewal effort. That rebuilding effort will replace only 469 of Mulford's 550 units with housing built for a mix of income levels.

The demolition of Mulford is expected to be completed near the end of January, said Brian Sweeney of IMC Consulting, which is working with the Yonkers Municipal Housing Authority on the redevelopment effort. The redevelopment is expected to continue through 2010, with former Mulford residents getting preference in moving to the new housing, the Mayor's Office said.

Paula Crawford got to know Mulford Gardens as a girl when she visited her sister and baby-sat for her niece and decided it was a much better place than her building on Riverdale Avenue.

"I always said, 'When I get old enough, this is where I want to live.' The grounds were nice and each section of Mulford was like its own community," said Crawford, who lived in Mulford Gardens with her two children and first husband from 1981 to 1990. "It was like a private community, even though it wasn't a private community."

Another former Mulford resident, John Downing, a retired Con Edison worker, came looking for souvenirs amid the demolition debris. "Can I get some bricks?" Downing asked. "I'd like to get them for my brother, sister, for one or two friends and for me."

When Downing first moved to Mulford Gardens with his family, in 1948, the complex was less than a decade old. There even was a swimming pool, he recalled. Downing remembered Mulford as a great place to grow up, a neighborhood that was packed with kids eager to play. The family moved in 1958. "I have nothing but good memories," Downing said.

Westchester Rockland Journal-News@2008


December 15th, 2008, 02:07 PM
Yonkers seeks plan to allow fun seekers and residents to co-exist downtown

By Len Maniace (lmaniace@lohud.com)
The Journal News
December 15, 2008

For more than a decade, the goal of planners and developers has been to create a vibrant new downtown where apartment towers, restaurants and shops would revive the city's abandoned industrial waterfront.

Though the redevelopment is still in its infancy, some waterfront residents are wondering whether the goal of creating a 24-hour downtown shouldn't be scaled back to something less ambitious - say, a 15-hour downtown.

The problem is noise, say some residents of Hudson Park, a largely residential development that opened five years ago. Specifically, they cite the amplified bands that play at an outdoor bar during the warmer months and the revelers who congregate outside a restaurant bar to drink and smoke cigarettes into the early morning.

It's a conflict that could intensify as Yonkers moves ahead with more mixed-use downtown developments. As a result, the City Council has begun discussing a noise management plan to ease such conflicts.
The proposal was introduced by City Council member Patricia McDow, D-1st District, who lives in the Clermont, the first building that opened in Hudson Park. McDow says her neighbors complain about noise from the Pier View.

One of those neighbors, Chuck Hyman, moved to the Clermont five years ago. He said he has been forced to listen to music and a loud bar crowd well into the morning. Though the problem has eased with cold weather, all it takes is a warm spell to push the crowds outdoors again, he said.
"The night before Thanksgiving, people were out there with their drinks until 3:30 in the morning," said Hyman, whose apartment overlooks the Pier View restaurant bar and its outdoor summer pub, called Whiskey Rio.
Stephanie Engeln, who lives in a neighboring Hudson Park building, the Phoenix, said she doesn't mind a restaurant, but the late-night bar and its crowd don't fit with a residential neighborhood.

"(The patrons) talk very loud; they get excited; they get into fights, and then the police come to arrest people," Engeln said.

One of the more serious incidents occurred after 3 a.m. Nov. 29, when a birthday party at the Pier View turned violent and a man in his 30s was slashed in the face, according to Yonkers police.

Police have logged 42 noise complaints about the Pier View for 2008 through Wednesday, said Lt. Diane Hessler.

Pier View's general manager, Timothy Philp, did not respond to efforts to reach him for comment.

Several residents say the problem was worse in 2007 when restaurant-goers prowling for the few available parking spaces would jam local streets. "People coming home wouldn't able to get to the garage because of all the traffic," said Ronald Rodriguez, who also lives in the Clermont. "So in addition to the noise from the restaurant, you had the traffic noise all hours of the night."

However, Engeln and Rodriguez credit the introduction of valet parking and police for quieting traffic and chasing off visiting skateboarders.
Rodriguez suggested the developer, Collins Enterprises, which owns Hudson Park's residential and commercial buildings, should resolve the problem.
Cathy Ryan, executive assistant to Arthur Collins, who heads the company (http://www.lohud.com/article/20081215/NEWS02/812150322/1018/NEWS02#), said Collins Enterprises had no comment on the matter.
McDow said the conflict points up the need for the city to minimize such problems.

"The same thing is going to happen in other parts of the city with redevelopment, including the baseball stadium," McDow said. "We want to have a plan in place so everyone can coexist."

journalnews@2008 (journalnews@2008)

http://www.lohud.com/article/20081215/NEWS02/812150322/1018/NEWS02 (http://www.lohud.com/article/20081215/NEWS02/812150322/1018/NEWS02)

December 15th, 2008, 02:12 PM
Residents disappointed as Yonkers plans layoffs

By Christine Pizzuti • The Journal News
December 15, 2008

While residents of the largest city in Westchester County agree something needs to be done to balance plummeting revenue, they say large layoffs affecting firefighters, police and Department of Public Works members are not necessarily the way to go about it.

The layoffs are part of a plan to balance out the city's budget, which could otherwise fall to a $16 million gap - more like a chasm - between spending and revenue.

Mayor Phil Amicone on Friday announced plans to lay off 76 full-time workers and scale back municipal services, including cuts to special police units and DPW services, like bulk trash pickups for residents. The cuts, which will be implemented Jan. 1, also call for the layoffs of 75 part-time workers, 28 demotions and the elimination of 44 vacant positions.

"It's foolish spending so much money (http://www.lohud.com/article/20081215/NEWS02/812150344/1018/NEWS02#) on training these guys, and then they lay them off," Yonkers resident John Lent said of the workers who will lose their jobs. "I would like to see cuts in his (Amicone's) own staff instead of municipal services."

No layoffs are expected to take place within the Mayor's Office, though one employee will be shifted to a different department.

Under the pay cuts, the Teamsters, whose members work mainly in parks and public works, would see the most cuts, with 50 full-time layoffs among 439 members.

Resident Jean Penzo said one of her friends who works in public works has already been told he should expect to lose his job, though he won't know for sure until January.

"It's a shame that everybody has to lose their jobs. Times are hard out here," Penzo said, adding: "And if you think about all the perks the people in City Hall get ..."

She suggested the city not provide raises this year and do away with take-home cars paid for by the taxpayers.

On top of the DPW workers, Amicone plans to eliminate one fire company (http://www.lohud.com/article/20081215/NEWS02/812150344/1018/NEWS02#). Fire Commissioner Anthony Pagano said earlier that the department never recovered from layoffs in the early 1980s that left the city with 18 fire companies, down from 20.

In cutting back on some special policing units, Amicone is also calling for 11 full-time police officers to lose their jobs.

Resident Nicholas Maiello called the cuts to police unfortunate, but he said he hopes they make a difference in the city's finances (http://www.lohud.com/article/20081215/NEWS02/812150344/1018/NEWS02#). "I'm pretty astounded by it, especially this time of year," Maiello said, referring to the holidays (http://www.lohud.com/article/20081215/NEWS02/812150344/1018/NEWS02#). "Hopefully these cuts will be beneficial in terms of meeting our budget deficit." He said he hopes revitalization efforts in the area will pay off as well.

Resident Andrea Brown, who has experience working for municipalities, said that when public services employees are laid off, they're generally the first in line to be hired back. She said she knows it can't be easy for the city to make these decisions. "They have to do what is necessary to take care of the deficit," she said.

journalnews@2008 (journalnews@2008)
http://www.lohud.com/article/20081215/NEWS02/812150344/1018/NEWS02 (http://www.lohud.com/article/20081215/NEWS02/812150344/1018/NEWS02)

December 16th, 2008, 03:21 PM
Yonkers officials unveil housing to replace Mulford Gardens

December 16, 2008
By Ernie Garcia (elgarcia@lohud.com) The Journal News

http://cmsimg.thejournalnews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=BH&Date=20081216&Category=NEWS02&ArtNo=812160358&Ref=AR&MaxW=318&Border=0 (http://www.lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?template=zoom&Site=BH&Date=20081216&Category=NEWS02&ArtNo=812160358&Ref=AR)
(Matthew Brown/The Journal News)
Maria Duque, left, of Yonkers and her granddaughter, Carolina
uque, tour an apartment at the newly opened Croton Heights
Apartments in Yonkers.

YONKERS - The public got its first look yesterday at the new housing that will replace the Mulford Gardens public housing complex. The $23 million Croton Heights Apartments, a 60-unit building at 193 Ashburton Ave., will welcome 20 former Mulford Gardens tenants next month. The mixed-income building is the first of several planned to replace the 550 units lost at Mulford Gardens, which is being razed.

Raymond Walker, 58, a retired bus driver, lived in Mulford Gardens and will be one of the new tenants of Croton Heights. Walker said he always intended to return to the Mulford Gardens neighborhood. "This is my home," said Walker, who will rent a one-bedroom unit. "I just like it over here."

Mayor Phil Amicone said the Croton Heights Apartments' opening was evidence of the city's commitment to its low-income residents and the neighborhood along Ashburton Avenue. "We're not rebuilding it in spite of the people who were here. We're building it for the people who were here," Amicone said during a reception that included speeches by Westchester County Executive Andrew Spano and Rep. Nita Lowey, among others.

Only 20 former residents of Mulford Gardens are expected to move into the new building because just 18 of its units are public housing. An additional 15 apartments are reserved for people who receive what are known as Section 8 housing vouchers. The remaining units are reserved for people whose incomes vary from 60 percent to 90 percent of the median income in Westchester County.

According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the 2008 median income in Westchester for a one-person household is $71,100. A one-bedroom apartment at Croton Heights will rent for $1,086 a month, while two-bedroom and three-bedroom units will rent for $1,371 and $1,571, respectively.

The building's amenities include a gym, a community room, off-street parking and a laundry. Landex, a property management firm, will manage Croton Heights.

The limited number of public- housing units at Croton Heights is the main reason that so few former tenants of Mulford Gardens are not moving into the complex, said Joseph Shuldiner, executive director of the city's Municipal Housing Authority. Shuldiner explained that the replacement housing for Mulford Gardens will be mixed-income and that some former residents could not meet income requirements to live in Croton Heights, even at 60 percent of the county's median income.

Walker said he found the application process for the new housing easy, but Renee Bates, 47, a hospital dietary aide, said she found it difficult because of all the income scrutiny and background checks. Nonetheless, Bates, who lived at Mulford Gardens for 21 years, said she wanted to return to her old neighborhood because she foresees a bright future for the area.

"I've seen some of the sketches," said Bates, who will move into a three-bedroom unit. "It's going to be beautiful when they are done and those that didn't want to come back will wish they did when it's finished."

journalnews@2008 (journalnews@2008)
http://www.lohud.com/article/2008812160358 (http://www.lohud.com/article/2008812160358)

December 29th, 2008, 12:19 PM
Celebration in Yonkers draws hundreds

Kwanzaa, the annual holiday (http://www.lohud.com/article/2008812280327#) that celebrates traditional African values of family, community responsibility and self-improvement, was in full display yesterday at the Yonkers Riverfront Library.

There was singing, lighting of candles, African drumming and dance performances, workshops and craft sessions drawing roughly 200 people.

http://cmsimg.thejournalnews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=BH&Date=20081228&Category=NEWS02&ArtNo=812280327&Ref=AR&MaxW=318&Border=0 (http://www.lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?template=zoom&Site=BH&Date=20081228&Category=NEWS02&ArtNo=812280327&Ref=AR)
Dorita Gongora explains a kinara to children crafting the candleholders.
(Stuart Bayer/The Journal News)

"I wanted him to find out what an African Christmas (http://www.lohud.com/article/2008812280327#) is like," said Vanessa Caven of Yonkers, who brought her 5-year-old son, Dakota. He seemed to enjoy the activities and held on to a picture he had made of the seven-spoked kinara candle holder that represents the main principles of the holiday - unity, self-determination, working together, supporting one another, purpose, creativity and faith.

Symbolism aside, Dakota seemed to like the red, green and black colors of the candles on his picture and showed how he carefully put a flame with yellow felt on each spoke. "It is fun to celebrate," he said staring at his creation, then urging his mother toward the library's computers (http://www.lohud.com/article/2008812280327#). "I like games."

Christmas is spiritual, whereas Kwanzaa (http://www.lohud.com/article/2008812280327#) is about understanding culture, said Cheryl Brannan, founder and chief executive officer of Sister to Sister International, which sponsored the event along with Black Women's Political Caucus, Inc. and the Yonkers Riverfront Library Children's Department. "We want to encourage black people to be proud of their history and be inspired for the future," she said.

Mae Williams, president of the political caucus, said the celebration was to learn about the seven-day holiday Kwanzaa and to "bring together family, culture and community." With this in mind there was plenty of music and dancing. The Bokandeye African American Dance group came on first, then dancers from the Elm Street Neighborhood Center in Yonkers.

For Schoquilla Coleman, 22, of Yonkers, is was all about dancing. An Elm Street staffer, she performed with colleagues and youngsters from the youth program - all wearing bright yellow, black, red and white shirts. "We get to show the origin of where we all come from," she said. "It is a great experience."

journalnews@2008 (journalnews@2008)
http://www.lohud.com/article/2008812280327 (http://www.lohud.com/article/2008812280327)

December 29th, 2008, 12:28 PM
Volunteers pitch in to keep Yonkers PAL going

In the cavernous hall of a former armory, young men loped up and down basketball courts, while in an adjacent room another group scarfed down pizza and fried chicken set out on platters alongside a boxing ring. It was a few days before Christmas and the food was there for a modest holiday party at the Yonkers Police Athletic League, an organization (http://www.lohud.com/article/20081228/NEWS02/812280359/1018/NEWS02#) that, like its surrounding neighborhood, knows how to make do with less.

For the last three weeks, the PAL has been without its actual police - two officers and a lieutenant - who were shifted to local precincts as City Hall grappled with a $16 million budget gap. For a time, it looked as if the city's financial problems would defeat the PAL, locking it out of its home (http://www.lohud.com/article/20081228/NEWS02/812280359/1018/NEWS02#), a turreted red-brick building on North Broadway. But volunteers stepped up to save - at least for now - the PAL, which offers sports, recreation and tutoring to some of the poorest children in Yonkers.

The volunteers' arrival provided a much-needed Christmas present (http://www.lohud.com/article/20081228/NEWS02/812280359/1018/NEWS02#) to the PAL, though some of its young participants say they miss the police, and the feeling of safety and certainty the officers provided.

Denzel Villar, a serious-sounding 13-year-old and dedicated boxer, relies on the PAL for much of his daily training (http://www.lohud.com/article/20081228/NEWS02/812280359/1018/NEWS02#) regimen: basketball, punching bags and time in the ring. He hopes to follow in the footsteps of this father, David Villar, who has a slew of trophies from his boxing days that began with the PAL, and included participation in six Golden Gloves, the amateur boxing tournament that's produced many champion boxers. "They have a lot of programs here that can keep you out of trouble. And you have fun," Denzel Villar said.

Vic Federico has been running the PAL softball program for 2 1/2 years. When the police officers left, Federico recruited eight parents of team members to keep the gym open. "We're trying to get the kids back into the building because it's not a great neighborhood. PAL provides a safe haven," Federico said.

Sal Corrente was already volunteering four to five hours a night at the PAL. He's added another hour or two each day. A retired 36-year-veteran of the Yonkers Police Department, Corrente started the PAL boxing program in the mid-1970s by accident. "One kid approached me to help him get into the Golden Gloves. A friend of his said, 'Go see the singing cop down in Getty Square,' " Corrente recalled.

Corrente had a reputation among teens for being approachable. He had played college football and had become known as "the singing cop" after appearing in police uniform on an old TV show, Ted Mack's "Original Amateur Hour." Before long, Corrente was working full time for the PAL. By his count, Corrente has trained 28 Golden Glove champions.

News that the police were pulling out of the PAL distressed Corrente, who has lived through at least one earlier threat of the PAL's closing. "What people don't understand is that the PAL is a crime-prevention unit. It's keeping kids off the street," Corrente said. "My experience is that these kids are looking for something to belong to. Half of them are lost souls out there."

For Corrente, the infusion of volunteers, though welcome, only softened the loss. The police, he insists, are an essential part of the organization. "It's always been my contention that we want to show the kids we're regular people. 'We cry like you guys. We laugh like you guys,' "Corrente said. "Here they get to see us as normal human beings. Normally these kids are afraid of cops."

Sitting in the gym's bleachers, Louis Rivera, 21, later picked up Corrente's point. "I grew up in the streets. PAL took me out of that. This is like home to me," said Rivera, who has participated in the PAL's boxing program for four years. "PAL is a beautiful place." Rivera has made it to the Golden Gloves quarterfinals in each of the past two years and hopes to improve on that record in 2009. Even though he can take care of himself, Rivera said the police officers' presence at PAL gave teens a feeling of safety. That's something not duplicated even by the presence of police in the city's Youth Bureau elsewhere in the same building, he said.

The PAL officers shared the basketball courts with kids, took them on outings and knew their names, Rivera said. "The cops were playing right here," Rivera said. "If there was something about to break out, they would be right here."

jornalnews@2008 (jornalnews@2008)
http://www.lohud.com/article/20081228/NEWS02/812280359/1018/NEWS02 (http://www.lohud.com/article/20081228/NEWS02/812280359/1018/NEWS02)

December 31st, 2008, 01:20 PM
December 31, 2008

Yonkers fire company won't close, Pagano won't retire

Len Maniace
The Journal News
YONKERS - City officials announced a plan yesterday to avoid the elimination of one fire company and the transfer of another, a move that would be one of the more visible elements in the city's efforts to battle a $16 million budget deficit. That agreement came nearly a month after Yonkers Fire Commissioner Anthony Pagano had submitted his retirement papers and telling some in City Hall that he would leave his post if the city's costing-cutting measures damaged the department's response times to emergencies. Following the agreement to maintain fire service, Pagano said he was rescinding his retirement.

The agreement did not eliminate the planned layoff of seven members of the Fire Department, though it reduced the number of fire officers facing demotion to 17 from 19.

"I didn't feel that I would stay if we had to reduce a company in the city of Yonkers and change the response time," Pagano said. "And since we have achieved not having to do that, I have reconsidered my retirement."

In other news related to the city's financial troubles, a second municipal union yesterday approved contract givebacks aimed at saving workers' jobs. The Service Employees International Union voted to accept roughly $58,000 in givebacks to save the jobs of four members who had received layoff notices sent out by City Hall this month. The workers voted specifically to allow the city to withhold roughly two months' payments to the union's welfare fund, which augments health, dental and eye-care coverage, said union head Dominic Savarese. The union originally had faced five layoffs, but that was reduced to four after one worker took an outside job.

The SEIU cost-saving measure amounted to a fraction of the givebacks agreed to last week by the Teamsters Union, which stood to lose 50 members. The Teamsters' givebacks were valued at about $1 million, with another $400,000 to protect the jobs coming from savings in the City Council's budget. "My main focus is to save my members' jobs, and by taking this vote they did save four of their fellow members' jobs," Savarese said.

The latest agreement still leaves 21 full-time municipal workers facing layoffs, down from the originally announced 76.

Mayor Phil Amicone yesterday said that Pagano's pending retirement was not a factor in the agreement that made it possible to keep Ladder Company 70 and not move Ladder Company 75 from Fire Station 12 in the city's Dunwoodie section. Pagano had been working on it for roughly a month, Amicone said.

Amicone said: "Nobody wanted to eliminate a company, and frankly it was only through a lot of hard work and number-crunching and working with the finance commissioner and the chief and himself that they were finally able to come up with a mechanism whereby they could still fund the company and maintain the same savings."

When questioned, Pagano insisted his retirement plan was not an effort to pressure the city to reach an agreement to keep the companies where they are. Pagano had gone so far as to empty many of his personal belongings from his office at fire headquarters on Monday, said Hugh Fox, president of Yonkers Firefighters Local 628.
Fox said he visited Pagano's office Monday. Pagano is the former president of the union now headed by Fox. Pagano said the city would need to monitor its finances to make sure the complex package of savings produced the anticipated revenue. "There is nothing to guarantee that in several months from now we won't have to eliminate the company," Pagano said.

Still, Pagano said he believed the plan would hold for six months, which would take the department to July 1 and a new fiscal year when the city, according to Amicone, faces even more serious financial problems.

journalnews@2008 (journalnews@2008)
http://www.lohud.com/article/20081231/NEWS02/812310353/1018/NEWS02 (http://www.lohud.com/article/20081231/NEWS02/812310353/1018/NEWS02)

December 31st, 2008, 04:32 PM
Firefighter saves family days before layoff

By Leslie Korngold (lkorngol@lohud.com)
The Journal News •
December 31, 2008

A firefighter slated to be laid off Friday is working to the bitter end - he carried a toddler and led other family members to safety from a smoky fire yesterday. The fire, which was reported just after 10 a.m. at 125 Yonkers Ave., a four-story building, sent five people to St. Joseph's Hospital with smoke-related injuries.

Upper-story residents needed help getting out and Firefighter Gregory de Sousa carried a 2-year-old boy and led an 8-year-old boy down a stairwell, followed by the boy's mother carrying an infant, Fire Chief Tom Fitzpatrick said. A pregnant woman and another child were led down from the upper floors by other firefighters.

"It is bittersweet, obviously, but during a fire, during an emergency, you are not really thinking
about the layoffs," says Gregory de Sousa, one of seven Yonkers firefighters who may lose his job
this week. He helped lead a family to safety during a fire yesterday.
(Journal News/Mike Roy)

Interviewed yesterday afternoon, de Sousa said he was in the hall of the second floor when he heard a woman screaming in a nearby apartment. Once inside, he saw the woman with an infant and two boys, 2 and 8 years old. "I scooped up the 2-year-old and held him against my chest and covered his face, and put the 8-year-old under my coat," said de Sousa.

Fitzpatrick said the fire started in the kitchen of apartment 1E after a resident who had been cooking fell asleep. Firefighters knocked down the fire in 40 minutes and were able to contain it to the apartment, he said. Everyone was able to return to the building, though Fitzpatrick said the electric stove in 1E will have to be replaced, the kitchen wall and ceiling repaired, and soot cleaned up throughout.

De Sousa, 35, said he was saddened by the prospect of losing his position in a few days. "I love my job, and I hope I don't lose it."

Staff writer Len Maniace contributed to this report.
http://www.lohud.com/article/2008812310351 (http://www.lohud.com/article/2008812310351)

January 9th, 2009, 08:22 AM
January 7, 2009

Unions weigh unpaid shift to restore job or rank to 12 Yonkers firefighters

Len Maniace
The Journal News
YONKERS - The city's firefighters and officers would work one shift without pay over the next six months under a plan announced yesterday that would end layoffs or demotions for 12 members of the Fire Department. The deal would save at least $450,000 and restore the jobs of six firefighters who had been laid off and the rank of lieutenant for six fire officers who had been demoted under Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone's plan to eliminate a projected $16 million budget gap.

The agreement requires the approval of two unions: the Yonkers chapter of the International Association of Firefighters and the Yonkers Uniformed Fire Officers Association. "It's not something anyone ever wants to do - to work without getting paid. However, the benefit is bringing back six of our laid-off brothers," IAFF chapter Vice President Barry McGoey said. The members are expected to get a look at the agreement tonight, providing a written version is ready, with the measure to be voted upon Monday, McGoey said.

Representatives of the Yonkers Uniformed Fire Officers could not be reached for comment.

The plan is the latest agreement between Yonkers and its unions to trim labor costs, thereby reducing the number of laid-off city employees.

Under the plan, only one civilian member of the Fire Department would remain laid off; 11 former lieutenants would remain demoted to firefighters, mayoral spokesman David Simpson said. The layoffs and demotions took effect Friday. Because those former lieutenants would not be restored to their original rank, several programs such as the training, fire safety and fire prevention divisions still will be reduced or eliminated, officials said.

Among those whose jobs would be restored is firefighter Gregory de Sousa, who carried a toddler and led other family members to safety from a smoky fire last week. The blaze sent five people to St. Joseph's Medical Center with smoke-related injuries. De Sousa said he had not been thinking of his pending layoff at the time of the fire, though he did afterward. "I love my job, and I hope I don't lose it," he said.

McGoey said that Yonkers originally sought $2.6 million in givebacks from the two unions, cuts the union leaders thought were not reasonable. If the fire unions approve the agreement, the city would have avoided 60 of the 76 full-time-employee layoffs announced by Amicone on Dec. 12. Of the 16 whose jobs have not been restored, 11 are police officers. Another 75 part-time employees have been laid off, but at least seven of them appear likely to return to work when responsibility for their paychecks is picked up by Yonkers business improvement districts.

journalnews@2009 (journalnews@2009)
http://www.lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2009901070353 (http://www.lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2009901070353)

January 30th, 2009, 01:01 PM
January 29, 2009

Laid-off police returning to jobs in Yonkers

Len Maniace
The Journal News
YONKERS - Eleven city police officers laid off at the end of last year are headed back to work because of savings from police retirements and reduced overtime costs. The laid-off officers are expected to pick up badges and equipment today and will go back to work as early as tomorrow, mayoral spokesman David Simpson said yesterday.

The reinstatement means that 71 of 76 full-time city employees whose layoffs were announced by Mayor Phil Amicone in mid-December have been hired back. In all cases except for the returning police, the reinstatements were accomplished through union givebacks. Of 75 part-time city workers laid off, only seven have been rehired, Simpson said.

Before the cuts, Amicone said the city was projecting a $16 million deficit for the fiscal year that ends June 30.

"We're not out of the woods yet," Simpson said. "But the mayor has always said a decision to bring back the laid-off police officers would be based on the effectiveness of the overtime measures and the availability of cash flow." To curtail overtime, repeatedly cited as a trouble spot by state and city officials, Police Commissioner Edmond Hartnett ordered officers from several special units, including those based at eight Yonkers public schools, to report to the city's four precincts to fill what otherwise would have been overtime shifts.

The decision to bring back the officers was made yesterday after Amicone met with Hartnett and city Finance Commissioner James LaPerche, Simpson said, and was not related to an appearance at Tuesday night's City Council meeting by Eddie Armour, president of the Yonkers Police Benevolent Association, and union members.
At that meeting, Armour said the police retirements had saved enough money to rehire the officers. He also cited a series of crimes at city schools: nine assaults, six weapons and a total of 24 crime reports taken in the schools since the beginning of the year after the removal of the school-based police.

But both Simpson and Yonkers public schools spokeswoman Jerilynne Fierstein insisted there had been no increase in crime at the schools. Fierstein said there had been 13 police incidents for the district's 39 schools in January, the identical figure for the same period last year.

Armour said yesterday that the union would not comment on the apparent contradiction until the laid-off officers went back to work.

Police overtime for the past four weeks is down 40 percent from earlier figures, Simpson said, suggesting the department's efforts to eliminate overtime by moving police from special units is working. He cautioned, however, that the one-month period may not be long enough to make long-range projections.

On average, the 19 retiring officers made significantly more than the 11 relatively junior police who were laid off. Excluding overtime, the salary and benefits cost for the retired officers averaged $144,000 compared with $117,200 for the laid-off officers. Simpson made a point of criticizing the police union yesterday, saying the PBA "was the only union that didn't at least attempt to cooperate with management here in order to try and save some of their members."


January 30th, 2009, 02:35 PM
January 30, 2009

Yonkers waterfront developer pulls out

Len Maniace
The Journal News
YONKERS - The leading developer involved in the city's waterfront revival effort - a proposal for 3,752 apartments, commercial development and 17 acres of new public open space - has dropped its portion of the project. City and private officials, however, said yesterday that they believed the departure of Homes for America wouldn't jeopardize redevelopment of the Alexander Street Corridor.

Homes for America owned 30 acres, which was turned over to its lender after the company failed to make sufficient progress on the development by a Dec. 31 deadline, Chief Executive Robert MacFarlane said. The entire corridor contains 153 acres. The company's plan, known as Point Street Landing, contained four apartment towers and had advanced further than any put forward by the corridor's property owners.
MacFarlane blamed a lengthy review process in the state for the missed deadlines. He also acknowledged that the nation's frozen credit markets played a role, saying the lender may have granted an extension in better times. The company owed $97 million because of the missed deadlines, he said.

"We think everyone's opinion and voice must be heard - that's the American way - but that it takes this long to hear everyone's voice needs to be improved," said MacFarlane, whose Yonkers- based company has built high-rise housing in Florida and a Yonkers office building several years ago. MacFarlane said the company bought the land in 2005. He presented the development plan to the city in late 2006.

Unlike another major developer in Yonkers, MacFarlane did not publically discuss the deadlines he faced, though he said he had notified city officials. In contrast, officials with Struever Fidelco Cappelli had widely publicized the deadline it faced in getting a major environmental approval for its $1.6 billion downtown plan in the fall.

Though Homes for America is out of the picture, a former company executive said he is working to continue the project with the New York City real estate fund that financed Homes for America's development effort. The lender would not be identified by MacFarlane or Daniel Tartaglia, who had been Homes for America's senior vice president. "This is definitely going ahead," said Tartaglia, adding that the project's public open space would not be reduced.

Converting the former industrial district into an attractive mixed-use waterfront community is a complex task. The site contains industrial contamination, antiquated infrastructure and has more than two dozen owners. The city's plan for the corridor came under public criticism a year ago for creating a "wall of high rises" along the waterfront. A scaled- down plan issued in the summer, however, won public support.
An environmental review for redevelopment of the entire corridor won a key approval in November, but others are needed. City Planning and Development Commissioner Louis Kirven said he hopes that would happen in the spring.

The nation's credit difficulties are a problem for many developers. Faced with many defaults, lenders are far more selective in making loans, said Jim Fitzgerald, president of the North Atlantic region of Wachovia Bank. "Banks are willing to lend, but it is harder to get the loan," he said. "The criteria, and the returns they are seeking to compensate for the risk, are clearly tighter."

Homes for America's departure worried some residents. Terry Joshi, a leader of Yonkers Committee for Smart Development worried that open space and other amenities would be curtailed. "I feel they understood community concerns and they are among the more conscientious developers," Joshi said of Homes for America. Kirven said he believed Point Street Landing would be built once the economy improved and lenders began to make loans. "When they do, they are going to be looking for the best projects and this is clearly one of the best in the region." Kirven said.

http://www.lohud.com/article/20090130/NEWS02/901300383/1018 (http://www.lohud.com/article/20090130/NEWS02/901300383/1018)

January 30th, 2009, 11:26 PM
Tony Shi, NY-NJ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tonyshi/3216816106/in/set-72157606319933770)

March 2nd, 2009, 01:58 PM
March 2, 2009

Going Places - Ken Valenti

Rail car plant keeps city on a roll


I can take a hint.

I and several other reporters got a tour of the Kawasaki Rail Car plant on the Yonkers waterfront Friday, where subway cars stood up on stands, some with plastic wrap on them to keep them clean. Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chief Executive Elliott Sander, Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone and some others took a tour of the factory, where subway and rail cars are assembled.

The message was clear: New York City subway cars and other MTA "rolling stock," as the cars are called, are made here in the U.S.A. So the funds that Albany sends to the MTA for capital projects will go to jobs here, many of them in the state. Akira Hattori, president of Kawasaki Rail Car, said the Yonkers plant employs 450 workers. A Lincoln, Neb., plant that makes the shells of the cars employs 400. When you add in the subcontractors and suppliers, Hattori said, you could be talking about 10,000 jobs.

http://cmsimg.thejournalnews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=BH&Date=20090302&Category=NEWS02&ArtNo=903020329&Ref=AR&MaxW=318&Border=0 (http://www.lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?template=zoom&Site=BH&Date=20090302&Category=NEWS02&ArtNo=903020329&Ref=AR)
Kawasaki Rail Car Inc.'s plant on the Yonkers waterfront.
Mayor Phil Amicone said the plant has been a mainstay on
the Hudson River even as the city's waterfront was struggling.
The plant employs 450 workers.
(Matthew Brown/The Journal News)

I asked Sander why the tour was planned, and he said it was "something I've been doing anyway," and that he was happy to have us along, feeling it was useful for the media to see. And hey, I'm not arguing. I like watching as the rail cars are put together, and sitting there looking so pristine you expect packing beads to pour out of the open doors.

This comes, though, in the same week the MTA leaders traveled to Albany to press for funding. It comes as everyone is looking for a piece of the federal stimulus pie. (And, hey, $787 billion is a lot of pastry.) It also comes as MTA leaders are pressing for rescue measures outlined by the Ravitch Commission - a tax on all employers in the MTA region of 33 cents per $100 of payroll, plus tolls on four East River and Harlem River bridges that are now free to cross.

Some transit advocates support the Ravitch recommendations, and Gov. David Paterson has proposed legislation that pretty much mirrors the suggestions, our Albany bureau reports. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has proposed a compromise that would keep the tolls on the bridges that are now free to $2, lower than Ravitch recommended. The payroll tax idea has met with some resistance. In Rockland, for instance, County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef has come out against it.

You can expect the Legislature to be hashing out the ideas this week.

Before the tour on Friday, Hattori and Sander engaged in a bit of mutual praise, with the Kawasaki bigwig thanking the MTA for its patronage and Sander crediting Hattori's company with playing a role in improving MTA services over the years. "We are particularly pleased with the quality of work you have done," Sander told Hattori. "That means the world to us." He also mentioned the visits to state legislators. "We hope that we'll have a little bit of success up in Albany," Sander said. With that, he said, "we will be able to continue this success story for the future."

Most immediately, the MTA is facing a $1.2 billion operating deficit. And that could worsen. The MTA's top money guy, Gary Dellaverson, said recently that declining ridership and a short in real estate transaction taxes point to a possible growth of the deficit by $650 million. MTA officials have stressed that Dellaverson's comment came up in an informal, though public, conversation - it is not yet part of the agency's official budget forecast.

Train and subway cars come as part of the capital plan, which is budgeted over five years. New York City Transit, an MTA division, is having 1,662 of the R160 cars manufactured at a cost of about $2.8 billion, MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan said. (That includes the trains and some extras - spare cars, test equipment, special tools needed for the cars, training to operate and maintain them, and manuals.) Some of the bodies will be built by Kawasaki, the rest by Alstom Transportation Inc. in Hornell, N.Y. But all of them will use Kawasaki wheel trucks that are being assembled and joined to the cars in Yonkers, Donovan said. Though the 2010-14 capital plan has not yet been written, Sander has estimated that it will be $30 billion, Donovan said.

But if some are worried that the tax would cost jobs, the message yesterday was that money to the MTA supports jobs - in addition to keeping the transit giant rolling as it moves 8.5 million people a day.

Amicone said the plant has been a mainstay on the Hudson River even as the city's waterfront was struggling. The mayor said he always likes it when he sees police out helping direct traffic to guide the delivery of another rail car to the plant for finishing because it's a tangible sign that work is going on.

At the plant, Port Authority Trans-Hudson, or PATH, cars and R160 subway cars for New York City Transit sat up on stands. The shells of the cars are put together in the Nebraska plant, then shipped to Yonkers to be completed, said Michael Doyle, an executive vice president with Kawasaki Rail Car. On one stand, the guts were being assembled underneath the car. Wheel trucks are assembled. The interior is finished, and it's all inspected, with little yellow slips of paper marking parts that need to be checked again.

The 300 new M8 cars coming for Metro-North Railroad's New Haven Line are being built by Kawasaki but not in Yonkers. They mostly will be put together in Lincoln, then shipped to the New Haven yard, where finishing touches will be put on them. The railroad is expected to get the first of those cars later this year and to continue receiving them through 2012.

journalsnews@2009 (journalsnews@2009)
http://www.lohud.com/article/2009903020329 (http://www.lohud.com/article/2009903020329)

March 23rd, 2011, 05:26 AM
Any interesting projects going on in Yonkers , i saw they redeveloped the Waterfront area...

February 11th, 2012, 11:56 PM
Some of my Yonkers pictures from October...

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6239/6310621681_14b0ee88a9_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6310621681/)
DSC07864 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6310621681/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6041/6311142896_19a05bb3f6_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6311142896/)
DSC07867 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6311142896/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6113/6311144758_c0575fbd38_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6311144758/)
DSC07880 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6311144758/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6034/6311145594_0e1ce6ce98_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6311145594/)
DSC07886 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6311145594/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6058/6311146962_1e90760fb8_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6311146962/)
DSC07895 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6311146962/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6099/6311149534_1b5e984d9e_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6311149534/)
DSC07914 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6311149534/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6035/6310631533_dcde75163b_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6310631533/)
DSC07934 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6310631533/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6212/6310631655_c97d6bcc06_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6310631655/)
DSC07936 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/6310631655/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr


January 22nd, 2013, 09:01 AM
Abandoned Power Plant on the Hudson River to Become Hotel, Convention Center

http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/yonkers_powerplant_07-550x370.jpg (http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/yonkers_powerplant_07.jpg)
Glenwood Power Plant in Yonkers. (June Marie / Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jms2/2622869134/))

It has been nearly five decades since the Glenwood Power Plant in Yonkers, New York closed its doors, but developer Ron Shemesh has plans to transform this four-building complex on the Hudson into a hotel and convention center. The Wall Street Journal reported (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324391104578226041120705114.html) that Mr. Shemesh, a plastics manufacturer from the area, bought the property from investor Ken Capolino for $3 million. The project will be costly, however. Mr. Shemesh will need to raise around $155 million to redevelop the plant. In December, the Mid-Hudson Economic Development Council gave Mr. Shemesh a small economic boost with a $1 million grant to preserve the sprawling complex.

http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/yonkers_powerplant_02-550x210.jpg (http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/yonkers_powerplant_02.jpg)
(urban archaeology / Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/26594052@N07/6997881899/))

http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/yonkers_powerplant_05-533x800.jpg (http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/yonkers_powerplant_05.jpg)
(ChristopherTitzer / Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/qchristopher/3298477433/))

http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/yonkers_powerplant_03-550x367.jpg (http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/yonkers_powerplant_03.jpg)
(Nate Dorr / Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/mercurialn/1933983313/))

http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/yonkers_powerplant_01-550x367.jpg (http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/yonkers_powerplant_01.jpg)
(ChristopherTitzer / Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/qchristopher/3298478153/))

http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/yonkers_powerplant_04-550x367.jpg (http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/yonkers_powerplant_04.jpg)
(Nate Dorr / Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/mercurialn/1978876627/))

http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/yonkers_powerplant_06-550x367.jpg (http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/yonkers_powerplant_06.jpg)
(Nate Dorr / Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/mercurialn/1933982143/))


January 22nd, 2013, 02:54 PM
It looks like it could have possibilities, but that all depends on the condition of the structure.

Masonry does not hold up very well if it is left uncared for for too long... The steel looks OK, but the lower level looks a little deteriorated. If the foundations and the lower level steel is OK, they have a possible good base for this....

January 22nd, 2013, 11:35 PM
That could be an incredibly beautiful building once fixed up. If it is structurally sound, whoever gets it will be lucky.

January 23rd, 2013, 10:01 AM
It looks like the set of a Terminator / Batman / RoboCop movie

March 23rd, 2013, 09:21 AM
Some Photos ive found of the recently completed Downtown Park...

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8379/8566513995_2f75a506ed_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/samsebeskazal/8566513995/)
samsebeskazal-02245.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/samsebeskazal/8566513995/) by samsebeskazal (http://www.flickr.com/people/samsebeskazal/), on Flickr

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8243/8566549265_80486a220b_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/samsebeskazal/8566549265/)
samsebeskazal-02274.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/samsebeskazal/8566549265/) by samsebeskazal (http://www.flickr.com/people/samsebeskazal/), on Flickr

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8381/8567649160_ab996a6014_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/samsebeskazal/8567649160/)
samsebeskazal-02275.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/samsebeskazal/8567649160/) by samsebeskazal (http://www.flickr.com/people/samsebeskazal/), on Flickr

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8107/8566555163_bb5dba72d5_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/samsebeskazal/8566555163/)
samsebeskazal-02279.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/samsebeskazal/8566555163/) by samsebeskazal (http://www.flickr.com/people/samsebeskazal/), on Flickr

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8512/8567656790_b268b272cd_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/samsebeskazal/8567656790/)
samsebeskazal-02282.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/samsebeskazal/8567656790/) by samsebeskazal (http://www.flickr.com/people/samsebeskazal/), on Flickr

July 26th, 2013, 08:14 PM
Saw Mill River Daylighting...

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3760/9374670140_051c8666d5_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/9374670140/)
054 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/9374670140/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5515/9374669920_398d51ceb5_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/9374669920/)
056 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/9374669920/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5483/9374669882_1b4643c5bf_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/9374669882/)
057 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/9374669882/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3805/9374669842_632b83b886_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/9374669842/)
058 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/9374669842/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2831/9371895317_ac137f2e14_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/9371895317/)
059 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/9371895317/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7396/9374669796_804067a29d_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/9374669796/)
060 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/9374669796/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7383/9371895195_73f46e38b7_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/9371895195/)
063 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/9371895195/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3673/9374669652_5485d14654_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/9374669652/)
064 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/9374669652/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3695/9374669604_02fcc976a5_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/9374669604/)
065 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/9374669604/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3774/9371895079_fecc8b950e_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/9371895079/)
067 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/9371895079/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5325/9371895037_57923577e5_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/9371895037/)
068 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/9371895037/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2894/9371896049_52ccc3b0fd_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/9371896049/)
039 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/9371896049/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2825/9371894225_d95d400850_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/9371894225/)
084 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/9371894225/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5446/9374668828_57194b6a4e_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/9374668828/)
083 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42178139@N06/9374668828/) by Nexis4Jersey09 (http://www.flickr.com/people/42178139@N06/), on Flickr

October 16th, 2015, 12:49 AM
Last Sunday



October 17th, 2015, 07:13 PM
Any opinions as to how much larger (denser) and taller Yonkers might be had NYC's Mayor Fiorello La Guardia annexed it in the 1930's?.

October 19th, 2015, 11:38 AM
There would be more subsidized housing for sure.